Pattern Activities

In response to a great number of requests, I have created this resource devoted to the importance of children hearing and playing musical patterns.  Now, pick a topic below and start exploring!

1. Sequencing with Fibonacci

Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa was a mathematician in 13th century Italy. By charting the population of rabbits, he discovered a number sequence from which one can derive the Golden Mean and the Golden Rectangle. Now, let's look at the sequence:

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55...

Each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers, as follows: 0+1=1, 1+1=2, 1+2=3, 2+3=5, 3+5=8, 5+8=13, 8+13=21 . . .

Does the Fibonacci Sequence form musical patterns? Let's find out. First, we'll use just a part of the sequence, i.e., 1, 2, 3, 5, 8. Next, let's make 1 = 1 beat per second, 2 = 2 beats per second, 3 = 3 beats per second, 5 = 5 beats per second, and 8 = 8 beats per second. Finally, since the Fibonacci Sequence is formed by adding each number to the next one in the sequence (see above), we'll always listen to 2 numbers together. Click on the numbers below to hear the patterns.

 1 : 1 1 : 2 2 : 3 3 : 5 5 : 8 1 : 1 1 : 2 2 : 3 3 : 5 5 : 8

2. Sequencing with Pi

I included the first 31 digits (above) of the mathematical constant Pi in this song. Using nothing more than the major scale, I assigned each number a pitch (below).

Hear the nine pitches (1-9):<A HREF="SCALE9.mid">Nine Pitches</A>

Then I separated the 31 digits into A and B sections, and followed an AABBA pattern for the melody. Hear Phil's Pi song melody (A = 3.141592653589793238462; B = 643383279): <A HREF="PiSong.mid">Pi Song</A>

3. Unifix Cube Drum Machine

With the Unifix Cube Drum Machine you can create your own rhythm or drum patterns with popular Unifix cubes.  You can also hear drum patterns from Africa, Cuba, and Brazil, as well as simple AB patterns and rhythmic ratios.

4. Pattern Block Rock

In the Pattern Block Rock activity you can compose and play your own rhythmic songs using colorful geometric-shaped Pattern Blocks.  You can also hear a collection of rhythms found in American folk songs and popular TV/movie themes.

5. Morse Code Music

Morse Code Music allows you to make music with International Morse Code — a method of encoding each letter and number into short and long patterns.  Have your students type in their names.  They will hear them  played in Morse Code.  Then switch the sounds between the traditional tone, to drums or voices!

6. Play "Name That Tune" (part to whole guessing game)

Click on "Song" to hear part of a song. After you've guessed, click on the "Answer" button. Hear part - guess the whole. Give it a try. Also, if you want to reset the song names back to "Answer", just click on the button one more time.

 Song #1 Song #6 Song #2 Song #7 Song #3 Song #8 Song #4 Song #9 Song #5 Song #10

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