[Dixielandjazz] Re: Bb is the key of life

Dan Augustine ds.augustine at mail.utexas.edu
Sat Sep 20 14:12:07 PDT 2003

Dick and others--
     Sure.  On the electronic keyboard i have, an octave is 6 3/8" 
(6.375"). Multiply that by 53 to get 337.875", which is 28.15625 feet 
(on the bass side of the piano).  Add another 28.15625 feet to the 
right side, and you've got 56.3125 feet added to the existing length 
of the piano's keyboard.  It is interesting to see that the total 
length of the keyboard would be close to the distance from the 
pitcher's rubber to home plate.
     This is the arithmetical solution to a musical problem, and as 
such, of course, it makes no sense.  Ambrose Bierce in _The Devil's 
Dictionary_ pointed out the logical fallacy of applying mathematics 
to real-life situations in his definition of the word 'logic':

   "LOGIC, n.  The art of thinking and reasoning in strict
    accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the
    human misunderstanding.  The basic of logic is the
    syllogism, consisting of a major and a minor premise and
    a conclusion -- thus:
       _Major Premise_:  Sixty men can do a piece of work
                         sixty times as quickly as one man.
       _Minor Premise_:  One man can dig a posthole in sixty
                         seconds; therefore --
       _Conclusion_:     Sixty men can dig a posthole in one second.
    This may be called the syllogism arithmetical, in which, by
    combining logic and mathematics, we obtain a double certainty
    and are twice blessed."

>Hi Dan.
>Can you calculate the width of the piano it would take to play Bb 57 octaves
>below middle C or the length of the string to resonate at that frequency?
>Of course you'd have to add  53 octaves on treble side to keep middle C in
>the middle.
>Wish my math skills were as good as yours.
>Dick B
>----- Original Message -----
>  > >Astronomers have found, for the first time, sound waves
>>  >from a super-massive black hole. The "note", pitched at
>>  >B flat and fifty seven octaves below middle C, is the
>>  >deepest ever detected from any object in the Universe.
>>  >And the tremendous amounts of energy carried by these
>  > >sound waves may solve a long-standing problem in astrophysics.
>  > >Andy Ling
>>  **--------------------------------------------------------------------**
>>      Ahem.  As a tuba player and one interested in acoustics and
>psychoacoustics, i think that whoever wrote the article that Andy's
>referring to either is joking or is an idiot.
>>      To get 57 octaves below middle C (which is what, 256 cyles per second)
>you would have to divide 256 by 2 successively 57 times.  My calculations
>(which admittedly could be wrong) show that this would be a 'frequency' of
>0.00000000000000710542735760, or one 'sound' impulse every 140737488355328
>seconds, which works out to be a vibration-beat every 8,925,512.96 years.
>>      That's a very low blow indeed.
>  >     Dan

**  Dan Augustine     Austin, Texas     ds.augustine at mail.utexas.edu  **
**     "If other people are going to talk, conversation becomes       **
**      impossible."  -- James McNeill Whistler                       **

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