The universal language : mathematics or music?

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-415
Journal / PublicationJournal for Multicultural Education
Issue number4
Publication statusOnline published - 24 Oct 2021


Purpose: Music could be a challenger for mathematics and a potential candidate for the title “The Universal Language.” This paper aims to discuss the primary objectives of engaging with music, including the therapeutic benefits. Similarities, between mathematics and music and how studying one might enhance one’s abilities of the other are pointed out. Design/methodology/approach: A formal definition for a universal language is given. A qualitative approach, supplemented with rigorous reasoning, is adopted. The narrative relies on the author’s experiences, teaching mathematical concepts and musical interactions, with students from several countries. A vast amount of literature is reviewed and the corresponding findings are connected toward the arguments made. Findings: The paper demonstrates that one day, once we understand both mathematics and music better, we might see both of them as the same language. Until then, it is essential to supplement mathematics with music. The educational implications, for all fields, are to ensure that the future creators of knowledge are equally adept at both music and mathematics. The wider policy connotations are to create a blueprint for a society with a vibrant musical and artistic environment. Originality/value: This study illuminates new ways of thinking about music and mathematics. The possibility that many seemingly complex entities (including our universe, virtual computer worlds, mathematical operations, etc.), are made up of combinations of much simpler building blocks is hinted at. Familiarity with any intricate element of life, without getting flustered, is bound to produce remarkable results in other such endeavors.

Research Area(s)

  • Artistic encoding of knowledge, Education policy, Mathematics, Multicultural, Music, Universal language

Bibliographic Note

Full text of this publication does not contain sufficient affiliation information. Research Unit(s) information for this record is based on his previous affiliation.

Citation Format(s)

The universal language: mathematics or music? / Kashyap, Ravi.
In: Journal for Multicultural Education, Vol. 15, No. 4, 24.10.2021, p. 395-415.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review