Math rock, golden ratio, and technology – Simone Chen

I have to say that the show Yoshida Tatsuya-san put up was definitely overwhelming, and of course amazing. I was never the rock-type, ie. I wasn’t really interested in the rock genre, as I just found it simply too loud and harsh on my hearing. Not to say that last lecture’s performance changed my musical tastes, but at least I was reintroduced to rock (math rock specifically) once again.  At first I actually took the name of the genre “math rock” literally and thought the music was based upon mathematical equations or other math-related jargon. So I went into class thinking that I’d be exposed to some odd form of music. Turns out that math wasn’t as complex (not saying that it’s not hard because it is very difficult to play at such a fast pace and be precise at the same time) as I thought it would be in concept. According to Wikipedia (yes the modern “bible of information”), “Math rock is a style of noise rock music that emerged in the late 1980s. It is characterized by complex, atypical rhythmic structures, stop/start dynamics and angular, dissonant riffs.” So in other words it runs on rarer time signatures, such as “7/8”, “11/8”, et cetera.  Rather funny picture

Yes I’ve heard of the golden ratio and its relationship to the Fibonacci sequence (if you divide each number in the sequence by the number preceding it, it produces a ratio tends towards phi, ie. The golden ratio! As for why I have no idea, but once again there are many mysteries yet to be solved). I have heard about many examples of the golden spiral in nature, the most common being its presence in the sunflower seeds (for instance, how “the seeds form spirals, curving both to the left and right.” And if you count them there are 34 spirals going left and 55 spirals going right. These two numbers are neighbors in the Fibonacci sequence), and nautilus, however, I have never heard of a relationship between the golden spiral and embryo development. According to an online source “As the human embryo develops, it slowly unfolds itself in a pattern similar to the way the golden spiral unfolds itself as it spins farther and farther away from its center.   This pattern is present because the growth of the organism is proportional to the size of the organism.  This pattern is also known as the Logarithmic Spiral.” I do not know how reliable this source is, but if this information is true then the golden ratio is truly found everywhere (and not only in non-human phenomena in nature). Another interesting tidbit I found online was that the golden ratio may have even been incorporated into the iPod and possibly even the iPhone design (though I don’t see how that would increase sales). The following is an excerpt from“The iPhone has an amazing design. The front is occupied by a large 3.5-inch multi-touch screen rimmed with silver. The back is also silver, but there is a black stripe along the bottom. It looks kind of strange, but is certainly memorable….However, I think there is more to this black stripe than just trying to be different. It has to do with the golden ratio…. The iPhone is…. far too long to be a golden ratio rectangle…. [But it is] Pretty close to the golden ratio…. because the iPhone has rounded edges, it appears to be less high than it actually is, so, to the human eye, it actually does look exactly like a perfect golden ratio.Apple design is yet again triumphant: the iPhone miraculously manages to combined the best of both worlds: looking more like a traditional candy-bar phone while simultaneously maintaining an appealing golden ratio shape.” 


Although this sounds the ramblings of an “Apple” fanatic, I have to admit that the author’s speculation is rather interesting. 



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