Mathemusician Vi Hart Explains the Space-Time Continuum With a Music Box, Bach, and a Möbius Strip

Vi Hart, the Khan Acad­e­my’s res­i­dent “Recre­ation­al Math­e­mu­si­cian” turns the space-time con­tin­u­um into some­thing that can be played for­wards, back­wards, upside down, in a cir­cle, and on a Möbius strip.

How you ask?

Music. You know, that stuff that Shake­speare rhap­sodized as the food of love?

The fast-talk­ing Hart has way too much to prove in her less than eight minute video to waste time wax­ing poet­ic. To her, even the most elu­sive con­cepts are explain­able, rep­re­sentable. She does man­age to cre­ate some unin­ten­tion­al­ly love­ly lit­tle melodies on a music box that reads holes punched through the nota­tions on a tape print­ed with a musi­cal stave.

It took sev­er­al view­ings for me to wrap my mind around what exact­ly was being demon­strat­ed, but I think I’m begin­ning to grope my way toward what­ev­er dimen­sion she’s cur­rent­ly inhab­it­ing. See if you can fol­low along and then weigh in as to what you think the math­e­mat­i­cal­ly-inclined Bach might be doing in his grave as Hart blithe­ly feeds one of his com­po­si­tions through her music box, upside down, and back­wards.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

How a Bach Canon Works. Bril­liant.

85,000 Clas­si­cal Music Scores (and Free MP3s) on the Web

A Big Bach Down­load – All Bach Organ Works for Free

Ayun Hal­l­i­day took piano lessons for years. All that remains are the open­ing bars to Hel­lo Dol­ly. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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