Musical formulas for supper

I think I’m beginning to understand why Simon enjoys music theory so much. It was long past what is supposed to be bedtime as he went on noting the “Happy Birthday” tune, meticulous about the correct number of beats between the bar lines: 4/4 or 16/16. Look, “Mom”, he said, “This one is a dotted note and it’s 3/8 long! I can explain it with a formula: n + 1/2 of n, where n is a note. This one is 1/4 beats long plus one half of 1/4 and that is 1/8. That is the same as 2/8 plus 1/8!”, he jumps in excitement. The rests also had to correspond to the measures.

Reading the formulas

Simon has made a table of how to calculate the areas of various shapes. The ellipse one made him especially happy:

πr x h/2

Which one is r, I asked, and which one is h? Is h the longer line? – It doesn’t matter, Mom, because you divide them both by two in the end, Simon said. That’s funny how he sees those things earlier than I.

And in a circle, the radius and the hight divided by two is the same! – he added in English.


Earlier the same day:

Neva shouts: Mom, the film was first 2D and then all of a sudden 3D!

Simon: No, it was first πr² and then it became 4πr²!

What Was Was

Simon has a pun for you to solve. It’s a problem involving logic and language that makes more sense in Dutch but is understandable in English, too. Here are the two questions of the problem:

Wat was was voor dat was was was? (What was was before was was was?)

Wat is is voor dat is is is? (What is is before is is is?)

Simon explains the answers in the video. He did not invent the problems himself but the explanations are his own.