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Harmonic addition September 3, 2007

Posted by eric22222 in Deep Thoughts, General, Math.

Last night was Boomsday here in Knoxville. That’s the annual fireworks display for those that don’t know. After the last explosion, we all went back to the CSC. Over in the corner, a few people started harmonizing. When I heard it, I strolled over and joined in. By the end of the night, the whole room was singing in the most well-balanced, full harmony I’ve ever heard at the CSC. There’s really not many things more awesome than finding the perfect frequency in your vocal cords to be just a partial above the neighboring frequency, the sound waves melding into one more complex, but pleasing to the ear; to experience the sensation of your eardrum resonating with the sound wave whose pattern looks so random, but is so mathematically perfect…

It’s amazing: the things we find beautiful and awe-inspiring can be traced to math. The sound of a chord is simply two waves added together, one exactly 1.4983 times higher than the other. A seemingly random number, but it’s the (12/7)th root of 2. It’s all so well-defined: a series of patterns written into our mind that makes order appeasing. Beauty isn’t in the eye of the beholder, it’s in the numbers.

Oh, and this week’s posted D&D session is up. It kicks off an adventure in the town of Hillport.



1. The Matt Luc - September 7, 2007

It sounded great… I definitely miss singing as much as I used to. By the way, I was singing bass for all but about two or three songs. My voice has deepened up a little so I figured it was worth a shot.

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