Heidi, you certainly appear to have a mental block that's preventing you from learning to read music. Don't look at it as making music mathematical. The fundamentals of music are just the foundation -- a group of simple rules that leave a lot of room to create. For example, the rules of football don't stymie the various styles and gameplans of each coach/team. If you already know chords, the only other (basic) thing you need to learn is the time (the length of the notes). The true value of reading/writing music is that it gives you the ability to communicate in a common language -- an extremely useful ability.