The recent announcement about finding music in the cubes of Rosslyn Chapel has me feeling skeptical. I’m looking at the cubes, to me they look like cubes with the kinds of doodles that I do when I’m stuck in meetings. Apparently a composer and his code-breaking father “found the music” in the cube pattern. It doesn’t really surprise me that this pair would find music in there. But is it music, or is it just random sounds that they are interpreting as music? Well I suppose perhaps we will find out when they put the concert on. The snippets I’ve heard sound reasonable but I don’t understand their methodology.
If you dig around on the web you’ll find people who had similar ideas about these cubes back in 2002, and you’ll find people who hope that playing this “symphony” will cause some secret hidden in the cathedral to unlock. Uh huh.
In any case, hearing about this led me to wonder what “cymatics”, and “Chladni patterns”, are. Wikipedia and YouTube to the rescue, of course!
Here’s a cool video showing the vibration modes of a Chladni plate. I apologize to those of you using RSS feed readers, I don’t think the videos I’ve been embedding in blog entries ever show up. Or if they are, please let me know what feed and what reader you are using, as the ones I’ve tested didn’t show them. Thanks!