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FIBONACCI NUMBERS

IN MUSIC

Fibonacci Numbers in Indian
Rhythmic Patterns

• The number of ways to divide n
beats into “long” (L, 2 beats) and
“short” (S, 1 beat) pulses is
F(n+1).
– Example: n = 3 has SSS, SL or LS
as the only possibilities. F4 = 3.
– Example: n = 4 has SSSS, SLS, LSS,
SSL, LL as the only possibilities. F5
= 5.

• Assign a note to each number of the
Fibonacci sequence.
• C, Do:1 ; D, Re:2 ; E, Mi:3 ; F, Fa:4 ; G, Sol:5 ;
A, La:6 ; B, Si:0.
• To converte each number into a note, we use
a math operation: it is a module 7 operation,
so we get numbers beetwen 0 and 6.
• In this way we get a sequence composed by
sixteen numbers which is infinitely repeated:
1;1;2;3;5;1;6;0;6;6;5;4;2;6;
1 ; 0…
8; 13; 21…

• We get this sequence of notes:

• Changing the length and the
height of some notes we get the
first melody:

Fibonacci numbers in occidental
music
• There are some fun
aspects of Fibonacci
series also in our music,
and some composers,
for example Béla Bartók
and Ernö Lendvai,
studied the possible
relationship beetwen
that series of numbers
and music.

Béla Bartók
• Béla Bartók Born in Nagyszentmiklós, Hungary (now
Sînnicolau Mare, Romania) in 1881.
• Died in New York, Sept. 1945.
• Studies at the Catholic Gymnasium (high school) in
Pozsony where he excels in math and physics in
addition to music.
• Enters the Academy of Music (Liszt is 1st president) in
Budapest in 1899.
• Avid collector of folk music (particularly Hungarian,
Romanian, Slovakian and Turkish).
• Considered to be one of Hungary’s greatest
composers (along with Franz Liszt).

Bartók and Fibonacci
• Fibonacci is a natural sequence;
• The music based on Fibonacci sequence is
natural music.
• Following the Fibonacci sequence Bartók
created a not boring musical structure
• The Fall Of Icaro.

Ernö Lendvai

• Kaposvar, 1925; Budapest, 1993
• He used the sequence of Fibonacci to define
the musical interval in his compositions.

Deep Purple
• Child in time is a famous song by Deep
Purple
• It is structured in measures of 3, 5 and 8
beats
• Child in time.