Math Meter in Poetry and Music

Published: 24th July 2015 04:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th July 2015 04:26 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: At the core of ancient Indian poetry and music, there is lot of mathematics. Mystical as they are, many theorised and recurring number patterns are found in places we wouldn’t expect - in stems shooting out from a sapling, in logs of wood found in a beam, in the number of petals found in a flower and also, in our very own relics - Sanskrit poetry. This was revealed by celebrated Mathematician and Field’s medalist winner, Manjul Bhargava, who spoke on the subject ‘Poetry, Drumming and Mathematics’, drawing interesting correlations between them.

Recently the math behind Michelangelo’s iconic ‘Creation of Adam’ was decoded. The Sistine Chapel painting follows the ‘golden rule’, a famous mathematical rule. Maths textbooks in India pack in many mathematical theories like this, for instance, the ‘Fibonacci numbers’. Any student is at least vaguely aware of its existence. But what comes as a shocker is that a century before the Italian mathematician Fibonacci, an Indian linguist by the name Hemachandra discovered this.

He strung a series of numbers together, wherein each number in a series is the sum of two preceding numbers*, forming the basis of this ‘Hemachandra theory’ as our textbooks should be rightfully calling it. (Hemachandrandra no.s - 1,2,3,5,8,13, 21,34 and so on)

Although all this could sound like Greek to layman, it’s practical and simple for Manjul Bhargava.

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