Perfect Pitch

Look for connections and patterns in the frequencies and wavelengths of sequences of musical notes

Verlag: Texas Instruments UK

Herausgeber: Barrie Galpin

Autor: Linda Tetlow

Fach:  Mathematik  MINT

Schlagwörter  Exponentiell ,  Muster ,  MINT ,  Geometrische Reihe ,  Physik ,  Ortslinien

This activity uses information available on the internet and the data-handling facilities of TI-Nspire to look for connections and patterns in the frequencies and wavelengths of musical notes. TI-Nspire can help to make both the mathematics and science more accessible.

The frequency of a note is the number of complete vibrations or cycles per second that produces that particular note and is measured in Hertz (Hz). In recent centuries and especially to produce music electronically, the frequencies of notes played by different instruments of an orchestra have been standardised using an ?equal well-tempered scale?. The frequencies of notes produced in this way can be worked out mathematically and it is possible to find tables of frequencies and wavelengths on the internet. These can be copied and pasted into a TI-Nspire spreadsheet for further investigation.


This activity makes use of a number of features of Ti-Nspire without the need for much prior experience and gives explanations to help students get started.

This activity is one of seven in a booklet entitled STEM activities with Ti-Nspire using Real World data. It is available from

Activity files:

Perfect pitch activity.pdf - notes for students and teachers.

Perfect pitch.pdf - additional notes for teachers.

Perfect pitch1.tns - a starter activity using frequencies of individually named notes suitable for 14-16.

Perfect pitch2.tns - a starter activity using frequencies of several named notes, suitable for 14-19.

Perfect pitch3.tns - an activity using the full table of notes and including frequency and wavelength, more suitable for 16-19.

Note frequencies.xls - an Excel spreadsheet which can be used for reference and to extract frequencies of individually named notes for use in the activities Perfect pitch 1 and 2. It contains the names of notes with their numbers in the MIDI system and their frequencies and wavelengths.

Labelled Piano.pdf - a piano keyboard with the keys labelled with both their names and their numbers in the MIDI system.

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