I've written a lot of on-topic essays and thrown them all away. Here's an interesting but random, pointless one. Edit: It has been pointed out that this post might be total crap. Lemme know what you think!
Something about me you might not know: I really love music. I'm one of the people who gets a physical reaction to music - certain songs make my skin prickle, and not in a figurative sense. I always associate it with good music, and it only happens when I'm focusing on the music. The more prickling, the more I like the music. I couldn't really tell what caused it, all I knew is that it always starts somewhere a chunk before or after the middle of the songs in question.
The point is golden proportions in music.
Yeah, a little investigation. It turns out that almost every song on my hard drive that makes me prickle has its central shift at 62% of the way into the song, or at 38% of the way, plus or minus a bit. I don't think this is just chance, because many of the songs that don't cause me to prickle don't time this right, and the more off they are, the less I prickle.
For example, Chrono Cross: Time's Scar. A game I didn't even like, but man, I love this song. It fires up proper at 57 seconds in, out of 149 seconds. 149 * 0.382 = 57. Kwoon's "I lived on the moon" - the only song of his that I really like - is 272 seconds long. It switches gears at 105 seconds. 272 * 0.382 = 104.
It's not just weird songs. Even good rock songs...
"Heavy Fuel", by Dire Straits, is a song I love, but it doesn't make me tingle. It's 301 seconds long. That gives 114 seconds in, or 186 seconds in. There is a shift, but it's nearly ten seconds late and not the big shift in the song.
"Sultans of Swing" is a song that does make me tingle, but only a little bit. It's 350 seconds long, which means we should have a big shift at either 134 (2:17) or 216 (3:36). The solo starts at 3:30, which is a significant error even in a song this long, which would theoretically explain the smaller reaction. :D
"Footloose", a song I'm not proud tingle to, is 229 seconds long. It should shift at 87 (1:27) or 142 (2:22). Yeah, the song shift is at precisely 2:22. Like Sultans of Swing, it's not a big reaction, but since the song shift culminates fifteen seconds later, I would probably consider that to be what "should have been" at 2:22.
Cake. I hate Cake, but I can't help listening to them. The Distance is 3 minutes even, 180 seconds. 69 seconds or 111 seconds. There's a major shift at 67 seconds, and another at 110 seconds. Actually, the last two seconds of the song are silence, so it's an even better fit. That cannot have been on accident...
White Rabbit doesn't make me tingle, but I love it. It's 153 seconds long, so 58 seconds or 95 seconds is the theory, but since it doesn't make me tingle... the shift is at 85 seconds, very early. The peak is at 105 seconds, very late...
It's definitely true that I have a much stronger reaction to songs that peak at the late ratio (0.618) rather than the early ratio (0.382). I haven't included many examples here, because they're mostly game music or really obscure music. I wonder why?
Interesting, at any rate. It's a strong correlation: I think I have a strong reaction to the golden ratio! I bet there are miniature examples, too, like golden ratios within a progression or golden ratios of frequency... it's interesting.
How about you?
(Warning: If you're going to check timing yourself, VLC gets the time marker wrong if you jump to a position in the song... or, at least, it gives a different time reading than if you play from the start.)