Biomusic: The Music of Nature

September 1st, 2004 - August 31st, 2009 | PROJECT

Partnering with National Musical Arts, the Science Museum of Minnesota seeks to develop BioMusic, a 4,000 sq. ft. traveling exhibition that explores the origins of music in nature and the connections between music and sound of living things. This project is based on planning grant ESI-0211611 (The Music of Nature and the Nature of Music) awarded to NMA. The project is based on the emerging interdisciplinary research field of biomusic, which includes musicology plus aspects of neuroscience, biology, zoology, environmental science, physics, psychology, math and anthropology. The exhibit sections -- "Humanimal" Music; Natural Symphonies; Ancient Roots; Music, Body and Mind; and World of Music -- use both music and natural sound to explore biodiversity, cultural diversity, the physics of sound and the brain. BROADER IMPACT: The exhibition is expected to travel for at least six years, reaching some two million people in 18 communities. It is to be accompanied by a six-part radio series (Sweet Bird Classics) for young children. Because of the connection to music and many other areas of public interest, this exhibition has the potential to attract and engage new audiences to science museums and stimulate their interest in STEM.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

Wild Music: Sounds & Songs of Life
Pictures of Sound
Exhibition Evaluation: Summative Evaluation of Wild Music

Team Members

J Newlin, Principal Investigator, Science Museum of Minnesota
Wendy Pollock, Co-Principal Investigator, Science Museum of Minnesota
patricia gray, Co-Principal Investigator, National Musical Arts


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0407373
Funding Amount: 2701853


Audience: Elementary School Children (6-10) | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Art | music | theater | Life science | Mathematics | Physics | Social science and psychology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Broadcast Media | Exhibitions | Media and Technology | Museum and Science Center Exhibits