If coronavirus were a composer its musical creations would sound something like this…
Scientists have translated coronavirus aka severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), into a unique musical arrangement that spans nearly two hours long. To do this, musician/engineer Markus Buehler and his team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology mapped the physical structure of coronavirus spike protein and attributed musical elements for it to play off.
Buehler believes this music reveals what microscopes cannot: “Our brains are great at processing sound. In one sweep, our ears pick up all of its hierarchical features: pitch, timbre, volume, melody, rhythm, and chords. We would need a high-powered microscope to see the equivalent detail in an image, and we could never see it all at once. Sound is such an elegant way to access the information stored in a protein.”
He also explains, specifically, what the music represents: “What you hear is a multi-layered algorithmic composition featuring both the vibrational spectrum of the entire protein (expressed in sound and rhythmic elements), the sequence and folding of amino acids that compose the virus spike structure, as well as interwoven melodies – forming counterpoint music – reflecting the complex hierarchical intersecting geometry of the protein.”
Despite the unfortunate replications of the coronavirus pandemic, its AI-generated score is surprisingly pleasing to the ear. Listen below and learn more about the process here.
Viral Counterpoint of the Coronavirus Spike Protein (2019-nCoV)
Source: ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Photo via Pixnio