Art, Science + Technology

DMA9 Fall 2007, Section B

What is Math Rock? Why isn’t Math Rock more popular in America?

Until Monday of this last week, I had never heard of math rock. When I first heard the phrase “math rock,” my mind immediately went to thinking that it is a type of music that talks about math, which made me initially turned off from it because I do not particularly like math. Then I thought, it would be illogical to have an entire sub-genre of music based
on songs that just talked about math; therefore, maybe instead of songs talking about math, the instrument playing was based on certain math equations. I was wrong both times because math rock is neither of those things. Math rock is actually titled math rock merely because the instrument playing is so precise. To me, the music was pretty similar to a lot of popular heavy metal today, except the drumming was very crisp.

Even though it is not really my type of music, I still cannot figure out why it is not more popular because it is still a fascinating musical genre. If you read reviews of math rock bands on Epitonic, one can tell that they are highly respected by their fans, so it is my belief that they should become more popular; however, maybe a part of math rock’s greatness lies in the fact that it is kind of hidden. Lots of once great songs become irritating once the radio plays them every hour of every
day; therefore, maybe it is better that a math rock song does not become another make-me-want-to-kill-myself if-I-have-to-hear-it-one-more-time songs.

What is the history of the Golden Ratio? Why is the Golden Ratio so incredible?

I had never really thought about the Golden Ratio until this week in lecture. It is incredible to think that so many things can be simplified to one number. Stars, spirals, architecture, perfect facial structures, sunflowers, etc.; it astounds me that so many natural objects contain the golden ratio. The golden ratio first appeared in architecture when Phidias created the Parthenon statues to show the significance of the golden ratio. Mark Ohm first coined the term “goldener schnitt” (in
English, Golden Section) in 1835. In the early 1900’s, Mark Berr used “Phi” to represent the numerical value of the golden ratio. This title gave recognition to Phidias, for his important contribution to the recognition of the golden ratio. I still do not completely understand how exactly this number exists, and I think that is where it’s incredibility comes from, that fact that it is such a far-fetched, yet completely realistic phenomenon. In lecture, we were even show that statistically the faces of people that follow the golden ratio are seen as the most beautiful. I guess if we were ever to actually define perfection, which I do not think we should do because I do not think it actually exists, but if we ever were to, I think that the golden ratio would define perfection, at least in the physically beautiful sense.


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