This is not about “math rock,” a genre I frequently heard about in college but don’t believe I ever listened to. I think it had something to do with guitars and glasses, not sure. No, this is about mathematical equations in song, helpfully explained by me, an Tennessee public university-educated English major, via copying and pasting pertinent facts from the Internet. Get ready 2 learn.
Billy Preston, “Nothing from Nothing”
Formula: Nothing - Nothing = Nothing Huh?: “Brahmagupta, around 650 AD, was the first to formalize arithmetic operations using zero. He used dots underneath numbers to indicate a zero. These dots were alternately referred to as 'sunya', which means empty, or 'kha', which means place.” Explanation: Zero keyboards minus zero keyboards equals zero keyboards. Additionally, soldiers in the war on poverty realize you cannot take something from those that have nothing. (Except, perhaps, their dignity, which is not quantifiable and therefore irrelevant to this discussion.)
The Commodores, “Three Times a Lady”
Formula: Lady x 3 = You Huh?: “c.1200, lafdi, lavede, from Old English hlæfdige, ‘mistress of a household, wife of a lord,’ literally ‘one who kneads bread,’ from hlaf ‘bread’ (see loaf) + -dige ‘maid,’ related todæge ‘maker of dough.’” Explanation: I spent an obscene amount of time searching for a lady from the Middle Ages who married three lords, thus making her a lady thrice over, but couldn’t find one. History fans, feel free to jump in.
2Ge+her, “U + Me = Us (Calculus)”
Formula: U+Me = Us Huh?: “Calculus is the mathematical study of change, in the same way that geometry is the study of shape and algebra is the study of operations and their application to solving equations.” Explanation: I’m pretty sure “U+Me = Us” is basic addition and not calculus. Also, I’m still not entirely sure what Calculus is, though that’s a pretty elegant definition if you ask me (an English major, like I said).