Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Canvas Network

A Mathematical Exploration of Music and Sound

St. Mark's School via Canvas Network

This course may be unavailable.


This course explores the fundamental connections between mathematics and music. Students will have the opportunity to learn about acoustics and music theory through a mathematical lens. At the core of music are patterns, structures, and relationships that can be understood mathematically. The course will provide opportunities for students to play with and explore some of the concepts, including scales, the Fourier series, beats, rhythm, and harmonics.


  • Week 1: What is sound? How do we hear sound?
  • Week 2: Sound waves and simple harmonic motion. 
    Pitch, octaves, and scale.
  • Week 3: Fourier Series
  • Week 4: The Harmonic Series
    Project - Build an Instrument
  • Week 5: Rhythm and Time
  • Week 6: Intervals and Chords
    Creating Music with Mathematics

Taught by

Ben Riva and Lauren Riva


5.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

Start your review of A Mathematical Exploration of Music and Sound

  • Deepak Jois

    Deepak Jois completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    This is a great introductory course to understand the mathematics behind music. I have taken a couple of other music related courses online (Introduction to Classical Music by Yale and Developing Your Musicianship by Berklee). Those courses were great, but I could never fully grasp the music theory bits. After watching the lectures in this course, things got much clearer.

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.