On Wednesday 2nd March 2022, a unique event took place at The Purcell School which bore witness to the remarkable relationship between Maths and Music.

Music is Maths . . . Maths is Music

The groundbreaking and ambitious project, conceived by Head of Maths Alexandra Stone and entitled ‘Maths is Music . . . Music is Maths’, is a collaboration between the Royal Northern College of Music’s (RNCM) Centre of Practice and Research in Science and Music (PRiSM) and Purcell’s own Maths and Composition Departments.

The initiative aims to demonstrate how mathematics can be used as a tool and an inspiration for both composition and musical understanding.

To explore this concept with Purcell’s young musicians, famed mathematician Marcus du Sautoy and contemporary composer Emily Howard led a day of workshops and high level discussions about advanced mathematical and philosophical ideas which, in turn, inspired the creation of many original compositions with maths unequivocally at their heart.

The culmination of this work took place on the evening of Wednesday 11th May 2022, in a concert of new music inspired by all things mathematical – from geometrical shapes and numerical series, to proofs and conjectures.

A staggering 15 students, all of whom attended the ‘Maths is Music . . . Music is Maths’ workshop day, composed, arranged and performed original pieces of music with maths unequivocally at their heart. It was an entirely remarkable evening, unprecedented at Purcell for its uniqueness, and all of the students who took part should be incredibly proud.

The programme and insert below contain information about the project, the compositions, composers and players.