Cymatics Research - Musicology

Music, in the absolute sense, is the invisible geometry of the Universe, a delicate tracery of frequencies that harmonise with each other, from which all matter manifests. The conductor of this sublime symphony is the Creative Force of the Universe. 

Music, as sensed by humans is a delicate tracery of audible frequencies that harmonise with each other and generally please our emotions. What is not commonly known, but is clearly demonstrated in these videos, is that music has the seemingly magical power to create form from formlessness. MusicMadeVisible is still under development but an exciting future lies ahead when all music can be described to the visual realm, with the aid of the CymaScope instrument. This new technology is likely to be of great assistance to profoundly deaf people and those with other life challenges.



The Development of MusicMadeVisible--Halo Drum

In collaboration with musician, Matthew Calder, we imaged a short Halo Drum melody as part of our ongoing development of MusicMadeVisible in which the complex harmonic structures within music are made visible in real time video mode on the CymaScope instrument. No color was added to the video.

The Halo Drum features a highly distinctive mix of harmonics and the sustain of each note, particularly the C3, is several seconds in duration, allowing the harmonics to be rendered visible.

The Development of MusicMadeVisible - Male Vocal

In collaboration with Japanese vocalist, Yantara Jiro, we imaged a short vocal melody to assess how quickly the CymaScope's water membrane is able to follow changes in the pitch of musical sounds. The water has a natural hysteresis, thus, it takes a finite time for the water molecules to take up new wavelet placements in response to a new set of imposed frequencies.

This effect can be seen during the moments of transition as Yantara changes his vocal pitch during progress of the melody. The color was added as an experiment in which each musical note was allocated with a specific color.

The Development of MusicMadeVisible--Halo Drum





The Development of MusicMadeVisible--Male Vocal

12 Piano notes made visible for the first time

Shannon Novak, a New Zealand-born fine artist, commissioned us to image 12 piano notes as inspiration for a series of 12 musical canvases. We decided to image the notes in video mode because when we observed the 'A1' note we discovered, surprisingly, that the energy envelope changes over time as the string's harmonics mix in the piano's wooden bridge. Instead of the envelope being fairly stable, as we had imagined, the harmonics actually cause the CymaGlyphs to be wonderfully dynamic. Our ears can easily detect the changes in the harmonics and the CymaScope now reveals them--probably a first in acoustic physics.

Capturing the dynamics was only possible with HD video but taming the dynamics of the piano's first strike, followed by the short plateau and long decay phase, was tricky.

We achieved the result with the help of a professional audio compressor operating in real time.

12 Piano Notes

Shannon was delighted with the results. He commented:

"I have always been fascinated with the translation of that which is invisible, into something visible that individuals can relate to, in particular, the representation of sound through colour and geometric form. I saw the use of cymatic technology as one method of such representation and a unique and compelling way of educating individuals about the link between sound, colour, and geometric form".

Piano notes made visible on the CymaScope

For the first time in history individual piano notes have been made visible using the CymaScope instrument.
The piano notes were painstakingly recorded by Evy King and then fed into the CymaScope one by one
and the results recorded in high definition video.

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Music, in the absolute sense, is the invisible geometry of the cosmos, a delicate tracery of frequencies that harmonise with each other and from which all matter manifests.

The conductor of this sublime symphony is the Creative Force of the cosmos, some people prefer to say: God

Music, as sensed by humans, is a delicate tracery of audible frequencies that harmonise with each other and  generally please our emotions.

What is not commonly known is that music has the almost magical power to create form from formlessness. If the reader doubts this, click the arrow below to view water under the influence of music,  revealing the invisible geometry of music.

MMV technology is still under development but as this excerpt from Pink Floyd's "Welcome to the Machine" shows, an exciting future lies ahead when all music can be transcribed to MusicMadeVisible.

musicmadevisible is a new concept in musical expression, a stream of cymatic images representing an analog of music in visual form. If our eyes could see music we would not see waves, as is commonly believed, but beautiful holographic bubbles, with shimmering kaleidoscopic patterns on their surface. The CymaScope allows us to see this previously hidden realm of beauty.



Violin Cymatics

Almost all audible sounds are bubble-like in nature, not wave-like as is commonly believed. If our eyes could see music they would be bathed in scintillating kaleidoscope-like patterns

The Cymascope is an instrument that makes sound or music visible, creating detailed 3D impressions of sound or music vibrations.Here the rapidly expanding sphere is captured in a frozen moment. The interior reveals a beautiful and complex structure representing the rich harmonic nature of violin music.

musicmadevisible images can be thought of as analogs of music because the geometry they contain is a mathematical correlate of the musical pitches and intervals that caused the pattern to form on the Cymascope membrane.

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