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The Music of Numbers

Music and mathematics....this is quite different than the mathematics of music. In fact, the web site being recommended this week is closer to the music of mathematics.

Put together by Jonathan Middleton, a composition professor at Eastern Washington University, the web site Musicalgorithms focuses on applications designed for exploring algorithms in an interdisciplinary environment (i.e. mathematics, science, and music). The creation of the site was supported by funds from the Northwest Academic Computing Consortium (NWACC).

The interactive tools on the site invite all users to participate, regardless of their musical training. If the user is knowledgeable about music composition, they can explore algorithmic composition at their level of interest and knowledge, while other less-knowledgebale users can "create musical representations of models for the purpose of aural interpretation and analysis"...whatever that means!

On the web site, algorithms are provided that allow users to creatively convert number sequences into musical sounds (with attention to auditory roughness, signal analysis, and spectoral peak-piking methods). Specific examples included on the site provide musical representations of initial sequences of digits taken from Pi, DNA, or Dow Jones Industrial averages. The neat aspect is that each user can create their own music effects using their own numerical sequences. If no sequence can be thought of, the site provides special links.

So, on with the music.....in key of pi? phi? or e?