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  1. #1 the first chord in The Beatles' pop hit "A Hard Day's Night"? 
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    Professor Uses Mathematics to Decode Beatles Tunes Article, Video

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1233...%3Dinteractive

    HALIFAX, Canada -- It is here, in a cluttered mathematician's office, under blackboards jammed with equations and functional analysis, that one of Western culture's greatest mysteries has finally been solved:

    Why has no one been able to replicate the first chord in The Beatles' pop hit "A Hard Day's Night"?

    Not stopping there, this sleuth is using math in his quest to answer an even more-elusive question, about the contested authorship of the Fab Four's "In My Life."


    All You Need Is Math

    See how Mr. Brown used math to figure out The Beatles' formula for success, listen to the clips he analyzed, and watch him perform his own Beatles-esque song.
    "Whether they realize it or not, the best songwriters have always relied on mathematics," says Jason Brown, a mathematician who is tackling such puzzlers in between chairing the math department at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and playing his own Beatles-esque songs.

    Since the 1960s, Beatles aficionados have pored over the group's recordings and memorabilia in search of answers to questions about both their music and their lives. An as-yet-unpublished Beatles track Paul McCartney recently mentioned made headlines internationally. Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn, who is working on a trilogy about the British rock group, examined church records to find the precise day that John Lennon met Mr. McCartney.

    Math Professor Figures Formula for Beatles Success
    3:37
    Jason Brown listens to the Beatles with a uniquely analytical ear. The mathematics professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, says he's figured out the math behind the best of the Fab Four. Now, using "mathematical tricks" he's picked up from the band, he's written a very Beatles-esque song of his own. WSJ's Christina Jeng reports.

    Math Professor Jason Brown's 'A Million Whys'
    3:16
    Listen to Jason Brown's "A Million Whys." The mathematics professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, used "mathematical tricks" he learned from analyzing songs by The Beatles and wrote a very Beatles-esque song of his own. WSJ's Christina Jeng reports.
    Now Mr. Brown, 47 years old, is revisiting these questions from another angle. His approach is sparking controversy among fans who believe the band's mystique defies calculation. An article by Mr. Brown on his research published in Guitar Player magazine three years ago spawned heated discussions in both the math and music blogospheres.

    "Some people thought what he was doing was sacrilegious," says Matt Blackett, an associate editor at Guitar Player. "As a fellow Beatles fanatic, I just thought it was awesome."

    A spokesman for Mr. McCartney said he was unavailable and other former group members didn't respond to request for comment. Generally, the group has been evasive when faced with fans' efforts to dissect their work.

    Growing up in the Toronto suburbs, Mr. Brown learned piano, but gave it up at age 12 for guitar, after hearing the Beatles' "Red Album," and becoming obsessed with the group. Like many Beatles fans, Mr. Brown was fascinated with the opening chord of "A Hard Day's Night." The chord has at least four sheet music variants, but nobody has ever quite replicated it, and the Beatles haven't revealed how they produced the complex sound. Mr. Brown said he spent hours experimenting before it occurred to him: "Music is basically just math."

    It isn't surprising that Mr. Brown turned to mathematics. He talks about the lyrics of 1960s songwriter Randy Newman in terms of metamathematics. When he sees broccoli, he thinks of fractals, a concept in chaos theory. Piles of graph-theory tomes litter his office, and Greek letters and Roman numerals cover his chalkboard.

    Mr. Brown realized he could use a discrete Fourier transform, a mathematical technique for breaking up complicated signals into simpler functions and known as DFT. He used digital equipment to show the chord as a series of numbers, tens of thousands per second, and then applied a DFT to convert the chord into dozens of simpler functions, each representing a single sound frequency.

    Mr. Brown knew there is no such thing as a pure tone: Each instrument emits one sound for the note played and then sounds that are multiples of that note's frequency, as the string vibrates back on itself. Of his dozens of frequencies, some were background noise and some--the ones he wanted to ferret out--were the notes the Beatles struck.

    The professor started making deductions. The loudest notes were likely Mr. McCartney's bass. The lowest had to be the original note played, since a string can generate waves along half or a third of its length, but not twice its length. But no matter how he divvied up the notes, something didn't fit.

    It is well-documented that Mr. Harrison played a 12-string guitar for the recording of "A Hard Day's Night." For every guitar note played, there had to be another one octave higher, since his guitar strings were pressed down in pairs.

    But three frequencies for an F note were left, none of which were an octave apart. Even if Mr. Brown assumed Mr. Lennon played one F note on his six-string guitar, Mr. Brown still had two unexplained frequencies.

    After weeks of staring at six-decimal-place amplitude values, Mr. Brown suddenly remembered how, as a child, he used to stick his head inside his parents' grand piano to see how it worked. He ran to a nearby music shop, and poked his head inside the Yamahas there.

    Sure enough, there were three strings under the F key, corresponding to the three sets of harmonics he had seen. Buried under the iconic guitar chord was a piano note.

    Other problems have since yielded to Mr. Brown's mathematics. Fans have always marveled at Mr. Harrison's guitar solo in "A Hard Day's Night," a rapid-fire sequence of 1/16th notes, accompanied on piano, that seemed to require superhuman dexterity.

    Mr. Brown noticed that a piano is strung differently in its lower octaves, with two strings, rather than three, under each hammer. He saw only two frequencies for each piano note in the guitar solo, suggesting that the solo had been played one octave lower than the recorded version sounded. It had also been played at half-speed, he concluded, then sped up on tape to make the released version sound as if had been played faster and at a higher octave.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123325321424929493.html
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    People are starving to death all around the world and this is what's imporant? A music chord? And why, in this day and age of sound-analyzing/-decyphering computers, is this even such a mystery?
    OPEACHMENT NOW!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jinxmchue View Post
    People are starving to death all around the world and this is what's imporant? A music chord? And why, in this day and age of sound-analyzing/-decyphering computers, is this even such a mystery?
    You don't play a musical instrument do you? There is much to music that can't be analyzed. For example, take two pianist playing a piece by Bach. Both play the exact same notes in the exact same timing yet one sounds emotionally moving and the other sounds rote and mechanical. Why is this? It has something to do with the emotion and qualities the musician inputs in to the piece. He or she adds something not tangible to the music that is personal to the musician. It's a mystery why one person feels the music and another simply plays the music.

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
    You don't play a musical instrument do you? There is much to music that can't be analyzed. For example, take two pianist playing a piece by Bach. Both play the exact same notes in the exact same timing yet one sounds emotionally moving and the other sounds rote and mechanical. Why is this? It has something to do with the emotion and qualities the musician inputs in to the piece. He or she adds something not tangible to the music that is personal to the musician. It's a mystery why one person feels the music and another simply plays the music.
    Even when I played piano (and I was very good at it), I didn't buy that load of garbage.
    OPEACHMENT NOW!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jinxmchue View Post
    Even when I played piano (and I was very good at it), I didn't buy that load of garbage.
    What did I say that you feel to be a load of garbage? I've been playing music for over 30 years and I have found nothing but truth to what I was said.

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
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    Senior Betwixt Member Bubba Dawg's Avatar
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    I agree with the sentiment about feeling in music. I have seen and heard Itzhak Perlman and Yo Yo Ma play. They are the epitome of not only expertise at playing their instrument, but also of bringing an intangible quality to their performance. That intangible quality is feeling, and is a part of their genius.

    The same is true of just about any instrument I can think of. There is proficiency in the mechanics of playing and mastering the instrument, but that is merely the beginning point of a performance. Every pianist in the Van Cliburn competition is amazingly talented, but the one who interprets not only the notes, but also the mood of the piece of music, will ultimately be the champion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba Dawg View Post
    I agree with the sentiment about feeling in music. I have seen and heard Itzhak Perlman and Yo Yo Ma play. They are the epitome of not only expertise at playing their instrument, but also of bringing an intangible quality to their performance. That intangible quality is feeling, and is a part of their genius.

    The same is true of just about any instrument I can think of. There is proficiency in the mechanics of playing and mastering the instrument, but that is merely the beginning point of a performance. Every pianist in the Van Cliburn competition is amazingly talented, but the one who interprets not only the notes, but also the mood of the piece of music, will ultimately be the champion.
    Thank you. I know that when I play sometimes I can feel the music and sometimes I can't. I may be quite good with the mechanics of a song but there is a difference when I'm feeling it verses playing it. It's hard to describe but in sports they call it being in a zone and I guess its the same thing in music. I guess that's what separates the great musicans from the average ones. The great ones are always in the zone and those of us who are average only get to taste it once in a while.

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    C. S. Lewis
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba Dawg View Post
    I agree with the sentiment about feeling in music. I have seen and heard Itzhak Perlman and Yo Yo Ma play. They are the epitome of not only expertise at playing their instrument, but also of bringing an intangible quality to their performance. That intangible quality is feeling, and is a part of their genius.

    The same is true of just about any instrument I can think of. There is proficiency in the mechanics of playing and mastering the instrument, but that is merely the beginning point of a performance. Every pianist in the Van Cliburn competition is amazingly talented, but the one who interprets not only the notes, but also the mood of the piece of music, will ultimately be the champion.
    I think it has to do with subtle mood driven variations in timing and attack.Perlman emotionally leans into the music and rides upon the crests .His face contorts to difficult lilts and he all but attacks any crescendos along the way .

    Yo Yo Ma lays back on the crests and shows a lot of emotion when he drives the waves .He obviously needs the emotion to reach what he wants .In some peaks he looks downright orgasm driven .

    Yo-Yo Ma: Elgar Cello Concerto, 4th mvmt
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjYy7...eature=related
    ...................................
    Itzhak Perlman needs to just about to go into a trance to preform this piece .Watch his eyes as he prepares to start .His face shows his inner mood swings as he plays.
    Romance in F minor op.11 pt.2/2
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbvxU...eature=related
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    The Romance is my favorite piece of music ever.

    We are fortunate in Detroit, in that Izack Perlman visits regularly and plays with the DSO.
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