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The Symphony of Science

The Symphony of Science is a musical project headed by John Boswell designed to deliver scientific knowledge and philosophy in musical form.

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Science Is both Musical and Poetic!

  • Feb 27, 2010
Rating:
+5


I first stumbled upon the fifth installment of The Symphony of Science through a friend's Twitter post. As an English and History major, "The Poetry of Reality" struck an immediate chord. I love when different disciplines interact and overlap. Education and learning becomes more fun, both for the student and the teacher. I appreciated how the video expressed that concept through music and poetry. Because I enjoyed the video so much, I read the description for more information. That was when I discovered that it was a fifth installment, meaning there were more videos out there I could watch! Luckily, "The Poetry of Reality" had information about the website as well as links to the previous four installments. Even after listening to the others, the first one I viewed (and most recently made) is still my favorite.

These are amazingly produced videos! The music in all five videos remind me of Owl City or other light techno or new age music. What I especially liked was the way the scientists' words became parts of the songs and musics. There were amazing shots of galaxies, molecules, animals, the Earth, stars, the Sun, and nature (to name a few elements in the video). The most fascinating thing about these videos is how quickly they engage the viewer and teach us things about science. Of course the videos cannot be as comprehensive as what you would read in a science textbook. However, they do catch your attention quickly and give little blurbs of information that will probably inspire you to do more research. This is especially relevant to a younger audience who can easily get bored by science jargon. When you get intrigued and curious about science at a young age, it usually sticks with you for the rest of your life. For example, after watching the videos, I was inspired to learn more about Carl Sagan, who was featured prominently in each installment.

Even though I find these videos simply astounding, especially as an educational tool, there are some downsides to them. First off, they can get repetitive, which is most noticeable to me in "Glorious Dawn" and "Our Place in the Cosmos." Most of the time, though, the repetition didn't bother me. In fact, I see it as a great teaching tool, especially when learning the basics of an academic discipline. It is through repetition that we grow and learn. Second, the earlier videos have subtitles, so I found myself reading those instead of watching the videos. I disliked how it distracted me from the beautiful and often strange scientific images. Finally, it unknowingly highlights that there are few female scientists easily recognized by the general community. There were only three women I remembered being featured: Jane Goodall in "The Unbroken Thread" and Jill Tarter and Carolyn Porco in "The Poetry of Reality." Hopefully, more women will get inspired to enter the science fields through such projects as The Symphony of Science.

This was quite an unique find to stumble upon as this is not something I would usually seek out on my own accord. I give major props to John Boswell and the Druyan-Sagan Associates. They have not only delivered scientific knowledge and philosophy in music form but have offered new inspiration about life and the unknown. Plus, it was fun seeing big names such as Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan educating the public alongside Bill Nye the Science Guy. Talk about a blast from the past!
Science Is both Musical and Poetic! Science Is both Musical and Poetic!

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March 03, 2010
Very interesting. Never heard of this series before. Taking these comments and putting them to music is a cool idea. I agree that kids might want to learn more about science by watching these clips. Awesome.
March 03, 2010
Neither had I! I think it was a great find! I'm sure they will create more installments. The followers are increasing. Which one was your favorite?
 
March 02, 2010
Great review! More of such videos need to be made!
March 02, 2010
Thanks so much! I couldn't agree more. If I had been exposed to such videos as a child, I might have wanted to study science and math more.
 
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Adrianna Simone ()
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About this website

Currently, there are five installments of The Symphony of Science videos which can be found at http://www.symphonyofscience.com/. The following is the current order: 1. A Glorious Dawn 2. We Are All Connected 3. Our Place in the Cosmos 4. The Unbroken Thread 5. The Poetry of Reality- "An Anthem for Science"

Wiki

The Symphony of Science is a music project created by Washington-based electronic musician John Boswell. The project seeks to "spread scientific knowledge and philosophy through musical remixes." Boswell uses pitch corrected audio and video samples from television programs featuring popular scientists and educators. The audio and video clips are mixed into digital mashups and scored with Boswell's original compositions. Two of Boswell's music videos, "A Glorious Dawn" and "We are All Connected", feature appearances from Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, and Stephen Hawking. The audio and video is sampled from popular science television shows including Cosmos, The Universe, The Eyes of Nye, The Elegant Universe, and Stephen Hawking's Universe.

The following are the current music video installments that have been released:

1. A Glorious Dawn


 
2. We Are All Connected


 
3. Our Place in the Cosmos


 
4. The Unbroken Thread


 
5. The Poetry of Reality- "An Anthem for Science"


 
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