We are currently investigating maths in music.

The task over 2 lessons is to look at patterns (rules) in lyrics and music and present these patterns via a digital poster. This activity helps reinforce previous knowledge on Percentages and Algebra, applied to a very real context.

The class is using Taylor Swift's song, The Best Days. They are all working with their buddies.

Finding patterns in lyrics

Students look at visual patterns using Wordle or WordItOut to find the most common words (Mode). They count the occurences of words in the lyrics and write out algebraic rules in expression form and also in words, e.g. 

(k / w) * 100% as the percentage of the word 'know' in the lyrics

In fact, this is how Word Clouds (like Wordle and WordItOut) work, i.e. by correlating the frequency of occurrence and the font size on the resulting graphic.

Finding patterns in music

Year 8s are currently learning how to play the guitar. Part of this task is to look at the song's chords and create a Frequency Distribution Table and Chart in Excel spreadsheets. This reinforces a previous topic on Percentage Composition as well as a review of some Data concepts.

Students look at a visual representation of music in Audacity to see peaks and troughs in the volume as well as when repeated segments occur.

Students can then play with the Tempo and its effects in beats per minute and duration of a 15-second music segment. Audacity shows the percentages of change visually as well as in numbers.

Music students can opt to look at patterns using music sheets for the same song. It is hoped that students see that knowledge of fractions (and percentages) are very much in use here.

Maths is in Music

Students are engaged and are using a variety of ICT tools to help them see the maths in music. They get to see how information can be presented in a variety of ways. 

Posters will be showcased on this web so keep visiting.