# McMasterpiece - the sound of pi

The McMasterpiece tune allows anyone to hear (and memorise, and sing, if you have a good ear) the first 26 digits of pi. The music was created in 2017 by Dr Maurice Macartney, then a member of support staff in the School of Mathematics and Physics, to mark the retirement of Dr Brian McMaster who taught Pure Mathematics at Queen's to tens of generations of undergraduate students. Below is the story of the tune in Maurice's own words.

This piece was written for Dr Brian McMaster of the Department of Pure Mathematics here in Queen’s. Trying to think of a theme that would be relevant, I hit on the idea of converting the digits of pi into notes, initially just to see what happened. I was quite taken aback by the results. The tune takes pi as far as this: Pi = 3.1415926535897932384626433 . If you take those digits and play the equivalent note in the scale of C (C = 1, D = 2, E = 3 and so on) you get the piano tune that opens and closes the piece (I had to leave out the decimal point, and use the D above the high C to get number 9). I then simply harmonized the tune that emerged, and added a couple of other melodies for variety. But for the core of the piece I cannot take credit. Let’s call it the music of the spheres. McMasterpiece is played here by müss (Keith Waterson, Steve McBride, Michael Speers and me, Maurice Macartney).