Exploring music in The Art of Maths tools

Exploring music in The Art of Maths tools

Mathematics and music have an interesting common history, starting from Pythagoras until the modern era. The connection between mathematics and music is described in the different tools that have been created by project partners. Through these tools, students (aged 13-15 and 16-18) can work on mathematics activities and learn about their relation to music.

For instance, Tool 14 indicates the mathematics behind the musical notes in an entertaining way since many students find math classes boring and difficult while they enjoy music classes. Frequencies, intervals and ratios can also be found in music. Through this lesson, students learn that musical notes are sounds that are produced by the combination of certain frequencies and they are familiarized with relevant activities.

The Fibonacci Sequence is based on the proportions of the Golden Ratio and both are widely used by artists, musicians and architects in their work. Tool 17 is dedicated to the Golden Ratio and the mathematical concepts behind musical compositions. Students are introduced to Golden Ratio and its relevance to music and by the end of the lesson they can use the math they have learnt in a musical composition.

Figure 1: Part of the Glossary in Tool 17

Another interesting and entertaining lesson is found in Tool 26: Bach and the musical Moebius strip. Educators can present mathematics to their students through music and handcraft. Students are introduced to the Moebius band and strip which is a mathematical object that can create a harmonically and melodically sounding. Furthermore, the Moebius strip contains the notion of pi constant through which an estimation of its circumference can be calculated.

Figure 2: The Moebius strip https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:M%C3%B6bius_strip_(plot).png

The number pi is a mathematical constant which is famous not only in the world of science and mathematics but also to musicians. It is defined as the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter and is approximately equal to 3.14159. It is symbolized by the Greek letter “π” and it is also known as “Archimedes’ constant”. Musician David Macdonal wrote a song to commemorate the whole digits sequence (which is more than 10 trillion digits!):

VIDEO URL { https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMq9he-5HUU&feature=emb_logo }