Music News

Attention, math geeks: Here’s a musical representation of the Fibonacci Sequence

The Fibonacci sequence is one of the most fascinating stretches of numbers in the universe. If you’re unclear (or maybe you don’t remember your math), this is what we’re talking about.

It’s a series of numbers in which each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers:  1 + 1 = 2; 2+1 = 3; 3 + 2 = 5; 5 +3 = 8; 8 + 5 = 13; 13 + 8 = 21, and so on. The semi-magical properties of this sequence have been know as far back as 200 BCE.

Not only is nature full of physical manifestations of Fibonacci (branching of trees, the formation of chambers of a nautilus shell, and the family tree of honeybees are just a few), it can also be found in music.

For example, the lyrics of Tool’s “Lateralus” follow a Fibonacci pattern.

And who said math wasn’t cool?

Now check out what Indian percussionist B.C. Manjunath has done with some percussion. More background can be found here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38303 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Attention, math geeks: Here’s a musical representation of the Fibonacci Sequence

  • Given the timing of the next album, we might be staring an answer in the face if we looked at it mathematically.


Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.