20130411

Math and Breath Noise Music

Preface:  There is a lot of text in this post and not a lot of pictures which will turn away 98% of readers.  Don't be one of those readers.  You want to make it to "breath noise".
 
 


I love math, so naturally when I found the Numberphile videos via a Twitter friend (@somechum), I simply couldn't get enough.  I spent a substantial amount of time watching each one, sometimes more than once!  I love the videos, I love the people in the videos (perhaps a small crush on a few of the guys in them), and I love all the things I've found from the videos which happens to include a book by Alex Bellos titled Here's Looking at Euclid (US).

I have found Here's Looking at Euclid immensely fascinating.  If you enjoy math, history, or both, I highly recommend the book.  Even though I already knew a lot of information in the book there was a lot of information I didn't know (Oh Pythagoras!).  Aside from that, it's a well written book that flows from subject to subject with a Henry Rollinsesqe ease. But I'm not writing today to tell you to read a book. 

I'm continuing on with my journey.  From the book I found an interesting website (this book has led me to some interesting web searches) titled The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences (OEIS).

I have no doubt that if you were following what I was saying, you are gone now.  That's okay, for the one person that stumbles here and isn't completely annoyed/confused/pondering my sanity I have more to tell.

I did not go to the website to look up any sequences (though admittedly, it's right up my alley, lists of numbers!).  I went to the website because of an excerpt of Bellos' book that tells of music that can be found on the website.  The basic idea is that you take an 88 key piano and you define each key from lowest note to highest with the value of 1-88 respectively and when you reach 89 you simply start back at the beginning.  So take a sequence, play the keys, and you have music.  If you wanted to listen to what the Fibonacci numbers might sound like, there you have it!

The sequence I wanted to listen to in particular was noted in Euclid, the Recamán sequence.  As noted by Bellos, it is an interesting piece of music.

One of the other things I found interesting and fun is that not only can you listen to these sequences, you can even choose different instruments ("Breath Noise" for fuck's sake!!!).  You can guess what I've been listening to while working today!

Anyway, from OEIS I went to Music Algorithms which is fun to play with even when you have no idea what "pitch" is really about.  Music Algorithms took me to NWACC and there I stopped because I was like, "whoa, Northwest Academic Computing Consortium, you look way too official for me to be here".

So anyway, go to those sites, play around and see where the journey takes you.  It's what web surfing is all about and you might learn some cool shit along the way (Oh Pythagoras!).

Post Script: You could go NumberphileBrady Haran→Variety of Channels  (Very cool stuff...)

Post Post Script: Breath Noises wasn't as cool as I hoped it would be, but it was still a fun discovery.  If you find a good sequence with breath noises, please share with me!


 

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