Skip

music meets möbius
August 15, 2013 6:37 PM   Subscribe

Making Music with a Möbius Strip : "It turns out that musical chords naturally inhabit various topological spaces, which show all the possible paths that a composer can use to move between chords. Surprisingly, the space of two-note chords is a Möbius strip."
posted by dhruva (16 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite

 
There is also this cool psychoacoustic phenomena of the Shepard tone.
posted by Relay at 6:52 PM on August 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I can't say enough good things about the Mathematical Impressions series (of which this is a part.) It's now one of my go-to places for videos to show to secondary math classes.

Everyone should check out:
The Surprising Menger Sponge Slice
Mathematics of Juggling

One thing I love is how when Hart says "stop and think," he really means it. This is exactly what a mathematician does when encountering new content, and making the audience for his videos do it really speaks to how he cares about the audience and not just about presenting this one cool thing, which is a trap some academicy/fun videos fall into.
posted by Wulfhere at 7:21 PM on August 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


J.S. Bach - Crab Canon on a Möbius Strip
posted by jim in austin at 7:24 PM on August 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, music and math waltz into mobiu's bar on the strip, ask bartender to make a Smale's paradox intersected not creased.
posted by hortense at 7:26 PM on August 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen it in person, but I think this sculpture at the Museum of Math works on similar principles to the original video. Touching the spheres is supposed to produce chords.
posted by Wulfhere at 7:38 PM on August 15, 2013


Related, maybe closely, and in any case neat (and also a PDF).
posted by kengraham at 7:48 PM on August 15, 2013


Interesting...I always thought that a good way to visualize a musical scale, was with a helix...
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 7:56 PM on August 15, 2013


Ouch! I couldn't follow that video very far. I did recently come across a practical use of the Möbius strip - in the days when a factories and machine shops were run from a single power source, they used long leather belts on pulleys to drive the smaller machines. The durability of the belts was doubled by stitching them as Möbius strips, so that they wouldn't just wear on one side.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:58 PM on August 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sidenote: the author, George Hart, is the father of Mefi favorite person Vi Hart (previously, previouser).
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 8:06 PM on August 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


..in the days when a factories and machine shops were run from a single power source, they used long leather belts on pulleys to drive the smaller machines. The durability of the belts was doubled by stitching them as Möbius strips, so that they wouldn't just wear on one side.

Oh you have barely scratched the surface. One of my most prized possessions is a first edition of "Principles of Mechanism" published around 1870, that was given to me by my grandfather. It shows how to drive an entire factory from one spindle, which was usually a waterwheel or a steam engine.

It is profusely illustrated and available on Google Books. See page 168, the chapter entitled "Communication of Motion by Wrapping Connectors." It is particularly interesting to see how the pulleys could deliver power at odd angles. The following chapter has methods to convert rotary motion into linear or oscillating cycles. The creators of this video could benefit from learning these concepts.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:39 PM on August 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


By the way, this is based on Dmitri Tymoczko's work, previously covered on MetaFilter here.
posted by escabeche at 9:15 PM on August 15, 2013


is the space of a two-chord song, then, also a Mobius Strip?
posted by mwhybark at 9:18 PM on August 15, 2013


I like this. However, I'm struggling to see uses, and they're not covered. As a visualisation aid it seems to drop at the first hurdle: Möbius strips are not easy to visualise. Even more so the rotating triangle möbius doughnut for three note chords
posted by iotic at 1:50 AM on August 16, 2013


There is also this cool psychoacoustic phenomena of the Shepard tone.

Okay, as someone who is into this stuff, I had never heard of this. And wow - that is one of the strangest and coolest things I've come across in a while.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:35 AM on August 16, 2013


Shepard tones are definitely cool, and form the basis of some very interesting experiments to do with human pitch perception. Basically, dialect in language affects our perception of musical tonality, since different dialects use different tone centres.
posted by iotic at 11:29 AM on August 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


You can also use Shepard tones to control things like filter sweeps and the like ... very interesting effects.

(Oh how I miss modular synthesizers.)
posted by Relay at 1:50 PM on August 19, 2013


« Older Weiner Recontextualized   |   One Direction fans bravely... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post