How is it that Beethoven, who is celebrated as one of the most significant composers of all time, wrote many of his most beloved songs while going deaf? The answer lies in the math behind his music. Natalya St. Clair employs the „Moonlight Sonata“ to illustrate the way Beethoven was able to convey emotion and […]

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Ted Talks Lesson plan – A rhythem-etic. The math behind the beat

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In standard notation, rhythm is indicated on a musical bar line. But there are other ways to visualize rhythm that can be more intuitive. John Varney describes the ‘wheel method’ of tracing rhythm and uses it to take us on a musical journey around the world.

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When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What’s going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians‘ brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects […]

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What gives the trumpet its clarion ring and the tuba its gut shaking oompah-pah? And what makes the trombone so jazzy? Al Cannon shows how these answers lie not in the brass the instruments are made of, but in the journey that air takes from the musician’s lungs to the instrument’s bell.

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Like an actor’s script, a sheet of music instructs a musician on what to play and when to play it . Sheet music may look complicated, but once you’ve gotten the hang of a few simple elements like notes, bars and clefs, you’re ready to rock. Tim Hansen hits the instrumental basics […]

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