The music of things.
February 6, 2007 9:59 AM   Subscribe

If you've ever thought that music can be an extremely intuitive and effective way to communicate things, then Stanford Professor Jonathan Berger (samples of his music) is doing some research that might interest you. (via)
posted by wander (8 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I'm surprised this is still without comments. I haven't had a chance to check out the site yet, but I will later today. Looks interesting!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 1:53 PM on February 6, 2007

OK, this looks fascinating--I'm amazed it's generated only two comments thus far. This reminds me of the systems being developed to allow chronic pain sufferers to see their brains as pain occurs, and use visual representations to control exactly what's going on in their own heads.

The idea of representing an object or process via sound seems a great way to tap something that's intrinsic to all humans--organizing sound into music--to make complex things more easily comprehensible (like a GUI does, for instance--or consciousness itself, for that matter).
posted by LooseFilter at 2:04 PM on February 6, 2007

I give it comment points too.
posted by Alex404 at 2:31 PM on February 6, 2007

Thanks, all. I was starting to get a little worried that this post was either getting lost in the crowd, or that no one else found it that noteworthy. I thought this was fascinating when I read about it, and while I usually frown upon the idea (for me) of reposting something from BoingBoing, I thought this was too interesting to pass up.

I tried to find out more information about this project, and more resources, but searching the web has come up with very little, so I apologize if it's a bit sparse. I posted it partly in the hopes that someone else might know more, or that someone from the research group might pop in here, and also because it seemed like a topic that seemed like it could engender some interesting discussion.

Here's another link on his website that I initially missed, a list of his works that use sonification in their composition.

His piece on Jiyeh looks particularly interesting.
posted by wander at 3:02 PM on February 6, 2007

Okay, after trying a different route, here's a few more interesting things:

A general summary of sonification research, and some of the possibilities.

A Java based sonification applet, vOICe. Previously mentioned on Mefi here and here.

The homepage of iSIC, the Information Music project (explained in photo-cartoon form), with some samples.

A downloadable Java based sonification applet, the Sonification Soundbox, from the Georgia Institute of Technology Psychology Department's Sonification Lab. Check out their research, and browse other programs for download like the Audio Abacus, over at their Index Page.

For those that enjoy reading research papers, a list of sonification related research from Bielefeld University.

Another research project, from the Argonne National Research Laboratory.

Another downloadable Java-based software applet, xSonify, this time from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Space Physics Data Facility.

The music of the web, or monitoring webservers through sonification, at WebMelody.

The Sonification of You, a research/art installation project that monitors wireless devices. (warning: sound)

Finally, figuring out how to use sound to monitor Volcanoes.
posted by wander at 3:56 PM on February 6, 2007

Nifty! Bookmarked. :)
posted by sleeplessunderwater at 5:04 PM on February 6, 2007

Exciting post wander, thanks.
posted by nickyskye at 5:13 PM on February 6, 2007

Wander - sometimes it's frustrating to see stuff on BoingBoing since you know that it won't generate discussion- it's nice to see it here as well.

This is a great collection of links! Thanks!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 5:59 PM on February 6, 2007

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