Friday, October 14, 2005

A Little Numerical Music Theory

Here's an interesting bit of music/physics trivia:

Let's say the frequency of the note "middle C" is x, here are the intervals corresponding to simple multiples of this base frequency:
  • 2x: Octave (C)
  • 3x/2: Perfect 5th (G)
  • 4x/3: Perfect 4th (F)
  • 5x/4: Major 3rd (E)
  • 6x/5: Minor 3rd (E-flat)
Interestingly, as the ratios get more esoteric, so does the dissonance in the sound of the interval. It also works out nicely that since the interval of the perfect 5th is composed of a major and minor 3rd (C to E, and E to G), the frequencies ratios are (5/4)(6/5)=(3/2).

I like the way that just fits.

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