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Music Based on Fibonacci Sequence and Stock Market 164

Gary Franczyk writes "A band named Emerald Suspension has made an album named Playing the Market that is, as they put it: "structured based on patterns created by the stock market, economic indicators, algorithms". They have some songs based off of the Fibonacci sequence, the misery and consumer confidence indices, and the national debt. "
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Music Based on Fibonacci Sequence and Stock Market

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  • Some people (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Timesprout ( 579035 )
    really need to get out more
  • by LinuxGeek ( 6139 ) <djand DOT nc AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday March 12, 2006 @10:42AM (#14902260)
    They have some songs based off of the Fibonacci sequence, the misery and consumer confidence indices, and the national debt.

    But only dogs can hear the song based upon the national debt...
    • They have some songs based off of the Fibonacci sequence, the misery and consumer confidence indices, and the national debt.

      But only dogs can hear the song based upon the national debt...

      Don't kid yourself. With something that big, there's a lot of low frequency harmonics you can tap into for a good bass-beat. =)
  • by Carthag ( 643047 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @10:44AM (#14902263) Homepage
    1. Mathematics is the language of nature.
    2. Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers.
    3. If you graph these numbers, patterns emerge.

    Therefore: There are patterns everywhere in nature
  • Nice idea, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by original_nickname ( 930551 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @10:45AM (#14902270) Journal
    The first one sounds kind of like Pyramid Song by radiohead, but really this data doesn't make great music. You can make disjointed noise easily enough, and I'd guess no-one has any pressing need to listen to the stock market.

    Maybe Philip Glass could make a symphony out of this stuff, but these guys unfortunately can't (from the samples). It isn't musical enough to not be background noise.

    Experimental: yes, music: no.

    Interesting idea, though. I think this could make a great backing noise to a Godspeed You Black Emperor! song or something.
    • Define Musical (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Moth7 ( 699815 )
      I think Einstürzende Neubauten would beg to differ.
    • Can you offer a coherent definition (that means not just a list of examples) of music that excludes this?

      I think the only person who successfully defined music to only include what he liked was Heinrich Schenker.
      • I think the only person who successfully defined music to only include what he liked was Heinrich Schenker.

        True, and I like how Schoenberg simultaneously gave him due respect and put him in his place in his Theory of Harmony. I wish I could pull a quote, but I don't have it handy.

    • Glass was a minimalist, utilizing subtle thematic variations over time. How he would tackle this, I have no idea.
  • Song lyrics (Score:4, Funny)

    by DarthChris ( 960471 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @10:47AM (#14902276)
    "Zero one one, two three five eight./Thir-teen t-wenty one..."
  • Real time data? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lemmen ( 48986 )
    What would happen if one creates an algorithm which composes music out of real-time stock exchange data? I guess this would be an interesting project for someone to create. You would hear music related to the mood of Market, depressing when it's dropping and happy music when the stocks are climbing.
  • reminds me of the cd by Mamoru Fujieda titled Patterns of Plants in which music was composed based on the data taken from plants. The data is taken by PLANTRON which is an interface that botanist Yuji Dogane devised for researching living organisms through observation of the relationship between plants and the environment. This disc was released on John Zorn's tzadik label back in '97. very relaxing. if you like this music of the stock market then give this plant disc a spin or two.
  • Good Music (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 12, 2006 @11:01AM (#14902316)
    the song Lateralus by Tool is based on the Fibonacci Sequence

    there's even been discoveries of the whole album Lateralus having some type of relationship with the sequence
  • by lowrydr310 ( 830514 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @11:01AM (#14902318)
    Anyone ever hear "Fibonacci Sequence" by BT? It's on Sasha's "Global Underground (13) - Ibiza" Disc 2, Track 1.

    One, One, Two, Three, Five, Eight, Thirteen, Twenty-One... Mathematics is the language of nature

  • by Raleel ( 30913 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @11:03AM (#14902323)
    THe drum line in Lateralus is a fibonacci sequence. Some folks thought that it was a clue that you should listen to the album in a different order. []

    While I have no idea if this is valid or not (the band has been quiet), I do listen to the album in that order. It's actually a better album, I believe, in that sequence.
    • by Aaryn ( 845820 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @11:13AM (#14902358)
      Black (1)
      then (1)
      white are (2)
      all I see (3)
      in my infancy (5)
      red and yellow then came to be (8)
      reaching out to me (5)
      makes me see (3)
      there is (2)

      The syllables = fibonnaci :)
    • I don't think the reordering is valid. I think the fact that it still flows is a product of the music being based on underlying formulae, and of themes running throughout the piece, and therefore being reconfigurable with respect to order, like the puzzle the record is. That doesn't mean that it's intended to be listened to in a different order. The mastering indicates that songs were intended to go in the order in which they originally flow. At the end of Reflection, you can hear the beginning of Tria
  • by CaroKann ( 795685 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @11:04AM (#14902325)
    This was already done a long time ago: []
  • Did Bela Bartok (and others) do the exact same thing back in the 1930s and 40s?
    • Re:Bela Bartok? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Crabbyass ( 867531 )
      Bartok constantly used references to the Fibonacci series in his music. In the first movement of Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste, the bar numbers are marked in the score according to the numbers of this sequence (8 13 21 34 55), and if I remember correctly, there are 89 bars in the piece. Also, a movement in his fourth string quartet contains 2584 beats.

      Bartok wasn't the first composer to conciously use the Finonacci series...I believe Debussy made extensive use of it, and it's found all the ti
  • I don't like this (Score:4, Insightful)

    by babbling ( 952366 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @11:12AM (#14902355)
    This is a bit like reality TV. No planning involved, just get some equipment and see what happens automatically. The result is something that consumers will consume, but it isn't high in quality, just cheap to produce.

    I want television shows with scripts and plots.
    I want music that has been carefully composed and made to sound good.
    • by prichardson ( 603676 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @12:34PM (#14902633) Journal
      Just because you start within a system does not make your music random. I don't know how their algorithms worked but they certainly made aesthetic choices.

      Every composer starts within some system, and these can of varying degrees of confinement. Most pop music uses the system of I, IV, and V chords and the form of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus. Mozart used the system know as tonality to compose, and he used many classical forms. Schoenberg used the system of serialism, one that he invented. Serialism is of course a more restrictive system than tonality, but in both you make many many many choices.

      These guys just invented their own system, and unless they write about their compositional process we can't know how restrictive their system is or what aesthetic choices they made.

      It's certainly understandable to not like this music, however you must at least respect it. I'm guessing these guys worked a lot harder on this album than most pop stars work on their stuff. If you've been listening to classical and early romantic music or top 40 all your life this sounds really foreign; that can be disturbing, but don't dismiss them because you don't like it.

      Just out of curiosity, what music do you like? Don't just say 'rock' or 'classical' (both oft-abused terms), be specific.
  • by Mailleman ( 823839 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @11:17AM (#14902369)
    But the silliest feature of all was that if you wanted your company accounts represented as a piece of music, it could do that as well. Well, I thought it was silly. The corporate world went bananas over it." Reg regarded him solemnly from over a piece of carrot poised delicately on his fork in front of him, but did not interrupt. "You see, any aspect of a piece of music can be expressed as a sequence or pattern of numbers," enthused Richard. "Numbers can express the pitch of notes, the length of notes, patterns of pitches and lengths. . " "You mean tunes," said Reg. The carrot had not moved yet. Richard grinned. "Tunes would be a very good word for it. I must remember that." Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective agency. :-D
  • I've been messing around with using various mathematical patterns in a series of experimental electronic pieces for a while now. Guess I've been beaten to the punch. *grrr*
  • by qengho ( 54305 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @11:26AM (#14902403)
    Back in 1991 Fiorella Tirenzi [] created music based on radio astronomy data. I'm betting she's easier to look at than the folks who produced the stock market music.
  • by Traa ( 158207 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @11:27AM (#14902410) Homepage Journal
    I thought the recent competition to make music based on the sounds of failing hard drives [] was a lot more fun. The competition was won by a song that was made entirely out of dying harddrive sound samples.
  • Fibonacci and Stocks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by superid ( 46543 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @11:30AM (#14902422) Homepage
    My dad has been kind of behind these stock methods for quite a few years. This [] is specifically the method that he uses (yes, he's a subscriber to tfnn).

    My dad is pretty analytical and does not adopt stuff blindly. From the trades he has shown me he has been quite successful using this method. One benefit is that at least you have clear entry/exit points, so you tend not to hold onto losers.
  • nothing new.... (Score:3, Informative)

    by p3t0r ( 816736 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @11:31AM (#14902427) Homepage
    Throughout the ages many composers (J.S. Bach/Schubert/Bartok), have used the fibonacci numbers in their works: acci/fibInArt.html#music [] Many contemporary composers like Ligeti and Chowning use mathmatical formulas like the fibonacci number as well. So, how is this news... most students in music are supposed to have remembered this from their classes ;)
    • really nothing new. the music itself sounds a lot like Charles Dodge's music based on electromagnetic fields from 35 years ago. I was hoping they were actually making good music instead of just converying numbers into frequencies. "The Fibonaccis" music is a lot more fun.
  • And clearly, it's hideous.
  • ....and not a single reference to Darren Arnofsky's Pi? For shame Slashdot, for shame.
  • by sonatinas ( 308999 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @11:39AM (#14902452) Journal
    If you studied music seriously you would know Bach used Fibonacci in many of his pieces. Most notable the Well Tempered Clavier, Composers have been using it for hundred of years.
  • Enter Pan-Man (Score:2, Informative)

    by EinZweiDrei ( 955497 )

    It was an action flick.

    Pan-Man kicked backwards

    sent by the sexy matadortress
    from her Spanish fortress.
    [Of course, the film was torturous!]

    Lloyd Kaufman's masterpiece
    achieving wide release.
    Logos in the marquees
    said 'Pac-Man', with the C's
    rotated ninety degrees.

    had a premiere at the MOMA.
    wore her signature aroma.
    Yo-Yo Ma
    said 'Nihoma!'
    and had Pan's Evergreen diploma
    shown to Williams and Sonoma!
  • by Volfied ( 307532 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @12:11PM (#14902543)
    Should we be pleased or worried that ideas from the twisted mind of Douglas Adams are coming true? He predicted something akin to this in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.
    • If "predict" is the right word, Adams predicted a hell of a lot of stuff.
      To name a few:
      1) The Guide - bluetooth/wifi enabled PDA with Wikipedia embedded.
      2) Smart Elevators [].
      3) Nutrimat - Starbucks (almost, but not quite, entirely unlike coffee).

      Now if only his "prediction" for B-Ark comes true... If it does though, I'd reccomend keeping the Lysol handy...
    • Do not go Gently into that good knight.

      Gently, are you listening? That knight has it in for you.

      all the best,

  • Some of you might also enjoy Hard 'n Phirm' []
  • Band? Songs? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Illbay ( 700081 )
    Why does everything have to be put in terms of the pop music ethos?

    Why do we not read, rather, that "an ensemble has created compositions" based on...(etc.)

    Varèse [], Stockhausen [], Cage [] and Penderecki [] were creating their works long before pop musicians ever tried "going serious," after all.

  • In the days long gone, before the mp3s or even the web itself there were projects at NSCA. One was called Mosaic []. Another one was Collage. Mosaic grew to become The Web while Collage withered. Among other things, Collage was about presenting scientific data in novel was, such as audio. That was ca. 1992.
  • In 1990, for an electronic music course I took in college, I used several decades worth of stock market data from a book entitled "Don't sell stocks on Monday" to create a composition for an assignment on aleatoric music []. Can I claim prior art?
  • I'm making a song based on my mod-point history, called "Offtopic Overrated Troll".
  • by AchilleTalon ( 540925 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @02:00PM (#14902922) Homepage
    There is already a music instrument which produce sounds based on the clouds structure. It's the Cloud Harp [] which first model was build in 1997. The idea is however much more older, since you can go back to Johannes Kepler with his Music of the Spheres laid down the idea to produce music from natural phenomenons.

  • Does this mean... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hosiah ( 849792 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @03:54PM (#14903319)
    The stock market figures will be restricted under DRM next?

    PS You can get similar effects on a Linux box by catting various files to /dev/audio; /dev/hd0 or /dev/random for instance. Here's [] a good reference. I actually tried piping the mouse to audio once and got something like the results described; I was on the verge of recording some "mouseophone" music when I think I got bored and went on to something else.

  • by mechanyx ( 960689 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @04:11PM (#14903396) Homepage

    Fibonacci relations abound in art and music. This is nothing new. A text that discusses this in some length with regards to the famous Hungarian composer Bela Bartok is Erno Lendvai's Bela Bartok: An Analysis of His Music. Lendvai makes a very compelling case even though Bartok never explicitly stated on record his use of such devices. It should be noted that Bartok was a pantheist so that might explain some of his desire to use patterns in nature.

    Algorithmic composition has been around for quite some time but really took off with the advent of "computer music". Different motivations exist for algorithmic composition but they are interesting. Unfortunately, these motivations are often more interesting than the resultant music IMO. A good environment to quickly do algorithmic composition in is the Common Lisp/Common Music environment as a front end to Csound.

    Stochastic composition was invented by Iannis Xenakis. He used probabilistic densitiesm modeled after physical phenomena such as diffusion of gases to compose some of his works. His rather difficult to digest text Formalized Music discusses his methods.

    John Cage pioneered aleatoric composition in which he used chance to make compositional choices. It was largely a reaction to the fact that so-called integral serialism, a highly deterministic system of total control, yielded works that were so difficult for most people to comprehend that they essentially sounded random.

    The band discussed here really isn't doing anything new. If they do it extremely well though, then more power to them but I leave that judgement up to the individual listener.

  • by RedLaggedTeut ( 216304 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @04:26PM (#14903462) Homepage Journal
    Well back in the days of DOS, I was inspired by ideas like this to create music from "towers of hanoi" (thats the game with the 3 towers where you move discs)

    I don't quite recall the details but I think it involved mapping frequencies to the towers and durations to the height or something like this.

    The hardest part of it was to get any decent sound out of the PC speakers; but I solved this elegantly by not playing a single sound, but a mix of sounds, which was again based on the Towers of Hanoi algo.
  • For all those that are seriously interested in the mathematical implications of music / musical implications of mathematics, may I advise the book Music and Mathematics [] From Pythagoras to Fractals?

    I'm sorry it is so ridiculously expensive, but it is a really nice collection of essays of all the different roles mathematics has played in music, from the ancient Greeks to modern composition. Since it is a bundle, not every essay is a masterpiece, but most are really good.
    \. readers will love the story on D []

  • Fibonacci appears in a list of 20 inventions Muslims contributed to make our world [], for his work importing Muslim mathematics to Europe hundreds of years after they were produced.
  • The composer Sofia Gubaidulina [] made wide use of the Fibbonaci sequence in the 1980s, happy to find a way of systemization that still allowed the form to "breathe". Her 1986 symphony "Stimmen... Verstummen... []" is a notable example: the length of its movements grow ever shorter according to the sequence. In the 9th movement is a conductor's "solo", where he motions before a silent orchestra, the distance between his hands growing ever larger according to the sequence. In the 1990s she began using the Lucas an

Air is water with holes in it.