‘Math in Music’ series adds up for WFMT

Dr. Eugenia Cheng

This Saturday — March 14 — is known internationally as "Pi Day," when the date's numerical value of 3.14 matches the Greek letter Pi, symbolizing the first three digits of the mathematical constant. What better day to introduce a series on the relationship between math and music?

"Math in Music" will launch online then as an 11-episode digital series from WFMT 98.7-FM, the Window to the World Communications classical music station.

It's written and hosted by Dr. Eugenia Cheng, a mathematician, author and pianist, and the current scholar in residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


“Contrary to popular myth, math is not just about numbers, but about patterns, structures, and logic, and patterns and structures also pervade classical music," Cheng said. "Logical analysis in math gives us a way to describe how music affects us emotionally, and to talk about our experience of music with other people.”

In each five-minute episode (at wfmt.com/mathinmusic) Cheng will explore a different theme and explain how they can enhance listeners' understanding and enjoyment of both music and math.

George Preston, vice president and general manager of WFMT, said he hopes "Math in Music" will appeal to a wide audience.

“With this new series, we hope to invite both those who are curious about all things classical music and people who have never been introduced to this intricate and exciting art form to learn about it from someone like Eugenia. She makes it exciting and accessible to students and casual listeners alike,” Preston said in a statement.

The series is produced and edited by Sean Raju.

Tuesday’s comment of the day: Terry Socol: Glad to see [John] Dempsey is getting a better slot. He should also be used as a fill-in host. He does a terrific job filling in on "Connected to Chicago" and would be a great permanent host for this weekend interview show.