Mathematics

Album: Hands (2009)
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Songfacts®:

  • This synth number was produced by Hot Chip's Joe Goddard.
  • In this song, math is a metaphor for love. It was inspired by the Sylvia Plath poem Love Is A Parallax, in particular the lines "... yet love/ knows not of death nor calculus above/ the simple sum of heart plus heart."
  • Little Boots sings about Fibonacci and Pythagoras in this song. Leonardo Fibonacci (c1170-c1250) was an Italian mathematician who was instrumental in the introduction of the Hindu/Arabic numerical system into Europe. Fibonacci numbers, which are a sequence in which each number is the sum of its two predecessors, were named after him. The Samian philosopher Pythagoras (c582-c500) founded an educational society that was half-religious and half-philosophical. His pupils were trained in gymnastics, mathematics and music. Pythagoras and his students believed that everything was related to mathematics, and classified numbers according to their geometrical properties and he is regarded as the real founder of the science of Geometry. Pythagoras used music as an essential organizing factor in his society. His pupils regularly sang hymns to the god Apollo together and used the lyre to cure illness of the soul or body. The Samian sage developed a type of musical tuning, in which the frequency ratios of the notes were all derived from the number ratio 3:2. This Pythagorean system was of primary importance in Western musical development in the Middle Ages. Aristotle quoted Pythagoras as saying:: "There is geometry in the humming of the strings. There is music in the spacings of the spheres."

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