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Music that comes straight from the soul…er, DNA

I don't think art should be slave to knowledge, so I'm always skeptical when I hear about choreographers or composers basing their creations on scientific principles. But this collaboration is just seriously cool: It's a musical work, Allele, based on original research into the "genetic determinants of musical ability." Andrew Morley, MD, a consultant anaesthetist, said in a May announcement:

Both parts of the project directly address genetic complexity. The music is stunning because of this but, correspondingly, those looking for a simple answer to the question 'what makes us musical?' will be disappointed. The genetics are so much more complicated than a single 'musical gene'. What is already apparent, though, is that genetic polymorphisms influencing our musicality may also affect aspects of our personality, specifically our altruistic tendencies.

Skip to minute 14:42 of this Nature Medicine podcast and listen to 40 members of the New London Chamber Choir sing parts based on their own genetic code.

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