About Impromptu

The Math & Music Connection

Impromptu, a project oriented, computer-based music environment, tempts students to use everyday mathematics such as proportion, ratio, fractions, and common multiples to discover the structures that organize mathematics that hold still and musical time perceived in action.

That this program has an embedded connection to mathematics was a uncovered through Jeanne Bamberger’s work with her students at MIT. According to Jeanne,” It was listening to the MIT students compositions and reading their papers that thrust her into doing the math. It was primarily to account for what I was hearing and to understand the students mini-theories that I noticed the mathematical implications. Looking back at their theories particularly concerning what generates a beat, a hierarchy of beats, and what creates rhythmic conflict in contrast to chaos, it was clear that there was a cluster of useful mathematics at the crux of what they had discovered proportion, ratio, fractions, common multiples. At the same time I recalled from my experience working with teachers and children, that it was just this cluster of arithmetic functions with which students in 4th to 6th grade were typically having trouble.”

In this section you will find “How – To” guides and information about creating and editing the variety of BLOCKS used in Impromptu.

Visit the Impromptu home page here.