Where's the BEAT? Discovering the Musical Rhythms and Accompanying Mathematical Patterns in Poetry

Beverly Finkbeiner Mayhew
Bridges: Mathematical Connections in Art, Music, and Science (1999)
Pages 157–160


The rhythm of spoken language is the natural gateway to musical rhythm (Campbell and Scott-Kassner) Stories in rhyme comprise an enormous resource in children's literature from which one can first extract the underlying pulse and musical rhythms, and then display the corresponding mathematical patterns using pattern blocks. From one source emerges a foundation for developing notational skill in three disciplines -language, music, and math - translating vocal, aural, and kinesthetic patterns into symbols.