Every geek knows that F(n)=F(n-1)+F(n-2) is the greatest of all sequences, the Fibonacci Sequence. Did you also realize that Tool used the Fibonacci sequence in their 2002 song Lateralus?

We all know the Fibonacci sequence is 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144,... It is simply adding the preceding number to the current number to get the next number. It was rediscovered in the early 1200's by Leonardo of Pisa, but people in India had discovered it long before.

So how does this all apply to Tool's Lateralus? The time signatures of the chorus of the song change from 9/8 to 8/8 to 7/8, or 9-8-7. 987 is the 16th number in the Fibonacci sequence.

The theme of the song describes the desire of humans to explore and to expand for more knowledge and a deeper understanding of everything. The lyric 'spiral out', which is sung repeatedly throughout the song, refers to this desire and also to the Fibonacci spiral, which is formed by creating and arranging squares for each number in the sequence's 1,1,2,3,5,8,... pattern, and drawing a curve that connects to two corners of each square. This forms a never-ending and infinitely-expanding spiral."

But wait their is more! The lyrics all correspond to a rising and falling Fibonacci sequence. If you count between the pauses, the syllables in Maynard James Keenan's vocals form the first few Fibonacci numbers:

(1) Black,

(1) then,

(2) white are,

(3) all I see,

(5) in my in·fan·cy,

(8) red and yel·low then came to be,

(5) rea·ching out to me,

(3) lets me see.

(2) There is,

(1) so,

(1) much,

(2) more and

(3) beck·ons me,

(5) to look through to these,

(8) in·fi·nite pos·si·bil·i·ties.

(13) As be·low so a·bove and be·yond I im·ag·ine,

(8) drawn be·yond the lines of rea·son.

(5) Push the en·ve·lope.

(3) Watch it bend.

Maynard James Keenan also starts singing at the 1:37 mark in the song. 1 minute 37 seconds, or 97 seconds, is approximately 1.618 of a full minute. This is the Golden ratio, which is also closely related to the Fibonacci sequence.

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Tags: Tool, Fibonacci, geek

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Date: May 08, 2013

As Reported by: Jason Fisher

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