archive: Re: SETI Music to ETIs?

Re: SETI Music to ETIs?

Brian Wong ( (no email) )
Sun, 20 Dec 1998 15:31:46 -0800

----Original Message-----
From: David Woolley <>

>Human music is not noise like. It is composed of rythmic units and

Agreed, music is not noise and it would likely not be mistaken for noise due
to its repetitive structure and ratios. So it would not be confused with
random noise. I used (or misused) the term noise to mean non-meaningful
information or information that cannot be clearly interpreted and


>makes the result key independent, and would show up as clearly of
>intelligent origin.

Very interesting. This is a field of study in itself. I have much to
learn. I agree again, there would be no mistake that music was from an
intelligent origin.

But how do you convey the purpose of music??? Suppose ETI have no analog to
music, then what is music? What is the purpose of music? Furthermore, how
can the purpose of music be conveyed via a binary bit stream to an
intelligence that has no analog? Because we "enjoy" it? How do we convey
the feeling "enjoy" or feelings at all for that matter? I think that the
majority of information conveyed between humans are descriptions of feelings
that will likely not translate at all in non-terrestrial contexts.

So if the vibrations of Mozart or Handel should land on the external sensors
of ETI what would it mean to them? What is the underlying purpose and