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Theremin Orrery

Music of the spheres
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Each planet in this orrery is a theremin tuned to a base note proportional to the mass of the body it represents. As the mechanism turns, each theremin will play a note above its base note that is the sum of inverse squares of the distances to all the other bodies in the system. Or something much like that.

The sun, remaining equidistant to all the other bodies* and having the largest mass will provide a constant low-frequency drone, much like the drone on a bagpipe, while the others will slowly glide up and down in pitch with the shifting alignment of the planets.

I imagine it would sound like nine slowly oscillating swanee whistles played over the low E on a church organ.

*Yes I know orbits are elliptical but they aren't in an orrery as it is a pre-Newtonian invention, we had all this out yesterday.

wagster, Feb 17 2010

Musica Universalis http://en.wikipedia.../Musica_universalis
[zen_tom, Feb 17 2010]

The Harmony of the World http://www.willieruff.com/kepler.html
A Realization for the Ear of Johannes Kepler's Data from Harmonices Mundi 1619 [pocmloc, Feb 17 2010]

The mp3 from the above link http://www.willieru....Mercuryoutward.mp3
Took me an age to find. [wagster, Feb 18 2010]


       I could see it playing the theme song from Star Trek, TOS. Can we put the Enterprise in there somewhere?
RayfordSteele, Feb 17 2010

       //sum of inverse squares of the distances to all the other bodies in the system//   

       Seems to correlate to the actual gravity wells that would be created by such a circular orbit system.   

       My lunch break, however is not long enough to actually figure anything out one way or the other ...   

       Shirley some one here has both the knowledge and the lack of something to do ...   

       [+], by the way.
MikeD, Feb 17 2010

       The link I posted to Willie Ruff's site is I think a pretty good implementation of this (with synthesiser instead of theremins). There is a good mp3 on the website, and you can also buy a full length CD of it. It actually does sound pretty awesome, especially on good headphones (each planet moves across the stereo soundstage)
pocmloc, Feb 17 2010

       Just a small comment about the grammar in your post, if you don't mind: in "each theremin will play a note above it's base note" should be "its". Thanks.   

       ("it's" = "it is" or "it has")
DavideAndrea, Feb 18 2010

       // orbits are elliptical but they aren't in an orrery as it is a pre- Newtonian invention //   

       It must have been a tremendous achievement for your species, given the primitive technology of the late 17th century, to go round and change over all the planetary orbits from circular to elliptical. Is that why you needed to switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar ?
8th of 7, Aug 15 2014

       It seems that [DavideAndrea] was a highly promising pedant who fell by the wayside. I wonder what went wrong?
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 15 2014


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