SoD X-post: Wikipedia 1, U Chicago News Office 0

[This post originally appeared on School of Doubt. Read it there or catch the beginning below.]

I was browsing my news feed today when I came across the following video, posted by the University of Chicago’s News Office.


Since I’m about to get very critical, let me first talk briefly about the things Cheng does well in this video:

1) She gives a mostly understandable layperson’s description of the circle of fifths, and the problem of the Pythagorean comma (the difference between 7 perfectly-tuned octaves and 12 perfectly-tuned fifths).

2) She gives a very clear idea of what an overtone is.

3) She shows very clearly how the problem of equally dividing an octave into 12 notes has to be solved, if that’s what you want to do.

Okay. With that out of the way, it’s time to vent.

Continue reading over on School of Doubt!

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Dan has a PhD in historical musicology and has taught music history and theory at a major Canadian university. He mainly studies music from the Italian Renaissance when he's not busy performing stand-up comedy or playing JRPGs with his cat, Roy. He occasionally tweets as @incontrariomotu and blogs about geeky stuff at The Otaku Skeptic. He is also the glorious editor-in-chief of School of Doubt.