Combinatorics and music

  • Students will explore the possibilities of different melodies, sequences of notes, arbitrary and pleasing ones. They will address the problem not only from the point of music but also from the point of mathematics. They will try to change the question into a mathematical problem.

    They will try to answer questions like: Will we run out of the songs which we are able to make? Is the number of 1-minute long sequences of notes large enough to ensure that we will never run out of the possibilities? How many different pleasing melodies can we create from e.g. 8 notes.

    They will also perform the products of their thinking and creative processes.


    Polish maths team: Ela and Kamil found this movie explaining how combinatorics is connected with music. Enjoy!


    Is it possible to create melody from 8 or 9 notes? Lithuanian student accepted this challenge. There are two melodies from 8 notes and one from 9 notes: