Higgs boson sounds like habanera

16 July 2012, 15:35

The newly discovered ‘God particle’ swings like a Cuban dance, says composer Domenico Vicinanza.

After causing ripples in the world of physics, the discovery of the Higgs boson particle has hit the world of classical music. The so-called ‘God particle’ has been translated into a composition which is said to sound like a Cuban habanera.

Composer Domenico Vicinanza, product manager at DANTE (Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe) has written two pieces representing the Higgs boson particle. One is scored for piano, and the other is orchestrated for percussion, marimba and xylophone.

Each point on the graph was given a musical pitch, so the Higgs boson melody flows up and down along with the graph. The particle itself shows as a spike on the graph, which can be seen as a high point in the music – a high F, C and E, played two octaves above the rest of the score.

"The discovery of the Higgs-like particle is a major step forward in our knowledge of the world around us,” said Vicinanza. “By using sonification we are able to make this breakthrough easier to understand by the general public.”

Vicinanza hopes his musical discovery will encourage dialogue between the worlds of science and music. All of the information contained in the graph is contained in the music, so even the most physics-phobic might gain something from listening.

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