## Wednesday, July 10, 2013

### A cappella Game Theory

I recently read a book that included a chapter on “Game Theory.” Did you know that there is a mathematical formula for determining the outcome probability in games?
I sure didn’t.
However, it got me thinking…Are there elements of a cappella that could be better understood by mathematical equations? (assuming you understood mathematical equations...)
Let’s try it…
Arranging for an a cappella group:
1 root-filled bass line + (3 rhythm voices + LOTS of eighth notes) + (3 harmony voices singing only words) – “jen” and “jo” + solo + solo harmony – written out solo because I’m lazy + “doo” = A cappella Arrangement
Planning a concert:
1 set list + 15 contrasting opinions – logical sense of order + vocal percussion microphone + bass microphone + solo microphone + other random microphone that no one is really sure why you need it + 1 hour of light design – 50 minutes of wasted time discussing one color of lights x number of audience members who don’t understand what “a cappella” is = Concert
Recording a CD:
1 protools + 2 producers – 1 producer – 1 solo microphone x hours per day needed to track the arrangement x (number of dollars you think it takes to produce an album + 7,000) / number of notes that must be corrected using Melodyne = A cappella CD
Vocal Percussion:
1 “dm” + 4 “ts” + 1 “pfft” + boots + cats + (number of beats per minute in the correct tempo – 2 beats per minute) x volume of human saliva= Vocal Percussionist
Rehearsal:
1 music director x (human ego + 5,000) / number of group members + 3 hours – 2.5 hours for business + number of water bottles required to hydrate group + 1 bag of salty Doritos + 1 piano – 87 out-of-tune keys= Rehearsal
Competition set:
10 groups + 5 judges – 4 biased judges + (number of group members/ 1 microphone) + 12 minutes – 2 minutes for unnecessary audience applause – highest score which could have helped you win – lowest score which is too embarrassing to read + 10 judges’ comments – 9 unhelpful comments + 25 dance moves + 4 solos – 3 bad solos = Competition Set
Bobby McFerrin:
God + music = Bobby McFerrin
Marc Silverberg
Follow the Quest for the A cappella Major: