Learn Something New Every Day!

I am an English major.  I love words, quotes, books.  But I also appreciate math and music, even though I am not especially good at either.  As a teacher, for example, I recognize that the study of both disciplines can help students grapple with and master critical and creative thinking.  They help people see the world in different ways, emphasizing structure, patterns, depth and complexity.  Howard Gardner even identifies each discipline as a separate way of interacting with the world in his Multiple Intelligences Theory first espoused in 1983. 

I give that bit of a preamble as way of explaining why the following video caught my eye.  Well, more accurately, caught my ear.  It just intrigued me!  Apparently there is a controversy in the mathematical world over whether Pi is the best representation of the circle constant as has always been the traditional view.  Some are now proposing a new circle constant, named Tau. Michael Hartl presents The Tau Manifesto, if you want to read more about it. 

But you can also take a listen!  The following video provides a musical interpretation of the new controversial circle constant to 126 decimal places played at 125.6 bpm.  I predict you will find this video intriguing, whether you understand math or play a musical instrument or not.  For me, it is an example of the wonders of our world!  Enjoy!

Comments on: "The Music of Math: Just Listen!" (8)

  1. This is fascinating! In addition to your prediction, I predict I’m going to listen to this more in the future. My only question is whether it’s appropriate to simply state–if asked–that I’m listening to “tau.” 😉

    I enjoyed math growing up. I loved the patterns and predictability of numbers, although I wasn’t disciplined enough to excel.

  2. I love it! I love even more to know that I’m not the only humanities-minded teacher who loves math. When I was a kid I was always conflicted over whether to pursue the humanities or sciences path. My dad was an engineer; my mom was an artist. Sometimes I feel like I just split the difference, but that’s not right. I got the best of both worlds and I feel so lucky for that.

    I think your post highlights the way all of the disciplines overlap with and reinforce each other.

    • It is good to find a kindred spirit! The best lesson is that all subjects are truly inter-connected–as you say, “they overlap and reinforce.”

  3. Patti … I love it, love it, love it, love it! Of course I’ve been one who believes that math is a language, not a subject.

    • I love it too, with the “it” being all the patterns and beauty and order out there in the universe that we sometimes figure out how to notice!

  4. That was just amazing!

  5. […] a numbers-person, the world of numbers and its beauty and symmetry generally fascinates me.  In an earlier post “The Music of Math:  Just Listen” I had already explored the concept (and the sound) of Tau. […]

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