This medieval era print shows Pythagoras with bells and other instruments in Pythagorean tuning. Pythagoras and his research is the topic of endless legends and speculation. We can say with certainty, that he figured out that the pitch of notes depends on the rapidity of vibrations.
This Paleolithic Era flute was made with tools of stone, from the bone of a vulture. It is one of many proofs we have that music has been a basic element of human existence from the beginning.
1. In class Instructor Sparks explored the combination of notes into chords to see what emotional responses they cause. Chords are not the only tools used to evoke different emotions. Sometimes dynamics, how loud or soft; pitch, high or low notes; tempo, fast or slow; and instrumentation, or which instruments are used can play an even larger impact on the mood of the song. Which of these elements do you think would change the musical mood the most and why?
2. How does music affect your mood? Can you think of a specific occasion when the music has changed how you have felt about a situation?
3. In class Professor Solomon talked about, and showed clips to illustrate ways that music serves to perpetuate our existence as human beings -- as a species. Also considered were ways that music perpetuates the individual. What do you have to say about this?
4. Both Instructor Sparks and Professor Solomon talked about, and illustrated relationships between mathematics and aesthetics. Sparks addressed mathematical principles and how they translate to musical concepts. Solomon talked and illustrated ways that aesthetics (the philosophy of beauty), can also be understood by looking at mathematical ratios such as the Fibonacci sequence that is encoded in everything from seashells to spiral galaxies to the ways that trees sprout leaves in spring. What did you learn, and/or what has always especially amazed you at the ways in which mathematics, music, and nature are linked?
5. Answer in your own words: Why does music exist?
6. If you like, answer any one of the above questions and also do the following: Find a song and post the link (you can search royalty free music if you are looking for something unfamiliar). Write your emotional response to the music and explain why you feel this way. Imagine the action that might occur during this music. Tell the story of this action.
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