5th November 2004 at 00:00
"AstroCapella" - described as a "marriage of astronomy and music" - has been developed in the US by a team of real scientists, real teachers and real musicians. The website includes classroom activities combined with recorded songs that explore such phenomena as the Doppler shift in an amusing and informative manner. Children can go on to explore analogous versions of the Doppler effect with a variety of instruments, by playing simple two-note patterns like those of a police siren and then "shifting" them to a marginally lower pitch by twiddling a tuner knob or sliding a finger along a string. Compose a Big Bang class piece. Begin with the Bang itself, played on all instruments at once, and then produce more and more distant echoes using a variety of contrasting timbres, but keeping a motif intact as the dynamic slowly dwindles to a barely perceptible diminuendo.

Tom Deveson

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