Extraterrestrial life Intelligent Design

Why DO we keep sending music to extraterrestrials?

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According to one theory (assuming that extraterrestrials exist), musicic is “an ideal medium for interstellar communication”:

Each song in the Sónar messages is only a few seconds long and might only be called music in the loosest sense of the word. One track was created by feeding an algorithm music and letting it remix the notes as it saw fit, which resulted in something that sounds like a horror movie sound effect. Another uses the atomic numbers of a handful of oxygen, silicon, and other elements as the frequencies for pure tones. These arrangements don’t make for easy listening, but that’s not the point. Instead, the artists use music as a way of conveying information, whether it’s about our aesthetic sensibilities, our technology, or our physiology—all topics that would presumably be of interest to an extraterrestrial recipient.

In many respects, the Sónar messages are on well-trodden ground. The first human-made object to make it to interstellar space, the Voyager 1 spacecraft, carries a gold-plated phonographic record that includes Mexican folk music, early rock and roll, a Peruvian wedding song, and more. In 2001, a message sent from the Evpatoria radar in Ukraine included theremin renditions of Beethoven, Vivaldi, and Gershwin; a few years later, NASA blasted a Beatles song at a star 400 light-years away.

Daniel Oberhaus, “Why We Keep Sending Music to Extraterrestrials” at Slate

And, having discovered we like rock, they sent us Oumuamua, right? 😉

See also: Philosophy prof: Our theories steer us away from finding ET. Every so often the people searching for extraterrestrial life that just never seems to turn up need a pep talk. It often takes the form of “You know, we could be on the wrong track”.


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4 Replies to “Why DO we keep sending music to extraterrestrials?

  1. 1
    EDTA says:

    I just assumed they would beam rock-and-roll out to the stars. That’s the genre that is (in my experience anyway) most often forced on other people.

  2. 2
    jawa says:

    I would suggest sending this beautiful song:


    I’m sure the aliens will like it. 🙂

  3. 3
  4. 4
    Truthfreedom says:

    Our brain chemistry is forcing us? We silly meat robots.

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