How music works (5B22)

Date: 22/11/2022

Good morning everyone. I am Sze Ho Wai from 5B and I’m going to share a book to all of you called “How music works”, in Chinese “好音樂的科學”. I like this book because the author, John Powell, discuss music in a scientific way. He lively discusses the secrets behind harmony timbre, chords, dynamics, , and more and more, and actually, they can be explained by Physics.

What makes a musical note different from any other sound? Sound is produced when a vibrating object set neighboring particles into vibration, which detected by our ears. Music can only be produced when all vibrating bodies work together to create regular and repetitive waves. But, how? How to produce a nice piece of music? That’s the main part of this book.

It introduces many tools to identify, describe or compose a music piece, such as intervals: measuring the distance of pitch between two notes; Deci-bels: measuring the loudness; scales, rhythm, and chords: enriching a music piece. It explains all of these in the simplest way so you can understand them even if you don’t have any music background.

Other than those boring theories, it also talks about some interesting things. Do you know what is “perfect pitch”, in Chinese “絕對音感”. Do you have it? A person who has perfect pitch can identify the key, melody, chord and pitch once they listen to a song. You can test it at home tonight by singing a song without listening to the intro. Check if you are on the right pitch with the right melody. Very few people have perfect pitch in the world so if you got it, congratulation!

Don’t worry if you don’t have gifted music talent. You can still learn to play instruments. This book gives suggestions about it. Different instruments have different characteristics. For example, it’s easier to learn and play the piano at the beginning while more difficult for violin. However, when it come to advanced level, piano will be much more difficult than violin. Therefore, think about if you want to play it for fun, or you really love it.

Finally, there are both Chinese and English version of the book. It teaches music theory and give useful suggestions to beginners. If you are interested in Music and Physics, or musical composition, this book, “How Music Works 好音樂的科學”, is surely suitable for you. Thank you.

Postal address : 2B Tai Cheong Street, Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong E-mail : Tel : (852) 2568-4817 Fax : (852) 2568-0336