Avant-garde jazz derived from math concepts and sequences

Avant-garde jazz saxaphonist Rudresh Mahanthappa's latest CD, Codebook, blends improvisational jazz with rhythms and melodies derived from beautiful mathematical concepts and equations — while the drummer beats out hidden Morse Code messages. The Wired News review has links to sample MP3s and lots of crunchy details on what sounds like a fantastic CD. My dad — jazz aficionado, PhD in math education — will go bonkers for this.

The very first track, "The Decider," is a groovy primer on how to turn math into music. Its bristling melody (.mp3) is derived from the Fibonacci sequence, an infinite series of integers that governs the structure of everything from pineapples to the Parthenon…

Returning to the realm of number theory, the tune "Further and In Between" is based on the cyclical number 142857. Like all cyclical numbers, this one has some very strange properties; for example, if you multiply it by 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, you get the same digits in a different configuration (for example, 2 x 142857 = 285714).


(Photo thumbnail clipped from an image on Rudreshm.com)