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Thread: Sound and the Fibonacci Sequence

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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Post Sound and the Fibonacci Sequence

    Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things. —Ray Bradbury

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Hey! That works for me. There are a lot more ways you could interpret the series. The video used the Lydian scale, which is a seven-note scale with already built in half steps. What if the notes were determined by the corresponding number identity (1=C), in semitones from 1, the starting point?

    1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55 would become (starting on C) C,C,D,Eb,F,G#,C#,A,Bb,G…a very different sounding result. If put into a scale, this would yield C-C#-D-Eb-F-G-G#-A-Bb...
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    Senior Member JosefinaHW's Avatar
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    Looks like a double helix!

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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    The Fibonacci series and its approximation of the golden section were a fad in music theory several decades ago, mostly inspired by Erno Lenvai's analyses of Bartok in these terms. Others picked it up and ran with it. The results and long-term influence on theory seem to have been underwhelming. The above video confirms the level to which this speculative venture has sunk.

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    Senior Member JosefinaHW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    The Fibonacci series and its approximation of the golden section were a fad in music theory several decades ago, mostly inspired by Erno Lenvai's analyses of Bartok in these terms. Others picked it up and ran with it. The results and long-term influence on theory seem to have been underwhelming. The above video confirms the level to which this speculative venture has sunk.
    It seems like a very interesting way of exploring pitch collections. Did it not receive enough attention in journals? Were composers and other musicologists either disgusted with or frustrated by earlier 20th century exploration into different pitch collections and thus just left this idea to the side? I'm talking about as a method of composition vs. method of analysis?

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    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    I just composed a short ditty on the tones generated by the ratios using these numbers. I can't say if there is anything significant with these tones. The major chord uses degrees 1, 3, 5, 8 on the scale, which some say is based on Fibonacci, but where does the 2 fit in? coincidence?
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    You need to think 12, think 12. Then 2 fits in very neatly. It's interesting that the series skips 12 and goes to 13, which kind of leaves behind on octave of 12 notes, then goes on 'out' of that octave to 13 and 21.

    From here, the spaces between numbers become too great to correspond to semitones, or even "twelveness" in any directly corresponding way. It's an expanding series, whereas our octaves of twelveness are redundant, as far as pitch identity is concerned.

    Perhaps if the series were applied to frequency it might work better, until the limits of audibility were surpassed.
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
    -Confucious

    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us." -Jean-Paul Sartre

    "I am the spirit of dead zebras." - It came to me in a dream

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    I definitely like the idea behind this, that somehow the universe has something "higher" to it beyond the rote materialism. Unfortunately this piece, if it's representative of others based on math as it were, starts out nice enough until you realize there's nothing going on. It ends up basically random sounds. Kinda reminds me of how you can take any picture, add the sepia effect, and now it seems special. Or use slow-mo in a video and all of a sudden it seems cool.

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    Senior Member Mowgli's Avatar
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    Interesting subject. I watched this interpretation of a Tool song a few months ago.
    Last edited by Mowgli; Jun-28-2018 at 05:30.

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    Senior Member Funny's Avatar
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    Related
    "If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." - Jack Handey

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    Senior Member philoctetes's Avatar
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    Fibonacci sequence has fanatics in the stock market too, the so-caled wave theory of investing... not to be confused with actually using wave theory aka Fourier...


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    There is just too much overanalysis about applying the Fibonacci sequence to music and using it compose pieces that are a little more than curiosities.

    The Fibonacci sequence is truly fascinating especially when used to look at how growth happens in natural processes, for instance the growth of nautilus shells, how the spiral rows of seeds grow in sun flowers and other such processes.

    Using Fibonacci series to strictly compose or impose a rigid structure in making a piece of music is just that, a rigid structure that may have mathematical curiosity but it will not result in a piece that generates interest as a piece of real human creativity.

    Using mathematical series and formulae gets beyond the realm of usability when folks use Mr Fibonacci to explain how to buy lottery tickets or to write a novel where every sentence has the number of words that are members of the sequence. Think how turgid the plot would be after just a couple of pages!!

    The misapplication of the study of the Fibonacci series ventures into the field of Numerology as a controlling factor of natural reality. Not everything, however interesting, is a series that has predictable outcomes. Applying numbers to almost random facts about items of civilization just generates confusion and is really a way of generating non-existent connections. As an example think of the numerologic mystic Piazzi Smyth and his book about how the Great Pyramid at Giza had so many numerical "facts" and pseudo-relationships that were really of no consequence. One that I remember, however imperfectly is how the height of the Great Pyramid expressed in a certain measuring system generated a number that was equal to the weight in grains of the 19th century English Pound Sterling. I know that I am not totally accurate in this reminiscence but this was the basic kind of stretching and looking for relationships that are totally the product of an overworked imagination. Interesting reading but just for a short time.

    Rhythmic teentotal, a rhymic tala or way of marking time from Hindustani music is a little more interesting than using the Fibonacci series to build a metric track in a piece of music. The human variation adds more interest than knowing where the next forte will be in a click track.

    I think we should remember that the really creative things happen when a bit of irregularity is introduced into the process of creativity.

    Van Chumpsky is right. It's not "Art" just cause you say that it's "Arht". Sepia and slow-mo are false aesthetic friends.

    Sorry that I got so far away from music in this discussion. I had to stop and pause and look at what I have just written in this reply.

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    For practical, clear info on the Fibonnaci series and music, see Musimathics.






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