Sonification: A Little Data Music

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Sonification is the act of representing data as sound. Any data will do, but data that has a pattern will make better music, and if you don't know whether your data has a pattern or not, sonification may help you find out.

A fractal is "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be subdivided in parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole", according to Wikipedia. Many musicians have experimented with converting fractal shapes into music. Fractal Vibes has examples and links to more fractal music.
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Your chance to hear music from brain waves, gene sequences, and more after the jump.

This piano piece was created by assigning notes to the digits 0 through 9 in the constant known as pi. Pi has no repetitive patterns, so the piece sounds random, but has a mathematical beauty all its own. Hear more examples of turning math into music at Math Sonification and The Sound of Mathematics.
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In the news just last week, scientists at UCLA are working to convert genome-encoded protein sequences into musical notes in order to hear auditory protein patterns. Listen to the conversion of the sequence found in horse hemoglobin.
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Paras Kaul of mississippi State University, known as The Brainwave Chick, uses converted brain wave music in her recording. Hear some examples of brain wave conversions here, and a musical composition entitled The Brain on Om here.
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Musician Roberto Morales-Manzanares, a student at UC Berkeley, worked with physicists to convert electrons from the sun (solar wind) to music. Listen to a section of Turning Point.
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Berkeley has more on the process of sonification, including software you can use to convert data to sound waves.

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December 26, 2007 - 3:05am
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