Monday, June 22, 2009

Math and Music - Part I

Mathematics and music are so interrelated and homogenous that ordinary ears can hardly see it as two separate entities. In general, the likeability of music or any piece of artwork by an ordinary person firstly depends on how easily he/she can comprehend and predict.

Though may not be true in all the cases, I believe it is true in a majority of cases. Once a person is able to comprehend and predict the piece of artwork, he is able to associate it with other pieces of artwork stored in the form of millions of nuerons. Now, at his will, he is able to retrieve the piece of artwork from his data bank. There stays your piece of artwork in his mind!

If you are still not with me, here is a real life example. You like a person who is compatible to you. (i.e.) who you can understand, comprehend and predict what he/she will do on an occassion.

So, one of the aspect to make an impression of an artwork in the minds of viewer is making it easy to comprehend and add a secret formula of predictability. Before you jump into any conclusion of what I am going to talk about, have a look at the two pictures:

By law of nature, most of us will be able to capture and reproduce the first picture better than the second. The reason is because, the first picture is "Symmetric". Our brain is able to comprehend, process and register the symmetric picture easily over the other. For ages, symmetry played a significant role in the artwork. You can notice in several artwork that symmetry were employed that added aesthetic feel.

Symmetry didn't stay just with painting and artwork, but also plays a major role in music. The role might not be evident to our naked ears, but, it adds that spice of "predictability" to the music.

It is not only "symmetry", but also a predictable pattern/sequence that interests people. For example, recently I got a new Palm Pre and it is simply superb. My only complain is I was not able to retain my old phone number that was very easy to remember - 734-26-26-226! Wow!! It's a nice pattern/sequence!

Music is no different from our real life. If you want to make a piece of music interesting, try employing a pattern sequence or symmetry on a scale and see the results yourself.

Well, coming to Raaja's fortress, he has exploited this aspect to its fullest extent. I will meet you all in the next post with more details.

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