Originally Posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This was the tweet that initiated this post: 

musically8 Allison Friedman:  Prof. just asked me: How can music be related to the Science, Tech., Engineering, Math (STEM) focus our country has? any ideas

 Before answering such a question I have to ask, what is the Prof really asking? Is he so uneducated not to know the relationship of Music, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics? How can even the dimmest bulb wearing the moniker, Professor, not have bumped into music's relationship to even one of the above? I am aghast and dismayed that any institution of learning would produce such an ignoramus. 
  Ok. I must be gracious to even the weakest of minds and for the time being, assume that he/she is thirsting to know that music has a solid relationship to all of the above. Consider the simple flute, some say it is over 4,000 years old. One such Chinese flute uncovered a few years ago was engineered and crafted from an aquatic bird's leg. The instrument was still playable and played a distinct scale, not some random tweets.( a little Twitter humor, sorry.) Guess there was no science or engineering here?  The piano, and hundreds of other "common" instruments, did not exist until the technology for building them arrived. It takes physics to understand why a mandolin does not sound like a guitar. The both have strings and are made of wood. Frequency, vibration of strings and columns of air, the effects of using different types of wood and their correct combinations, the formulations of varnishes, determining the effects of high tension strings stretched across a precisely placed bridge of a certain height..then being able to duplicate that instrument again and again with similar results. Has he never heard the word Stradivarius? Has he never seen and heard an African Marimba?
  Most of today's pop music could not have existed 40 years ago. The Beatles could not have created Sgt. Peppers without the limited technology of their day and of course,  The Beatles could not have performed it live.
Today, however, Paul McCartney can perform the music live, with it sounding practically the same as the recorded version, sans George, John and Ringo, and of course, could sing with the absent Beatles via digital recordings that would sound as good or better than the live Paul.
 Does he not know that 3rd graders can produce a musical recording at a school computer (and now, even on a phone), that sound engineers 30 years ago, could not produce with hundreds of thousands of dollars and giant rooms full of equipment? 

Enough of this discourse. Any 3rd grader could give him links like the following, that deal with music, math, science, tech etc.  http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/music/

The real question: What is his/her motive behind this thoughtless question? Does he want us to justify the worthiness of music in a person's education? We can do it and the justification is easy to find, just type and click? Does he consider music a subject for only the lame minded?  Ok. So, Franklin, Jefferson, Bach.....etc were on the level of clams because of their interest and musical creativity?

The better question, Professor, is "How do the sciences, math, technology, engineering, history, civics, geography, psychology, art, religion and a myriad of other human knowledge and activity, NOT, relate to music?

I'm done.