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The Maths in Music

The Maths in Music

Hailing from a family where music always played in the background, Jaya took to strings and the notes since birth

Jaya Jagadish, Country Head, AMD India -- Photograph by Sudhir Damerla Jaya Jagadish, Country Head, AMD India -- Photograph by Sudhir Damerla

An engineer by profession and a singer by heart, for Jaya Jagadish, Country Head, AMD India, music is much more than just a hobby. "It's a crucial part of my life," she says. Hailing from a family where music always played in the background, Jaya took to strings and the notes since birth. "My grandmother used to sing. My father is a violinist and mother plays the veena. The environment at home was filled with music, dance and drama."

It was at the age of six that Jagadish started taking formal music lessons, but her family emphasised on studies than pursuing a career in music. "It was not said in those many words, but coming from a middle-class family, it was implied. I did think about leaving engineering and pursuing music professionally, but I realised, if I sing for commercial reasons, I will lose the essence of it."

In fact, engineering helped Jagadish learn the 'mathematical' concepts of music well. "You don't have formulas of that sort in music, but it is a very structured and mathematical form of learning. Once there was this complicated piece of music that I got right in the first attempt itself, while others struggled for months. My teacher complimented me that my engineering degree helps me grasp taal (rhythm), gati (beat) and loy (tempo) quite well," she says.