Saturday, May 30, 2009

Jason Brown on Mathematics and Music

At the recent Canadam conference on discrete and algorithmic mathematics, Jason Brown of Dalhousie gave a great talk on mathematics and music. He accompanied his talk on the guitar, playing excerpts from jazz and rock standards to illustrate his points.

Jason was featured in the Wall Street Journal, among other places, for his work on using the Fourier transform to decode the mysterious opening chord in the Beatles song "A Hard Day's Night" (it turns out that the key ingredient is an F played on the piano).

Jason used his analysis of the mathematical underpinnings of Beatles songs to compose a song in the style of the Beatles, which he then recorded in the studio with musicians Scott Ferguson, Alex Vaughan and vocalist Hal Bruce. There's a great video of the performance of "A Million Whys" here.

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