Playing Fraction Pies
- adding fractions to make rhythms -

The Fraction Pie Rhythms activity connects your knowledge of fractions and equivalency to musical notes and rhythms.  Simply choose your fractions and press play your fractions will transform into a musical composition you can see and hear!   You can also change the time signature, email rhythms to your friends, and select between four playing sounds: 1) Taiko drums,  2) Clapping, 3) Orchestral Snare drum, and 4) the sound of Water!

Here are the fractions for each musical note: 

   Fraction                 Note                 Description
A whole pie equals a whole note.  It will last four beats.

   
1/2 of a pie equals a half note.  It will last two beats.
   
1/4 of a pie equals a quarter note.  It will last one beat.
   
1/8 of a pie equals an eighth note.  It will last a half of a beat.
   
1/16 of a pie equals a sixteenth note.  It will last a quarter of a beat.

In addition, we will use three dotted notes.   A dot placed after a note increases its value by one half.   

   Fraction                 Note                 Description
3/4 of a pie equals a dotted half note.  It will last three beats, since its value equals a half note and a quarter note tied together.
   
3/8 of a pie equals a dotted quarter note.  It will last one and a half beats, since its value equals a quarter note and an eighth note tied together.
   
3/16 of a pie equals a dotted eighth note.  It will last three quarters of a beat, since its value equals an eighth note and a sixteenth note tied together.. 

How to play the Fractions Pies:  Scroll down until to see the fraction pies they're near the bottom of the page.  Click on one of the fraction pies.  While holding your mouse down, drag the fraction pie up to one of the lines and release the mouse button.  To remove a fraction pie, drag it off the line and release it.  You can also change a note into a rest the same duration of silence.  To do this, just click on an orange fraction pie.  It will change from orange to blue.  Orange is a note, blue is a rest.  Continue adding fraction pies until the top line adds up to a whole pie, and the bottom line adds up to a whole pie.  Press the Play button and the fraction pies will start playing.  Notice that the fraction pies will not play until the pies on both lines are full! 

You may also want to start by looking at the some of Phil's favorite rhythms you can see them by pressing the Songs button.  You will find historical drum calls from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, musical themes from Peter and the Wolf, ancient Aztec drum rhythms, Morse Code signals, and drum language phrases from Ghana.  Now let's get started!

Technical Note: You must have Macromedia Flash Player 6 for this activity to work.  If you don't have it, you may obtain this free download from Macromedia at: http://sdc.shockwave.com/shockwave/download/alternates/.
 

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