ProteinMusic icon
ProteinMusic is a Java program converting DNA sequences into music. The original idea for this project came from Ross D. King at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and Colin G. Angus from the Shamen .

ProteinMusic running on macOS

They developed a program written in C on an Apple Mac together with a MIDI connection to a synthesizer in 1996. This program is a complete re-write of the original program in Java by Andreas Karwath .

I did some minor changes, added new FASTA sequences, code cleanup, recompiled and signed the .jar file.

Requirements

The program is written in Java, therefore it is necessary to have at least either the Java Run-Time-Environment (JRE) or the full Java Standard Edition (SDK) installed. Either version can be downloaded for nearly any system from SUN Oracle’s Java page.

License

This software can be copied and used freely providing it is not resold in any form and
its use is acknowledged. This software is provided by "as is" and any express or
implied warranties, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of
merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose are disclaimed. In no event shall
the regents or contributors be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special,
exemplary, or consequential damages (including, but not limited to, procurement of
substitute goods or services; loss of use, data, or profits; or business interruption)
however caused and on any theory of liability, whether in contract, strict liability,
or tort (including negligence or otherwise) arising in any way out of the use of
this software, even if advised of the possibility of such damage.

Download

Audio

Escherichia coliSARS-COV-2
Download mp3 | midi | fastaDownload mp3 | midi | fasta
 
Dengue virusEquine influenza virus H3N8
Download mp3 | midi | fastaDownload mp3 | midi | fasta

Installation

Just unzip the file, it should create a file called ProteinMusic.jar and three sub directories (docs, sequences and src). To start the program simply start it with this command line:

$ java -jar ProteinMusic.jar

Get sequences from National Center for Biotechnology Information .

Warning

The programs tends to get very slow in converting the DNA to MIDI as well as displaying the sequence while playing if DNA sequences with more than 600 to 700 bps are used.

Uses

“The track S2 Translation was generated from the DNA sequence and the amino acid characteristics of the S2 protein. The time signature of the piece is given by the codon: 3 base pairs per codon gives one codon per bar, hence the time signature is 3/4 or waltz time. The ‘top line melody’ comes directly from the base pair sequence itself (the bases cystosine, adenine, guanine and thymidine being mapped to the notes C, A G and E respectively) while progressions in the bass are reflective of the characteristics of the amino acids which are the result of translation.

The number and nature of bass notes per codon/bar were determined by the hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity, ionic charge (positive or negative) and size of each amino acid residue (Proline, for example,which has no characteristics other than its small size, can be identified easily as the bars where the bass line ‘drops out’). The musical output resulting from these rules was further processed by mapping the notes onto different tonalities, both to make the piece more interesting, and to suggest the organisation of the protein molecule into regions of different secondary structure (although since S2 is a membrane protein and thus impossible to crystallise outside the lipid bilayer, this was definitely creative licence).

S2 is the receptor protein for 5-hydroxy tryptamine (Serotonin) and presumably for other tryptamines as well. It is thus one of the most important molecules in the mediation of both ordinary and non-ordinary (or “Shamanic”) states of consciousness, which is why the molecule was chosen for this piece." - Colin Angus

References

King, R.D. & Angus, C.G. (1996) PM: Protein Music. CABIOS. 12, pages 251-252