The music of snakes and computing machines
[ by Charles Cameron — with enough joy here for all lovers of classical music, herpetology and the national pastime — but I’m stunned by one most curious herpetology-Bach crossover in particular — and more ]
Here’s a fine DoubleQuote:
I gave you the snake first, in about as amusing a context as I could find: Now here’s the serpentine windings of a Bach melody, as tracked by musical-graphics maestro Stephen Malinowski::
The music is Bach’s Cantata 140 (Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme), performed by members of the Netherlands Bach Society (s part of their All of Bach project.
I think of the vaulted arches of Hermann Hesse’shundred gated cathedral of mind as places where science / technology and the arts / humanities map closely to one another — my locus classicus being the analogy between van Gogh‘s night sky and von Karman‘s vortex street, with which by now you are likely all familiar..
Far more unexpected, yet incredibly rich, it seems to me, is this close correspondence between music and snake. Does this suggest any further explorations to anyone? Ali Minai, anything this suggests for AI? Anyone?
Ada Lovelace‘s vision of the applicability of the Jacquard loom’s punched cards to Charles Babbage‘s engine is another instance, at the apex of an arch, I think — and it’s interesting to note that Lady Lovelace speculated that Babbage‘s machine
might act upon other things besides number… the Engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent
Howzzat? as we cry out in cricket.