Programs &


Grab Bag

Bulletin Board

Functional Melodies
Finding Mathematical Relationships In Music

Summary Introduction

Functional Melodies is intended to be taught as a supplement to a primary mathematics curriculum. Students use the activities to actively experience the integration of music and mathematics by listening to and performing music as they review mathematical concepts, solve problems and perform calculations. For the most part, the activities are independent of each other, have no musical prerequisites, and can be used in any order.

Care has been taken to make the materials friendly for all mathematics teachers regardless of their musical background. The audio tracks on the accompanying Functional Melodies CD allow you to conduct most of the activities without the use of musical instruments; all that you need is a CD player. There are, however, opportunities for you and your students to use musical instruments in place of the CD, turning your mathematics class into a music studio.


      1. Sound Shapes
        Hearing Geometry As Function and Metaphor

      2. Measures of Time, Part 1
        Hearing,Writing, and Computing Fractions of Time

      3. Measures of Time, Part II
        Tempo and Rate Problems Facing Musicians

      4. The Multiples of Drummers
        The Mathematics of Polyrhythms

      5. Record-Producer Algebra
        Using Algebra To Perform Rap Music

      6. Functional Composer, First Movement
        A Mathematical Solution to Writer's Block

      7. Functional Composer, Second Movement
        The Relentless Composer

      8. Name That Function
        Determining Function Transformations By Listening

      9. Inside Out
        Hearing Pictures As Music Through Polar Coordinates

      10. Scaling the Scale, Part I
        Natural Vibrations and Pythagorean Tuning

      11. Scaling the Scale, Part II
        A Solution to the Limitations of Pythagorean Tuning

Copyright 2000 Key Curriculum Press

Back to Functional Melodies Main Page