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Geoscience Communication An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 30 Mar 2020

Submitted as: research article | 30 Mar 2020

Review status
A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal GC.

ElectroMagnetic Music: a new tool for attracting people interest in Geosciences, while sensitizing them to planet sustainability

Antonio Menghini1, Stefano Pontani2, Vincenzo Sapia3, and Tiziana Lanza3 Antonio Menghini et al.
  • 1Aarhus Geofisica s.r.l., Via Giuntini 13, 56021, Cascina (PI), Italy
  • 2Musician, Via Treviso 15, Viterbo, Italy
  • 3Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Via di Vigna Murata 605, 00143, Roma, Italy

Abstract. EMusic stands for ElectroMagnetic Music and it is a scientific-musical project born in Italy. The idea is to transform the voltage response collected by Transient ElectroMagnetic Method (TEM), a well-known geophysical tool for exploring the subsurface, into musical pitches. This novel approach enables to extract musical pieces, reflecting the effective geological setting, so that we can claim that any site can be represented by its own soundtrack (i.e. the soundscape, the audio component of a landscape). As a consequence, it is possible to compose musical tracks describing faithfully the risk and many other geological issues related to different environmental scenarios.

Since the beginning, a band of musicians experimented the EMusic giving concerts all over the world covering different geological locations. The sound representing each scenario was recovered in situ with the above-mentioned methodology. Some excerpts of the concerts have been also reproduced in a couple of occasions during the EGU General Assembly. Other experiments involved EMusic as a soundscape for enhancement of archaeological (Ancient Roman Theater of Ferento) and geo-touristic sites (Viterbo Underground and Vesuvius Volcano). The events were the occasion for sensitizing people about Volcanism, Volcanic risk, Paleontology, Climatic changes, Earthquakes and so on. During the concerts geoscientists introduce every track, by preparing the audience about what they are going to listen. The audience can experience a journey into the Earth by riding the eddy currents produced by the EM field. Not only it is a travel in space, but also in time, as we explore through EMusic older and older geological formations. The various musical-scientific performances – based on the sonification of EM data collected in different parts of the World including Italy – obtained positive feedbacks from the audience that enjoyed the shows.

We are also implementing a project, named Georisonanze, to bring the EMusic in secondary schools to introduce students to the investigation of Earth with modern techniques while sensitizing them to planet sustainability. For the first time, we preview to pass to an evaluation phase, to better understand its intrinsic potential, through targeted tools.

Antonio Menghini et al.

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Antonio Menghini et al.

Antonio Menghini et al.


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Latest update: 07 Jul 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The EMusic project was born with the aim to use Music as a tool to explain to a wide audience the role of Geophysics and Geology in our society: by means of the sonification of the EM response of the Earth, we are able to accompany people in an imaginary voyage into the subsurface, so that they can travel into depth and into the past. By this way the audience can learn what was the geological evolution of the site used as a natural stage, from where the EM data were collected.
The EMusic project was born with the aim to use Music as a tool to explain to a wide audience...