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!


Dan holds a PhD in Music History from a major Canadian university and is now pursuing a M.Ed in Higher Education at another one, because he likes to collect very expensive paper. He performs stand-up comedy at venues all over Toronto when he's not busy playing JRPGs with his cat, Roy. You can follow him at @incontrariomotu, but he isn't going anywhere. You can also send him a tip on PayPal ( if you like his work!

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