Absurd

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The Atlantic posted an article Here’s What the Higgs Boson Sounds Like The Higgs Boson is in equal temperament?  Intuition says this is unlikely.  Where are all the harmony parts coming from? Did all the data points come out in strict 16th notes?  Come on people! This is like one of those stupid movies that asks you to suspend all disbelief for the sake of some naive context.

Actually the basis is the “Sonification Project”, headed by Domenico Vicinanza, product manager at Dante (Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe), Cambridge, UK

“Sonification worked by attaching a musical note to each data. So, when you hear the resulting melody you really are hearing the data,” Vicinanza said.

The researchers mapped intervals between values in the original data set to interval between notes in the melody. The same numerical value was associated to the same note. As the values increased or decreased, the pitch of the notes grew or diminished accordingly.

“In this way any regularity in the scientific data can be naturally mapped to the melody: if the data are periodic (they are marked by a repeated cycle) the sonification will be a music melody which will have the same periodicity and regularity,” Vicinanza said.

In the sonification, each semiquaver corresponded to an increase of 5 gigaelectronvolts (GeV). The detection of the Higgs-like particle around the 126 gigaelectronvolt mass-energy range (GeV), was then expressed by a peak made of three high notes (about 3.5 seconds into the recording).

The bump corresponding to the new particle is represented by an F note which is two octaves above the preceding F note, a C which is the most acute note in the music (also two octaves above the subsequent C note) representing the peak of the Higgs, and a E note.

“The discovery of the Higgs-like particle is a major step forward in our knowledge of the world around us. By using sonification we are able to make this breakthrough easier to understand by the general public,” Vicinanza said.

“Amazingly, the sonification produced a habanera-like music.”

Well, I say Vicinanza is a cheap publicity hound, and all of this is ridiculous.

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Welcome to the blog on the website of Hank Hehmsoth. Here you'll find many and varied writings of Hank Hehmsoth, from opinions, to articles and videos from related topics, and last but not least, his music. Hank frequently gives readings and talks in the Austin/San Marcos area as well as the rest of the country. If you are a creative composer or music professor and are interested in Hank teaching a master class on improvisation, composition, and related topics, such as jazz piano and harmony, at your college or university, contact him directly.
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One Response to Absurd

  1. h_project says:

    in 4/4, all 16ths, no rests, and mm = 90? where is the starting point? how did all of this get selected?

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