Symmetry and sound

This fantastic video by Vi Hart shows you what the math of music looks like in a visual representation — or, should that be "what visual frieze patterns sound like when turned into music"?

Frieze patterns are symmetrical repeating patterns that show up in architecture, art, and even our model of DNA. According to Hart, this video is:

A visual and musical expression of mathematical symmetry groups. The transformations done to the video are equivalent to the transformations done to the notes.

Very cool to watch! Here's the video link.

Thanks, Peter Newbury!

Discuss

6 Responses to “Symmetry and sound”

  1. Hardley says:

    I’m struggling to believe that this is what these line traces sound like if actual waves … OK, so I guess that isn’t what is being claimed, I just can’t understand what *is* being claimed.

    • AnthonyC says:

      I agree. After watching the video I have absolutely know idea what this is talking about.

      • timquinn says:

        The vertical dimension represents pitch. The lines are symbolic of the general thrust of the melodic pattern and the point is to show that music can be seen as interlocking or interleaving visual patterns. Beyond that there is a great deal of playfulness, which does not seem so wrong with  music. 

  2. steve akers says:

    There is a Frieze Patterns Generator you can play with to make your own patterns over here:

    http://neurogym.bangor.ac.uk/symmetry/frieze/frieze.swf

  3. Joe Alfano says:

    Bach to the drawing board?

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