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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Hard Day's Night

Weather is back to normal today, but still no rain.  Worked another 12 hour day, and fin it hr to believe that with all the modern conveniences, we work about 30-50% more hours now than the previous generation.
This day in history “Albert Einstein Died 18 Apr 1955 at age 76”, German-American physicist who developed the special and general theories of relativity and won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectric effect. Recognized in his own time as one of the most creative intellects in human history, in the first 15 years of the 20th century Einstein advanced a series of theories that proposed entirely new ways of thinking about space, time, and gravitation. His theories of relativity and gravitation were a profound advance over the old Newtonian physics and revolutionized scientific and philosophic inquiry..”

Made a nice Chicken Tikka Masalla, Basmati Rice, Papadams, naan, and peas for dinner.

Run 3 miles and settle into watching Survivor. 

A Hard Day’s Night

“The Beatles’ song “A Hard Day’s Night” opens with a single, resounding chord. In Mark Lewisohn’s 1988 book The Beatles Recording Sessions, George Martin, the Beatles producer, explained the chord’s origin: “We knew it would open both the film and the soundtrack LP, so we wanted a particularly strong and effective beginning. The strident guitar chord was the perfect launch.”
The chord’s composition was purportedly resolved in 2004 by Jason Brown of Canada’s Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His Fourier analysis of the elusive chord revealed an extra ingredient that Everett had missed: John Lennon’s guitar.

Fourier-analyzing the Beatles might seem like a misuse of science. If Albert Einstein had lived to hear the Beatles, he’d have probably agreed. “It would be possible to describe everything scientifically,” he once said, “but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.”

I disagree with Einstein, as, presumably, do the authors of the many papers in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America and other journals that are devoted to understanding music’s nature, production, and perception. Those papers enrich, rather than diminish, our appreciation of music. You can find some of them in Physics Today‘s Physics Update department. Among the topics we’ve covered are Balinese gongs, the perception of minor and major keys, newborn babies’ sense of rhythm, and the musical columns of the Vitthala Temple."

Keeping with the Beatles theme this week, we have to go with “A Hard Day’s Night”

Photo of the day “A Hard Day’s Night”

A final note: Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major opens in the same way as “A Hard Day’s Night”—with a single chord.

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