Mathematics and Music - November 2006, Stage 3&4

Problems

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Oranges and Lemons, Say the Bells of St Clement's

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.

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You Owe Me Five Farthings, Say the Bells of St Martin's

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know when it is your turn to ring?

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When Will You Pay Me? Say the Bells of Old Bailey

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Use the interactivity to play two of the bells in a pattern. How do you know when it is your turn to ring, and how do you know which bell to ring?

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Six Notes All Nice Ratios

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The Pythagoreans noticed that nice simple ratios of string length made nice sounds together.

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Pythagoras’ Comma

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Using an understanding that 1:2 and 2:3 were good ratios, start with a length and keep reducing it to 2/3 of itself. Each time that took the length under 1/2 they doubled it to get back within range.

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Equal Temperament

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

The scale on a piano does something clever : the ratio (interval) between any adjacent points on the scale is equal. If you play any note, twelve points higher will be exactly an octave on.