Making music out of the text
This topic contains 12 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by nikk 7 months, 2 weeks ago.
December 11, 2015 at 12:21 am #4402
I thought of an interesting way to translate the library into music partially using the French method of generating musical cryptograms. Letters A-G represent their respective notes, and H-Z are assigned to the note at the top of the column.
A B C D E F G
H I J K L M N
O P Q R S T U
V W X Y Z
Commas represent sharps, periods represent flats and space represent rests. Sharps and flats stack with each other or cancel each other out, and affect whichever letter comes immediately after them. For example:
“v.vkeoltjb,ae p” is translated to: A Ab D E A E F C B A# E (rest) B
I’ve been entertaining myself in class lately by trying to find interesting melodies in the hexes. I’m curious to see if I’ll ever stumble upon something recognizable!December 11, 2015 at 5:28 am #4429
Interesting, let us know if you find anything nice 🙂December 11, 2015 at 12:09 pm #4465
This is a very interesting idea! One could even extend it by assigning different octave registers to the different sets of letters. So you would have something like:
C D E F G A B would be (C2 D2 E2 F2 G2 A2 B2)
H I J K L M N would be (C3 D3 E3 F3 G3 A3 B3)
O P Q R S T U would be (C4 D4 E4 F4 G4 A4 B4)
V W X Y Z would be (C5 D5 E5 F5 G5)
just as an example. It might also be possible to read two lines of text at the same time interpreting the upper line in the treble clef and the lower line in the bass clef. That way you could increase the number of registers to 8. (However, this is a lot more complicated that reading line by line because of the special meaning of ,. and space)
Turning this idea into an algorithm shouldn’t be complicated at all. Then you could input a sequence of notes and it would translate it into letters and find the respective page in the library. You could also make it read any page and translate it into notes (and play those). Of course most of the time it would not sound too nice 😀 But I think it would be very interesting to see how accurately we could find and play famous melodies using the Library of Babel.December 11, 2015 at 3:24 pm #4486
My friend is actually making a program to be able to automatically translate it right now, a la google translate. I really like the idea about the octave assignment! Using that system would make it harder to find melodies that make musical sense, but easier to search for them.
My girlfriend is a sculpture artist, and is just as inspired by the library as I am. She’s working on something inspired by it right now, and we’re probably going to incorporate music “generated” by the library as well. If it turns out well, I’ll definitely post about it.December 11, 2015 at 3:35 pm #4488
Please share 🙂
Looking forward to seeing your friend’s program. If I have any time today I’ll try to see if I can play around and make an algorithm to listen to books. At least while I wait for a more refined version of this 🙂December 11, 2015 at 3:44 pm #4491
Awesome. Yeah, he probably won’t have it done until next week (finals week!), but I’m really excited to see how it turns out. This sort of reminds me of Cage finding inspiration in the I Ching.December 11, 2015 at 8:29 pm #4518
If you want to try listening to the books, I have already written a nice little script that you can check out at:
Sounds mostly interesting, but with the right settings just puts you into the perfect mood for a long library search.December 14, 2015 at 5:30 pm #4793
How do we get the script to run? Can’t seem to get it to workDecember 14, 2015 at 10:59 pm #4818
I’ve written out instructions here: https://libraryofbabel.info/forum/?topic=music-and-visual-art-libraries
And I’ll summarize them here:
2) right click the “Bookmarklet Here!” link and copy the link, then open a new tab, right click the bookmark bar, and select add page.
4) Go to any page of the library and select the bookmarklet from your bookmarks – it creates tones based on the letters on the page!December 16, 2015 at 12:49 pm #4917
Could someone clarify these instructions for Firefox or Edge. My Chrome was corrupted and is unusable.
With Firefox I copy the link, but when I go to put it in where the URL goes nothing happens. I cannot bookmark it. Hitting enter does nothing.
Edge is even more confusing.December 16, 2015 at 4:28 pm #4919
Try out these instructions and let me know if they work for you: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/bookmarklets-perform-common-web-page-tasksDecember 16, 2015 at 7:51 pm #4921
Earthpet, you’re probably having the same problem I’ve got.
Firefox, Icecat, nor Iceweasel will allow unsecure bookmarklets (I.E. scripts loaded from an HTTP rather than an HTTPS server), so I made a GH repo with the LOBMUSIC.js script (because GitHub’s got HTTPS) and edited the bookmarklet to load the script from there. Along with that, the bookmarklet loads jquery.min.js from a Google HTTP server. For this, just add an “s” after “http” and it’ll work.
It’s quite an annoying workaround, but it seems Firefox (and it’s derivative’s) unsecure script allowance is broken, at least it is for me.February 3, 2018 at 9:44 am #24378
this is really cool, thank you