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Dance to Your Body’s Own Music

If you've ever been told to "march to the beat of your own drum" here's your chance to do that as literally as possible

smithsonian.com

If you’ve ever been told to “march to the beat of your own drum,” here’s your chance to do that as literally as possible. A company called Sensum based in in Belfast, U.K., had developed a system that creates music from a user’s heart rate, movement and even DNA.

Marie Boran from New Scientist tried it out:

I had the opportunity to try it for myself at CultureTech 2013 digital technology festival. With a sensor strapped around my waist to measure my heart rate and a moisture sensor on my fingers to measure physiological arousal levels, I discovered that, thanks to a double espresso, my personal music sounds like a full-on rave.

The program, called Mu_, isn’t the only one of its kind, reports Boran. The firm BioBeats developed an app that also creates music out of your body’s data. This time, rather than rave like music, the purpose is to make people more aware of their stress levels during the day. Or perhaps you want something even more personal. In that case, you can turn to gene2music, a program that translates DNA strings in to music. If you’ve had your genome sequenced by 23andME you can use the DNA Melody project to do the same. Boran explains:

Depending upon eye colour, how curly your hair is, how fast you metabolise caffeine and even how likely you are to sneeze in direct sunlight (photic sneeze reflex) different rhythm, timbre and pitch are generated with DNA Melody.

A neat thing about these genetic based songs is that you’re likely to sound familiar to those you’re related to, even while no two pieces of music are the same. Think of it like being your own drummer, in an awesome marching band.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Choir Members’ Hearts Beat in Time With Each Other

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About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

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