Mmmm Pi


Happy pi day everyone!                                                            For those
not mathematically inclined, 3/14 is a day celebrated each year
to celebrate the wonder that is pi. This year we present to you
a short             composition based                on the digits of pi.
This is a brilliant                      and beautiful in-
terpretation of                         the first few dozen
digits but fails                          to capture the full
power of pi. Pi,                          you see, is tranc-
endental. That                           means, in short,
that it is non re-                        peating and non
terminating. A                           consequence of
that fact is that                          it contains every
finite series there                            is. Contained in
the near random                                 infinite sequence
that is pi, is every                                  song every written;
Beethoven’s 9th,                                       Hey Jude and Sexy
Back are all                                                     there. Concealed in
pi is the                                                                         sequence of art.

I challenge our audience to name every instrument appearing in the video.

This song was created by Micheal John Blake. I suspect that this little wonder will quickly become a geek favourite around this time each year. Apparently it’s gotten enough attention that the composer will be appearing on NPR’s Morning Edition on Monday(Which I understand is the natural alternative to sleeping pills for Americans).

Note: This was posted at 1:59

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Ryan Consell is a skeptical artist, tap-dancing armorer, juggling scientist, rock-climbing writer, sword-fighting math teacher, uni-cycling gamer, fire-spinning academic and devout nerd. He has a Masters in Applied science, most of a bachelors in Fine Arts, and a very short attention span. He is the author of How Not to Poach a Unicorn and half of the masochistic comedy duo that is Creative Dissonance. Follow him on Twitter @StudentofWhim


  1. March 14, 2011 at 3:59 am

    I challenge our audience to name every instrument appearing in the video.

    Piano, glockenspiel (or just a generic metallophone, can’t tell), accordion, toy piano, melodica (a.k.a. hooter), bowed psaltery, ukulele, claves, handclaps, banjo, autoharp, and of course a guitar.

  2. March 14, 2011 at 7:23 am

    BEAUTIFUL…. : )

  3. March 14, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Really, really great.

    Not appearing visually, but aurally (if that even counts): Hi hat loop, electro drum kit, and bass.

  4. March 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    video embed didn’t work for me. This one did though:

  5. March 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Well that’s odd. How, praytell, can someone have copyrighted pi?

    Well I appologize to our viewers for the interruption in service.

    Please enjoy some pie while we attempt to solve this issue.

  6. March 14, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    perhaps we could stare at a circle while listening . . . hopefully THAT hasn’t been copyrighted lately ;-p

  7. March 15, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Apparently Lars Erickson, who’s making the copyright claim, wrote a piece called the “Pi Symphony” that’s based on the same idea of using Pi to generate the music.

    He’s charging $15 to hear a synthesized version of it. I think I’ll pass.

    This is kind of off-topic, but can the idea of using Pi as a basis for music really be copyrightable? I guess if they both end up with the same chords and melody then maybe. Still kind of a dick move.

  8. March 16, 2011 at 5:22 am

    Shouldn’t we call July 22 Pi day as it is a slightly closer approximation? 22/7 = 3.14285…

  9. March 16, 2011 at 9:38 am

    If the two songs ended up being similar in the arrangement of timing and instruments I suppose I could see the argument. But I somehow doubt that anyone could copyright the use of a mathematical constant for musical purposes.

    That doesn’t stop anyone from making the claim, though, and YouTube seems keen to err on the side of caution whenever formal complaints are made.

    Also, March 3rd at 1:59:26 is a closer approximation than 22/7. However I say go nuts and eat some tarts in August. They’re an approximation of pie. 😀

  10. March 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Sorry. I’ve decided to abandon pi and go with tau:

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