Donald Kravitz, Getty Images If you are frustrated by talk of a Metallica album…
- Posted on May 1st 2008 11:30AM by James Sullivan
Although you can't hear in a vacuum, music might hold the key to communication with alien life forms. That was the message presented by composer Philip Aaberg, who delivered the keynote address at a recent conference at NASA's Ames Research Center south of San Francisco.
Aaberg thinks the mathematically organized music of Bach is our best chance at soothing the savage little beasts who look like Kazoo from 'The Flintstones.'
"We're not sure if aliens will have the same kind of brain structure or if they'll be able to hear at all," he told the Great Falls Tribune in his home state of Montana. "We figure if you're an advanced culture you will have some kind of mathematics." Enough, at least, to know that a $15 iTunes gift card leaves you with 15 cents of useless balance.
Bach, Aaberg noted, topped the charts on the "golden record" launched on the Voyager probe ships in 1977. The great composer had three tunes on the 90-minute playlist sent into outer space. Beethoven had two; Chuck Berry, Louis Armstrong and chanting Navajos and Aborigines, among others, had one apiece.
But as Steve Martin once joked on 'Saturday Night Live,' when E.T.s found the record, they had a long-distance request, and it wasn't for Bach: "Send more Chuck Berry."
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