## Mathematics and music

February 21st, 2011 at 3:09 pm (Mathematics, Music)

My friend Jon Stokes recently posted a delightful mapping from chess moves to music, including several compositions based on famous chess games. This is exactly the kind of geekery that I find most enjoyable, a quest that seeks both interesting new patterns and interesting new ways to experience what we already know. I also learned the word polyrhythm, which occurs when two different rhythms are played against each other. This is frequently found in African music, but apparently occurs even in music by the Beatles (e.g., “Happiness is a Warm Gun”).

He then followed this post by mapping the Fibonacci sequence to music, yielding a lovely fugue and some interesting analysis. I hadn’t known that the Fibonacci sequence modulo 7 produces a repeating sequence — and handily (for 4/4 music), one of length 16! More fun fodder for the future, should I ever be teaching recursion again. I’m charmed by this process of converting an abstraction into the auditory equivalent of a visualization (auditorialization?).

Nice work, Jon!