July 22, 2011

Notes to myself

My new effort for my "A Matter of Numbers" column in Mint is up and running. It talks about Hertz (but not Avis), rubber bands and holding tight to a small dream.

Take a look: Notes to Myself.

Any comments welcome, as always


Rajarshi said...

Hello Dilip,

Love reading this column of yours. Makes me remember my high school physics. Esp loved the one on blue-shift/red-shift (Doppler effect). These articles just remind us how important it is to enjoy and love something to truly understand it. Something which seldom happens in our education system.

Thanks again for this effort to popularize science and mathematics.

As an aside, I didn't understand this statement.
"This nice symmetry is exactly why we hear them as the same note." Do you mean to say that the symmetry doesn't exist between "Sa" (say at 100 Hz) and "pa" (say at 150 Hz). Is it necessary for them to be whole number multiples of a base frequency to make them sound as same note.

Another point. In Western music, we have "Do Re Mi...". In terms of the frequency at which our vocal chords vibrate, the frequency will be different for "Dha" (Indian classical) and "La" (Western) (I am assuming this because the syllables are same). Then, how do they represent the same notes in the Octave. I may be missing something here.
Apologies if the question appears to be very mundane. :)

Anonymous said...

Yes and another question - how can we be sure two people hear the SAME note in the SAME way? I mean after all hearing is a sensation in the brain - like colour?

Is it not true that notes that signal positive events in life are thought of as musical, while negative events are called discordant? For instance - the trill of a bird - nice - but the laugh of a hyena? Is it in the notes or the association?

Anonymous said...

Promises, promises!