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I am a high school student right now, and I'm looking into different universities. My interests are divided into two distinct categories: mathematics and music. I just can't decide. A career in mathematics or science is appealing, but at the same time I love music. I am--excuse me for my pride--a genius in the field of math. I'm a good sax player, and if I start taking lessons I could truly become a great sax player. So, I was wondering are there any careers that have a cross between the sciences and music? I'm just looking to narrow down my search.
 

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Acoustic Engineering/ design requires plenty of math and science knowledge. Everything from mouthpiece and instrument design to building theaters and performance halls...Of course you could get some skinny jeans, Chuck Taylors and eye shadow to wear while you shred some incredibly repetitive "math metal/ prog" stuff and melt some faces at the local "you have to bring your own audience AND pay to play" metal show!:mrgreen:
 

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My interests are divided into two distinct categories: mathematics and music. I just can't decide. A career in mathematics or science is appealing, but at the same time I love music. I am--excuse me for my pride--a genius in the field of math. I'm a good sax player, and if I start taking lessons I could truly become a great sax player.
You have to ask yourself, would you like to be financially secure and be able to play music, or would you like to be poor and do so. It's really that simple.

Go with math and science, and leave yourself room to play music on the side.
 

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Electrical engineering is a possibility - plays a big part in electronic instruments, recording, sound reinforcement, and probably some areas I'm not aware of. There might not be that many positions in the field, but they probably outnumber (and outpay) positions for fulltime musicians.
 

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You have to ask yourself, would you like to be financially secure and be able to play music, or would you like to be poor and do so. It's really that simple.

Go with math and science, and leave yourself room to play music on the side.
I second that.
 

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You take "pride" in being a math GENIUS, yet you could be a "good" sax player. If it were the other way around, I might say give it a go and try being a musician... Much more obtainable than trying to become a genius at anything else. Put yourself up against your contemporaries among sax players... Do you feel the same sense of pride? Ask your question again and, this time, you answer it. The answer seems to be staring at you in the mirror. Good luck with your decision(s). I sure as heck changed my mind career-wise several times and still don't know what I wannabe when I grow up...if ever.
 

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The postings from swperry and rondalo are good suggestions. Also, it is easier to get a job as a musician with a math or engineering degree than it is to get an engineering/applied math job with a music degree. You may want to look at schools that allow you to do either a double major or a minor - a double major in math or engineering and music would be good; a music minor would give you access to the music department and more instruction/practice than you would likely get on your own.

You may end up creating some sort of unique career of your own - like Daniel Schmidt, who invents/builds instruments for Paul Dresher: http://www.bernsarts.com/downloads/dresher_schick/schmidt_bio.pdf
 

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There is an interesting but rather long book called Godel Escher Bach by Douglas R. Hofstadter.

This book takes bach's cannons/fugues, escher's drawings with his never ending loop along with Godel's mathematics (with things like the klien bottle).

A bit off-topic perhaps, but it came to mind when I initially saw the topic.

Another aside, make sure you put music on your resume. When I applied for a software developer job, they were very interested that I played the piano.

There are a lot of fields where the kind of thinking of mathematics and music make a great impression. IBM did a study in the '70s and all else being equal they wanted the person with the music.

Make money as you can, but always make time for music.

Peace,

Myst
 

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Better make a decision soon. Mathematicians peak in their late teens to early twenties.
 

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Sound design, synth design, etc. Look into a program like Max or try to get your hands on a Kyma if you have the bread. See what you can do with it. For less investment and still vast possibilities, start playing around with Reaktor and see what kind of synths you can build. Start studying the math behind FM synthesis or dig into the calculus behind reverse-engineering recorded waveforms with additive synthesis and go from there. Most of that stuff is over my head, but if I were a bona fide math genius interested in music stuff, that's the way I'd go. If you're good at it, you can make a very good living with it.

You're always gonna get a lot of "dads" on here saying to get a reasonable degree so you can get a steady job and keep it until retirement, but these days, you're better off identifying a small market niche, becoming very good at satisfying it, and forging your own path. The guys at Tonehammer are fairly young and very successful, for example. So is BT. The way technology is evolving, synth and sound design are clearly going to be much more important to the industry (well, they already are) than instrument design and innovation has ever been before, and the time to get in will always be when you're young.

http://www.berklee.edu/majors/electronic-production-design.html
 

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I think if you approach it from a "starting with the math" perspective, and go from there, you'll be in good shape. If life takes you down a path where a career decision might encompass some musical consideration, so be it. If you try to pigeon hole yourself into an "approaching it from a music" perspective you'll limit yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
marton, I know there are practicalities, but at the same time, we can all hope to follow our hearts, right? I know that a musician's lifestyle is not ideal; a mathematics career can definitely cover more than necessities. However, I would like to be able to enjoy my job all of the time. I guess it's a dream many never arrive at. (I know that sounds very corny.) I'm not asking for direct advice; I'm asking for a direction to look in (it makes searching easier). Oh, and thanks for the advice so far everyone.
 

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I know that a musician's lifestyle is not ideal; a mathematics career can definitely cover more than necessities. However, I would like to be able to enjoy my job all of the time.
Just a bit of perspective here... when music becomes a job, it's not always enjoyable. To make a go at it and be successful, you often have to cater to the preferences of your paying customers and play things that may not exactly be your cup of tea. That's why it's wise to have a career that will provide for you, but give you the luxury of playing what you want to play on the side. There are plenty of engineers here on the site that have working bands as well.
 

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That has been my point so many times in these types of "becoming a pro musician" threads. Some of the best players I know are not full time-earn-their-money-exclusively-from-music players.
And alot of the time it's not what you think too (for the worse). . . like becoming a gynacologist because you like hoo-hoos . . .
 

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... are there any careers that have a cross between the sciences and music? I'm just looking to narrow down my search.
I think if you pursue your original idea you should have a good chance of enjoying your work - even if you're not producing music on the job, you'll be serving others who produce music. Maybe you'll even design the next state-of-the-art saxophone. And you'll be able to enjoy life because you'll be able to afford that state-of-the-art saxophone you just designed!
 

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If you are a mathematics genius, as you say, then few folks on this site will be able to imagine your potential in fields that relate music and math together. One of my favorite musicians, Thomas Dolby, did his fair share of producing, engineering, and recording before making zillions on ring tones...a technology that was unimagined just a few years ago. On the other side, my Sister is a bit of a math genius (you can tell by her unkept style and inability to function in social situations), who went on to write ground-breaking battle field communications software that is now used around the world...her family never imagined that potential while she played mediocre piano tunes.

If you pursue a career in which you are "blessed" to be considered in the genius realm, yet always keep a hand in your musical passion, you could likely be the next 35-year old billionaire that has somehow revolutionized the music industry.

Sounds a lot better than living in a dive apartment making $200 a night while everyone says what a great player you are.
 
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