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Friday, November 5, 2010

Learning about the Circle of Fifths...







My kids with their awesome piano teacher 'Miss Melinda'.
We love our music Saturdays!

My kids learned a fun game that helped them remember which sharps and flats belong in which keys. I learned why I was told to memorize scales back when I was taking piano lessons in high school (never too late to round out a lesson I guess). All in all a successful and fun music day last Saturday. We have another one tomorrow... I was supposed to make another set of the cards. Guess I better get going on that. Oops.

"A simple way to see the musical interval known as a fifth is by looking at a piano keyboard, and, starting at any key, counting seven keys to the right (both black and white) to get to the next note on the circle shown above. Seven half steps, the distance from the 1st to the 8th key on a piano is a "perfect fifth", called 'perfect' because it is neither major nor minor, but applies to both major and minor scales and chords, and a 'fifth' because though it is a distance of seven semitones on a keyboard, it is a distance of five steps within a major or minor scale.
A simple way to hear the relationship between these notes is by playing them on a piano keyboard. If you traverse the circle of fifths backwards, the notes will feel as though they fall into each other. This aural relationship is what the mathematics describes." - Thanks wikipedia.

In speaking about his renowned theory of relativity, Einstein* said:
"It occurred to me by intuition, and music was the driving force behind that intuition. My discovery was the result of musical perception."

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. ... I get most joy in life out of music.”

Circle of Fifths: a link, another link and another link a really good chart and site.


*NOT comparing my kids to Einstein here. Just marveling in the connectedness between things, and I feel these quotes relate that to mathematics, physics and music. Intuitively I've always understand  patterns in verbal and visual areas, at least things that are verbal and visual for me. (For some people math and music are very visual. They can practically see it in shapes. I think my daughter is a bit this way.) But only recently since I've been studying mathematics in a different way from the way I avoided it back in school, have I learned that this cool pattern thing, this connectedness thing - it is the same in math. It IS math. Patterns are the language of math. I've always loved patterns that present themselves in life. I always connected these with art, music, words though. But now it is math. And I feel like a little kid trying to drink it all in. I always thought I hated math. I was so wrong. 

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