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Earth system music: the methodology and reach of music generated from the United Kingdom earth system model

de Mora, L., Sellar, A. A., Yool, A., Palmieri, J., Smith, R. S., Kuhlbrodt, T. ORCID:, Parker, R. J., Walton, J., Blackford, J. C. and Jones, C. G. (2020) Earth system music: the methodology and reach of music generated from the United Kingdom earth system model. Geoscience Communications, 3. pp. 263-278. ISSN 2569-7110

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To link to this item DOI: 10.5194/gc-3-263-2020


Scientific data is almost always represented graphically either in figures or in videos.With the ever-growing interest from the general public towards understanding climate science, it is becoming increasingly important that we present this information in ways accessible to non-experts. In this pilot study, we use time series data from the first United Kingdom Earth System model (UKESM1) to create six procedurally generated musical pieces and use them to test whether we can use music to engage with the wider community. Each of these pieces is based around a unique part of UKESM1’s ocean component model, either in terms of a scientific principle or a practical aspect of modelling. In addition, each piece is arranged using a different musical progression, style and tempo. These pieces were performed by the digital piano synthesizer, TiMidity++, and were published on the lead author’s YouTube channel. The videos all show the time progression of the data in time with the music and a brief description of the methodology is posted below the video. To disseminate these works, a link to each piece was published on the lead authors personal and professional social media accounts. The reach of these works was analysed using YouTube’s channel monitoring toolkit for content creators, YouTube studio. In the first ninety days after the first video was published, the six pieces reached at least 251 unique viewers, and have 553 total views. We found that most of the views occurred in the fourteen days immediately after each video was published. In effect, once the concept had been demonstrated to an audience, there was reduced enthusiasm from that audience to return to it immediately. This suggests that to use music effectively as an science outreach tool, the works needs to reach new audiences or new and unique content needs to be delivered to a returning audience.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:91988


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