Music of the Spheres

Music of the Spheres is a 90-minute curriculum unit designed for secondary school or university, music or history of mathematics classes.

Participants derive the heptagram on Mesopotamian tablet CBS 1766 using the ancient Chinese “up-and-down principle.” In so doing, they explore, through hands-on experience, the origin of the musical systems of both the West and China.

Participants learn why the fret board of a guitar looks the way it does and why the octave is divided into twelve notes. They also learn about the origin of the seven-note major scale and the five-note pentatonic scale.

History of Mathematics Class at the University of British Columbia

Participants learn about the sequence 4,1,5,2,6,3,7 – a sequence that was integral to the Mesopotamian tonal system.

They learn that this sequence of numbers is important not only in understanding modern-day music theory, but also in understanding the ancient philosophical tradition of the Music of the Spheres – for the musical sequence 4,1,5,2,6,3,7 was used, over 2000 years ago,  to order the days of the week.

For more information, click here.