Musimathematics 1: Factorisation

Number line sketches

Imagine every number from 1 upwards progressing in a line. Every number is wholly divisible by 1 and by one or more prime numbers {2, 3, 5, 7, 11…}. These component values which when multiplied together produce a given number are called its factors. Now, take one note at a time, calculate its factors and play a note for each prime number present. You might get something like this:

The score above represents the first eight bars of number line sketch #1, produced by a progam written in Max/MSP which factorises numbers using the first 15 primes and applying a series of MIDI notes which approximate an ascending harmonic series {c1,c2, g2, c3, e3, g3…} to the prime number series. Click on the link below to hear this.

Number line sketch #1

single instrument, first 3000 numbers, 90bpm (180 notes per minute) Play MIDI file

Number line sketch #2

first 800 numbers, 150bpm (300 notes per minute). Notes transposed reassigned to small ensemble (congas, cymbals, bass etc.)
Play MIDI file