Songs in the key of Pi

“The following is a musical interpretation of Pi to 31 decimal places.”

Turns out Pi’s a pretty spooky number until you get your ukelele out. Then it’s a number that starts to sound like it should be accompanying speeded-up footage of people in dungarees doing something industrious on an educational TV programme.

Anyway, that was Pi performed on a piano, keyboard, guitar, accordion, autoharp, ukelele, woodblock, handclaps, saw tooth thing, banjo, and glockenspiel. He explains pretty reasonably his rationale for assigning notes and chords to decimals, but he doesn’t really tell us how he chose the instrumentation.

Which is kind of important.

There are plenty of other numbers he could represent in music, but would the speed of light sound right on a banjo?

I want the speed of light krumped out on the toyshop piano Tom Hanks played in Big.

And could you do absolute zero on a glockenspiel?

If I were composing a piece of music to represent absolute zero, I’d do it with a theremin, a choir of sperm whales (we know they can do it), and a pneumatic drill.

And, while we’re thinking about blogs past, there’s the length than which any length shorter makes no physical sense.

Try picking that out on a Jew’s harp and a triangle.

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~ by David Thorley on March 11, 2011.

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