You are listening to music, evolved.
I don’t mean that in the sense that it’s tomorrow’s next big electronica style, but rather that the music itself has undergone Darwinian selection.
DarwinTunes is a project of Bob MacCallum and Armand Leroi from Imperial College London. They wondered if music might evolve by means similar to the way natural selection acts on genetic traits, with the best bits surviving and remixing into a more fit future tune.
They began with this cacophony, a real mess of dissonance. Then they let listeners pick their favorite bits and allowed those loops to “mate”. What you hear above is the result after 3,000 generations of musical replication, and clear tendencies toward beat and harmony are evident. Of course, listeners come into this experiment with modern notions of what pleasant sounds mean, and real musical evolution took place over thousands of years and with hugely differing cultural influences.
Still, it’s a supremely cool melding of science and music, and a reminder that whether its cultural or genetic, everything is a remix. Check out Ed Yong’s writeup at the link below, hear the whole evolution here, and visit DarwinTunes for more.
(via Not Exactly Rocket Science)