whitney music box - var. 10 - chromatic - 64 pipe cyrpto calliope

in this variation the 64 dots are arranged in a chromatic sequence in which the order of the notes has been scrambled by XORing them with the number 42

music generated using a Perl script, the synthesis toolkit (STK) and calico

View this variation on a page by itself...

A musical realization of the motion graphics of John Whitney as described in his book "digital harmony"

Animation and music by Jim Bumgardner of krazydad.com and the wheel of lunch. Jim makes free puzzles, including sudoku, killer sudoku, kakuro, mazes, and thousands of other puzzles.

Music box variations:

var. 0 - chromatic - 48 tines
var. 1 - harmonics of 55hz
var. 2 - harmonics of 20hz
var. 3 - harmonics of 48hz, reversed
var. 4 - harmonics of 48hz, palindrome
var. 5 - chromatic - 88 tines
var. 6 - microtones
var. 7 - harmonics - 120 tines, reversed
var. 8 - chromatic - 88 organ pipes, rev.
var. 9 - chromatic - 88 bars, rev.
var. 10 - chromatic - 64 pipe cyrpto calliope
var. 11 - minute waltz - 60 keys, 60 seconds
var. 12 - chromatic - prime numbers only
var. 13 - chromatic - non-primes only
var. 14 - stereo
var. 15 - stereo - 120
var. 16 - stereo - 210
var. 17 - hand cranked
var. 18 - stereo drone (new)
var. 19 - stereo sonar (new)
var. 20 - bell carol (new)

Creative Commons License
Whitney Music Box by Jim Bumgardner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

More detailed information can be found in this post

Here is a git repository of sample source code / reference implementations in a variety of languages, including Flash/Actionscript, ChucK, Pure Data (PD), SuperCollider, Nyquist, pyo, Processing, Perl, and Syd. You'll also find MIDI files in there. Email me if you'd like to contribute.


The source code examples have been moved into a Git Hub repository. I am working on a building a physical Whitney Music Box at @CRASHspaceLA, as well as experimenting with using Processing + PD + OSC to manipulate these animations and sounds in real time.

Fans of the Whitney Music Box will enjoy the Wheel of Stars - a music box made from astronomical data.

An installation piece containing several Whitney Music Boxes was presented at Cranks, Cams & Computers, in the Los Angeles area on June 26th, 2009. I also debuted a musical chess game.

Do you want a genuine Whitney Music Box disc for your music box? Jack Perron, the same expert who cut the discs for Björk's beautiful album Vespertine will make one for you. Just head over to Hens Tooth Music, and ask. He can make ones that will fit many antique music boxes. They're beautiful!

Here's a fun 20 minute presentation in which I demonstrated an audience-participation version of the hand-cranked Whitney Music Box at the GEL conference in NYC. The first 10 minutes I'm blathering on about screensavers and information theory.

A new product, Reaktor Animated Circuits from Native Instruments has an interesting sequencer called Spiral (shown above) which was inspired by the Whitney Music Box. You'll also need the latest version of Reaktor 5 in order to operate and view the user interface.

more toys by jbum: colrpickr, coverpop, wheel music, mindpower, ascii cam, mandala of the day