As we all know, music has a lot of genres; and when I say this, I mean A LOT! Rock and metal as we know it, has evolved so much in the past decade. Hardly anyone wants to do the same thing anymore. For example, a musician can put his heart and soul into writing one epic song just to have it brushed aside as ‘another rendition of some famous classic’. So obviously, musicians started exploring. New genres came about – new ways to use the standard instruments. While I say this, I want to emphasize on how much technology has affected this change!
Music can soothe the savage beast and it can work us up into a fury. There is a seemingly endless list of the different styles. You have styles like Political Hip Hop, Chill Music, Noise Rock, and Classical Psychedelic Rock. Two genres that caught my eye were Math Metal and Math Rock. At first, I had NO idea what relation something as vile as math could ever have with something as sacred as music! But then what I stumbled onto actually changed my outlook on a lot of things! Going back to what I said initially, musicians nowadays, experiment a lot. Experimental rock and metal takes a lot of talent to pull off as it is. Now math metal is probably best described as an EXTREME form of experimental music. This band called The Dillinger Escape Plan started the genre, and the first time I heard them, I really couldn’t comprehend what was happening.
Now, most rock bands use a regular 4/4 meter when they’re composing songs. I don’t want to get into too much music theory, but to help you understand, the 4 on the bottom represents the type of note, in this case a Quarter Note, and the 4 on the top represents the number of Quarter Notes used in a complete bar. Pretty straightforward, right? Now take the 4 and the 4 out of the time signature, and introduce time signatures like 11/8, 13/8 or 15/16, and you have Math Music! It takes an INCREDIBLE amount of talent to pull something like this off, especially on the drummer’s side. Now math music isn’t really for everyone, but trust me, you have got to give it a try.
Take the band Tool for instance. The song Lateralus in their album of the same name, has patterns that change from 9/8 to 8/8 to 7/8 in the chorus. This arrangement of the descending order is in relation to the verse, which is sung in ascending and descending orders of the Fibonacci Series (Yes, you heard right). The syllables of the words in the verse are in Fibonacci series, as you will see below:
Black – 1
Then – 1
White Are – 2
All I see, – 3
In my infancy – 5
Red and yellow then came to me – 8
Reaching out to me – 5
Let’s me see – 3
There is – 2
So – 1
Much – 1
More and – 2
Beckons me – 3
To look through to these – 5
Infinite Possibilities – 8
As below so and above and beyond I imagine – 13
Drawn beyond the lines of reason – 8
Push the envelope – 5
Watch it bend – 3
In addition to this, the vocalist Maynard James Keenan starts singing in the song at 1:37, which can also be 97 seconds.
Now, time for equation number two.
97 Seconds = 1.618 of a full minute
1.618 is popularly known as the Golden Ratio, and is usually associated with the Fibonacci Series. Freaky, much?
Of course, Tool isn’t the only band to fuse Math and Music together. Some of the famous Math Music bands include The Dillinger Escape Plan, Drive Like Jehu and Botch.
Math. Something that I’ve never bothered to care about all my life, and music makes me do an entire article on it. It’s a wonderful world we live in (Haha).