Welcome back to another episode of Quarantine Compositions – my weekly series of original music I write just for you.

This week, my special Music Nerd Edition.

Just in case you don’t have enough disaster to focus on, let me introduce you to 2,147,483,647, the number that is going to break all computers, the internet and bring the world as we know it to a screeching halt. Y2K deja vu all over again.

Nerd, Part 1
2,147,483,647 is the biggest number that can be stored on a 32-bit computer. So, at 3.14.07 AM on Tuesday 19 January 2038 all computers will reset to January 1st, 1970 (the birthday of all computers) and bring everything to a standstill. The story is even crazier as it involves Gangnam Style, yes, that song and the most popular video of all time on YouTube. More here:

Nerd, Part 2
So, what’s a music nerd to do with this cool, really big, weird number? I know, let’s write a 12-tone row! Briefly, early 20th Century composers were bored, so they decided to make up a new game where they would only repeat a note after they had used all the notes in the 12-note western scale. More on 12-tone rows here:

Really super nerdy, and honestly most 12 tone music sounds exactly like you’d expect – like nails on a chalkboard.

I did not write a 12-tone row (so you can breath now), but I decided to match the Gangnam numbers (2,147,483,647) to corresponding notes on the musical scale and only played that sequence of note/numbers in that order or backwards (let’s not get into the inversions).

I did warn you this was the Music Nerd Edition.

It’s not as catchy as “867-5309”, but it’s actually pretty cool. Really. And don’t worry about January 19th, 2038, your computer will be 64 bit by then.

Until next week’s much less nerdy episode. Wear a mask. Be kind to each other. Vote.

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