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Musical Highways November 15, 2007

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.

highway   Well, you beat me to it again, Shizuo Shinoda. There is a stretch of road near Kolb and Speedway in Tucson, Arizona, that plays a little tune as your tires roll over strips and gouges in the asphalt. The tune, not really so much in tune of more something akin to a piece of atonal experimental music, had a great deal of potential. I always thought that if I had my own stretch of highway to play with it could create some sort of symphonic piece the cars could play as they drove over it.

It turns out now that researchers in Japan have built a simple Japanese melody into a piece of highway in Hokkaido. This time next year, mark my words, there will be competitions for the creation of musical highway pieces. It could become an entirely new and accepted genre. I wonder what secrets messages would emerge if you drove over them backwards.

Oh, wait, instead of highbrow musical numbers, it is almost a dead certainty that the first formal tunes in North America will likely be jingles for snack foods. Sigh.



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