Jump to content

Math IA with Music

Recommended Posts

Hello guys!

I just joined IB survival because all of these IA's that we have to do are going to blow up my reaming brain cells. I am okay finding topics for all my other classes but I am really struggling with math.

I was thinking of doing something with sine waves and music. Maybe translating a 2-4 songs into sine waves and exploring their similarities and differences but I am missing out the exploring part, where I am suppose to be answering a question. I don't know how to make even my starter idea somewhat interesting. I really need you guy's help :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main points of IA are twofold: if there is something in math you are good at but might not able to showcase yourself in the exams, you can talk about it in IA; examiners want to see you explain and investigate something you are interested in, so you are not just mechanically doing math problems.

The advanced way to isolate frequencies is using Fourier transform, which is way beyond SL. I think you should start by exploring a math concept, then apply it to music if necessary. For example I wrote my 5-page HL IA on relationship between binomial and normal distributions, without going into any applications. Otherwise, the math may be too complicated. For example, how you approaching your topic to construct sine waves? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really should I seen this sooner...urgh.

What I was thinking was to find a way to obtained the sine waves of lets say two musical notes. I would then work backwards to get the equations of the waves then add them together to create a new sine wave (a combination/ addition of the two sine waves of separate notes) I would be doing it for a bunch of pairs of notes and then comparing my results (the sine waves) and see if there could be a way to predict wether two notes will go well together by looking at their added sine waves. Am I making sense? and is this investigation realistic?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it could work, but you are basically hoping there is some obvious relationship otherwise the IA will be tough.

The frequencies for different notes differ by the instrument. Their main frequencies are the same, but there are many frequencies unique to the class of instrument, ie brass or strings or woodwinds or percussion. If you can find a reliable source that breaks down all the frequencies of a particular instrument then that would be a good start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.