I've just (literally, 30 seconds ago) made a pretty significant discovery regarding music and distance that I think will shake the foundations of scientific knowledge.
Modern Concert "A" (the note that every instrument in an orchestra tunes to) is 440 hertz (cycles per second).
One octave above this, "A" is 880 hertz.
One octave above that (this is the really amazing part) "A" is 1760 hertz.
Amazing because..... 1760 is also the number of yards in a mile
This is pretty astounding, I think you'll agree. There are a lot of implications here:
1) One octave gap in music is equal to a doubling of pitch. Not tripling, not +100 to the pitch, not some random interval, but a doubling. Of all the ways that an octave can be defined, that one was chosen! And this was chosen by an ancient civilization who could not possibly have measured the cycles per second of the notes!
I mean, their clocks were not accurate enough to measure 1/440th of a second......or were they???
2) The "mile", as we call it, is directly geometrically related to a musical note that is two octaves above modern concert A. Why was 1760 yards chosen?
Of all the "arbitrary" number of yards they could have picked for a mile, it had to be that exact number. Surely not a coincidence? I think the ancients understood a fundamental relationship between music and distance that we still don't fully grasp today.
3) I've just seen something else, literally just seen it while I was writing this post and it's mind-blowing
. I was struggling to explain why doublings were chosen for octaves, why not triplings or something else? Well, let's try going down
the octaves (which requires halving, naturally) from 440Hz and see what happens. Down 1 octave = 440/2 = 220 Hz. Down 2 octaves... 220/2 = 110. Down 3 octaves... 110/2 = 55. That's the "A" three octaves below concert "A". Now quite clearly we can't go any lower than this because we would get into fractional numbers. So I will call this 55Hz the "fundamental A". Then I realised -- and this will honestly blow your mind -- that I am at this moment, as I write this, sitting exactly 55 degrees North of the equator!!!!!I AM SITTING ON THE FUNDAMENTAL "A"
It's astounding how this has all fitted so perfectly together. There's no way any of it is a coincidence... nothing that perfect can happen by accident.
Edited by David Meadows, 20 June 2012 - 01:52 PM.