|"One day, my system will be used|
to categorize cupcakes, texts, and
While researching an upcoming post, I encountered a few 'Periodic Tables of Music.' Here's one for jazz, and another for pop music. But what about a table where the atoms themselves compose the music?
Enter Mahadev Kumbar, an Adjunct Professor at Nassau Community College in New Jersey. I found his Musical Periodic Table in a 2007 article and associated lecture series written for the Journal of Chemical Education.
From his introduction:
"One (perhaps surprising) aspect of the natural world is that each and every process in nature—chemical or otherwise—produces some kind of sound, whether audible (20 Hz–20 kHz) or nonaudible (<0 Hz and >20 kHz), characteristic of that process. Those sounds, I believe, are the music that is the universal language of the natural world."To construct his table, Kumbar grabbed a few lines from each element's emission spectrum. He then mathematically transformed the energies of elemental electronic transitions into characteristic notes played by each atom.
Kumbar also notes that "atoms...clustered together...tend to generate unique and distinct music." Perhaps each element could be considered a player in a nanoscale symphony: for instance, silver bromide (AgBr) plays a beautiful open third (C6-E6), while bleach (sodium hypochlorite, NaOCl) plays more of an inverted C#min chord, stretched across three octaves (E5-G6-C#7).