Pythagoras was wrong about the maths behind pleasant music

Pythagoras has influenced Western music for millennia

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An ancient Greek theory about the most pleasing combinations of music notes – often attributed to the philosopher Pythagoras – doesn’t actually reflect the way people around the world appreciate harmony, researchers have found. Instead, Pythagoras’ mathematical arguments may merely have been taken as fact and used to assert the superiority of Western culture.

According to legend, Pythagoras found that the ringing sounds of a blacksmith’s hammers sounded most pleasant, or “consonant”,…