John Coltrane Draws a
Picture Illustrating the
Mathematics of Music
The “Coltrane Circle,” which resembles what any musician will recognize as the “Circle of Fifths,” but incorporates Coltrane’s own innovations. Coltrane gave the drawing to saxophonist and professor Yusef Lateef in 1967, who included it in his seminal text, Repository of Scales and Melodic Patterns.
Lateef sees Coltrane’s music as a “spiritual journey”.
Musician and blogger Roel Hollander notes, “Thelonious Monk once said ‘All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.’ Musicians like John Coltrane though have been very much aware of the mathematics of music and consciously applied it to his works.”