Mathematics can find the numbers in music.
Pupils analyse the similarities and differences between genres of popular music with particular focus on the variable measures of tempo. Pupils work in small groups to listen to different music tracks, measure the tempos and interpret and present the results. Although not essential, this project would work well as a cross-curricular project with the music department.
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Key Stage 3 National Curriculum areas covered include:
This case study supports four hour-long lessons of classroom activity for Part 1. The optional Part 2 requires one period of two hours and greater use of ICT. A mixture of class, group and individual work is involved with some homework tasks. In the first lesson teachers will need to play music tracks to the class and in subsequent lessons students will need to listen to music in groups. Therefore computers or external audio devices (CD players, iPods etc) with headphones will be needed, at least one set between two students. Computers are vital for Part 2, as students will need to use audio editing software.
A copy of the Audacity source code (zip) has been included.
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