FUN: Playing Patterns

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Science  23 Sep 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5743, pp. 1971
DOI: 10.1126/science.309.5743.1971e

For an amusing connection between math and music, tune in the new site Wolfram-Tones. Orchestrated by the company Wolfram Research of Champaign, Illinois, the site plays compositions based on cellular automata: complex geometrical patterns that arise from simple rules relating the color of a particular square to the colors of its neighbors. A section from one of these diagrams can serve as a musical score, in which the height of each square indicates the pitch of the note. The site lets you cue up songs in genres from hip-hop to country to Latin, or assign different instruments. You can also play around with the underlying math by altering the rule that generated the pattern.

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