The beginning of a music and math inquiry

A warning: this first post is not educational. I won’t fully explain the meaning of the things I’m saying. Understanding it all will require knowing a little music theory.

I’m interested in the relationship between the overtone series and common chord types in western music. A major chord actually appears in root position within the overtone series of the note two octaves below the chord’s root, while the minor chord is a little more mysterious.

Questions to investigate:

  • Can a minor chord be related back to a base note the same way?
  • If not, what is it closest to?
  • What overtone patterns are there between chords in common chord progressions?
  • What can these relationships tell us about the nature of harmony and dissonance?
  • Can we use the answers to any of these questions to help us compose music?

In addition to doing research online and asking knowledgeable people for guidance, I would like to investigate the math myself, using technology, and hopefully create some useful educational resources.

Reflection on “Most Likely to Succeed”

The first thing that struck me about “Most Likely to Succeed” was how reluctant students were to get into the socratic discussion, and at the same time, the value of it. Students leading discussions is a great way for them to learn about the subject content, and at the same learn how to communicate as part of a team. I fully intend to integrate this type of discussion into my teaching style.

Taking further inspiration from the classroom of former math teacher of my own, I’m considering a math class format using that central desk and chair arrangement, with several whiteboards/blackboards available on the outside. Ideas would be introduced in circle discussion, and then in-class exercises would be done at the boards, like so:

A concern is that classrooms will often have too many students or too little room accomplish this effectively, as it’s not very space efficient.