Math in Music Series: Fibonacci Part 1

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Bence Peter - Fibonacci Piano
Bence Peter’s Performance of his composition based on the Fibonacci Sequence

I recently came across a video of a piano piece composed based on the Fibonacci sequence. I totally geeked out and decided to share it with a few of my private piano students. Turns out, some of them are as geeky as me and not only love math, but get fired up about seeing it applied to the arts. Some students had even just learned about Fibonacci at school.

As such, it only seemed natural to keep digging to see what I could find. Math is, of course, in music all the time. But, it’s one thing to appreciate the numbers and formulas in everyday music, it’s a totally different thing to experience a music composition based on mathematic principles.

I really didn’t imagine I would find a whole lot at first, but there’s a whole world of geeks out there just like me and my students! In the future, I’ll be sharing more videos and recordings of both Fibonacci-based musical compositions and music and math in general. For now, let’s start with my first finding of…

Bence Peter’s Fibonacci Piano Piece

Bence Peter has quite an impressive history with the piano. Born in Hungary, he began playing piano at the age of 3. At just 18, he auditioned to the Berklee College of Music with this “little” composition of his, titled Piano Piece Based on Fibonacci Sequence. He went on to be awarded the Guinness World Record for the most piano key hits in one minute—a mere 765, that’s all. And, he is still active today.

I wish I could find more on the story behind his Fibonacci composition or how the piece actually applies this mathematical sequence to the notes. I have indeed found a lot of information on how the Fibonacci sequence can be applied to music. In fact, even a the most basic major chord is loosely based on this principle.

At some point in the future, I hope to sit down with this piece for a more detailed analysis. For now, I am simply assuming the Fibonacci sequence is mostly in the melody. However, it could also have to do with the chord progression and/or rhythm, as the piece is in the unique time signature of “7/8”. If anyone is able to find more details, please share them in the comments.

One way or another, it is simply an amazing performance to watch. Enjoy!

For more of Bence Peter, check out his Official Youtube Channel.

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