After writing about some well known people with degrees in mathematics, I was moved to re-listen to some old Tom Lehrer songs on YouTube. I decided I’d post some links to his more mathematical songs here. Enjoy.

First, “Lobachevsky,” a song about the Russian mathematician Nikolai Lobachevsky and his discovery of non-Euclidean geometry, which some historians claimed was actually due to Gauss (this claim of plagiarism now seems to have been thoroughly refuted):

Here are some other videos:

- Decimal
- The Professor’s Song
- New Math
- Derivative Song
- That’s Mathematics!
- There is a Delta for Every Epsilon

Here are some audio-only songs:

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In the subject of math songs, my favorite one is definitely Finite Simple Group of Order Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTby_e4-Rhg

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neop87on September 5, 2009at 11:52 pm

That is a fantastic song. The first time I saw it I thought, “I know those stairs!” Sure enough, it is Lunt Hall at Northwestern University, where I went to graduate school. Many of the audience members are my professors.

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Dave Richesonon September 6, 2009at 7:18 am

You might also check out the Pysical Revue at http://www.haverford.edu/physics-astro/songs/lehrer/physrev.htm#songs, which includes live performances from a 1952 gig at Harvard. I usually play “Any questions?” for my calculus classes right before I administer the final exam.

By:

Travison September 6, 2009at 11:06 am

Thanks, Travis! I just added it and the Slide Rule Song to the post above.

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Dave Richesonon September 6, 2009at 4:49 pm

The version of New Math that you post is truncated. It includes only the first (decimal) half. The second (octal) half is what makes it so funny. I recommend replacing that link with this one, twice as long.

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Gene Chaseon September 8, 2009at 10:39 am

Thanks, Gene! I replaced my link with yours.

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Dave Richesonon September 9, 2009at 4:23 pm

Oops … wanted to check the “follow-up” box.

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Gene Chaseon September 8, 2009at 10:40 am

[…] out more from Tom Lehrer on Dave Richeson’s blog. There’s a wealth of great Tom Lehrer stuff out there. Maybe you can memorize one of the […]

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Tom Lehrer « Random Walkson September 9, 2009at 3:57 pm

My Geometry students have a math video project each year. This is the first year I feel that one of my groups have plagerised their music. I really feel I have heard this song before: It is about Pythagorean Theorem sung to the tune of Jesus loves me.

If anyone else knows of this song, please let me know the exact website.

Thanks amillion.

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Kathy THomison December 20, 2010at 10:07 am

[…] 7. Lobachevsky by Tom Lehrer (I gave links to other math songs by Tom Lehrer in a previous blog post) […]

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Music is math: ten songs about mathematics « Division by Zeroon January 15, 2011at 10:34 pm