Lesson ideas: Music

19th November 2004 at 00:00
The idea of competing absolutes can be explored through a powerful musical metaphor, that of "marching to a different drum".

Divide the class into two groups, one clapping a pattern of 34 time, the other 44. The emphatic downbeat will only coincide once every 12 beats.

When they are confident in this, go on to explore more complex rhythms played simultaneously - add a group playing 54, and the coincidence will need 60 beats to recur. Have one player in each group playing the downbeat on a drum to hear this more clearly.

Get each group to recite phrases containing the stressed word "truth" to match their rhythms - "we speak truth", "we speak the truth", "what we say is truth", and so on. Each group will feel assured about their own message, but you will hear many rival emphatic truths that take a long time to agree with one another, and then only briefly.

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