## Maths Mystery Box 9: MUSIC

February 13, 2015

Middle School Maths Challenge

Rates, averages and crazy drummers (That’s all of them, man!)

Here are 3 classic rock songs. Listen to the tracks and find the beat per minute or bpm of each song.

HINT: Count the beats and ask a friend to time you.

# Beat 1: AC/DC …  T.N.T.

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# Beat 2: Queen …  Another one bites the dust

bpm for above clips

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# Beat 3: Uptown Funk …  Mark Ronson

Lyrics may offend some.

Find the Uptown Funk bpm here.

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# BIG challenge 1:

Ramon Sampson

Pick one beat and see if you match the exact bpm. If you don’t have drumsticks use pencils.

HINT: Count the beats and ask a friend to time you.

# BIG challenge 2:

Record yourself drumming to your own natural beat for 10 seconds.

Listen to your recording and count the beats. Multiply by 6 and you have your bpm.

Do this 4 times.

Calculate your average bpm.

Then for each of the 4 trials calculate the % error.

Pro drummers do not like to be out by 1 beat or 1 bpm. They want to hit ZERO % error. I beat out per minute for a bpm = 84 would mean an error of approx 1%.

Learn about the strangeness of drummers brains here.

## The Curious Nature of Drummers’ Brains

February 18, 2013

In a 2011 article in the New Yorker Burkhard Bilger wrote about neuroscientist David Eagleman and his research into time and the brain especially drummers’ brains.

Some of the drummers he has interviewed and/or tested include William Champion of Cold Play, Brian Eno of Roxy Music and Larry Mullen, Jnr of U2.

Eno, on keyboards (above) who was working on a U2 album,  talks about Mullen’s amazing timing.  They were using a click-track (computer generated beat) when mMullen complained he couldn’t drum to it. ENO adjusted the beat. Mullen was happy.

ENO adjusted the beat by 6 milliseconds!!!!!!!!!

# Cool Larry Mullen Jnr Drum solo

Tempo is measured in beats per minute or bpm.

# Bilger’s conclusion:

‘Like perfect pitch, which dooms the possessor to hear every false note and flat car horn, perfect timing may just make a drummer more sensitive to the world’s arrhythmias and repeated patterns, Eagleman said—to the flicker of computer screens and fluorescent lights. Reality, stripped of an extra beat in which the brain orchestrates its signals, isn’t necessarily a livelier place. It’s just filled with badly dubbed television shows.’