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The amazing Vi Hart (daughter of our Math Monday columnist George Hart) strikes again with this over 12 minute video explaining the math, science, and art behind sound. In many of Vi’s videos, she talks really fast, and it’s a style that works for her, but for something this info-dense, with lots of visual aids, it’s worth going through a few times to absorb everything. She’s always entertaining enough to make it worth your while; her illustrations are wonderful and her seemingly effortless creativity is truly inspiring.

As a bonus track, here’s Vi singin’ those “Low-Frequency Blues.” Sing it, sister!

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Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XZ32GHJIYRUHDDF2IIGBKEA6XE Ken Norris

    Truly impressive. Should be required viewing for all beginning physics classes. The best explaination I’ve seen as to how your ear recognizes sound and identifies a particular instrument or voice in the midst of a noisy background.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nekoplanet Abraham Limpo Martinez

    I love her video series. She has a way to explain these things that I can understand. I wish I had teachers like her in school (maybe I learned more about math and physics)

  • http://www.facebook.com/nekoplanet Abraham Limpo Martinez

    I love her video series. She has a way to explain these things that I can understand. I wish I had teachers like her in school (maybe I learned more about math and physics)

  • http://www.facebook.com/nekoplanet Abraham Limpo Martinez

    I love her video series. She has a way to explain these things that I can understand. I wish I had teachers like her in school (maybe I learned more about math and physics)

  • http://www.facebook.com/nekoplanet Abraham Limpo Martinez

    I love her video series. She has a way to explain these things that I can understand. I wish I had teachers like her in school (maybe I learned more about math and physics)

  • Chris Goode

    Brilliant!  4 weeks of a neurobiology of music seminar in 12 minutes! The only thing I would change is it’s basilar, not vasilar, from the root common to “base.” It’s the membrane where the sensory receptor cells are anchored, so it serves as the base of the whole cochlear apparatus. I love your work Vi!