“Our ambition, with this Guide to Sound Objects, has always been to give researchers, musicians, music-lovers and all who are directly or indirectly interested in the sound-universe an unbiased, clear and dependable tool (if this can be done) for a better knowledge and understanding of Pierre Schaeffer’s considerable contribution to this field, by means of an inventory of the ideas and concepts developed in his most important work, the Traité des Objets Musicaux.”
Tutankhamun’s trumpet was one of the rare artefacts stolen from the Cairo Museum during the recent uprising. The 3,000-year-old instrument is rarely played, but a 1939 BBC radio recording captured its haunting sound.
Tutankhamun’s military trumpet is one of three known examples of this instrument preserved from ancient Egypt. It was fashioned from metal sheets covered with gold.
The mouthpiece is in the shape of a cylindrical sleeve with a silver ring at the outer end, fixed to a tube. On the outside of the bell is a panel depicting the king wearing the Blue Crown and holding the crook scepter “Heka”. He stands before a shrine containing the figure of the god Ptah in the form of a mummy.
The inscription reads, “The Great One, Ptah, south-of-his-wall, Lord of Truth, Creator of all that the king receives, Life from Amun-Re, King of all Gods. He who rests his other hand on the king’s shoulders, behind the falcon-headed god, Re-Horakhty, the good god, Lord of Gold”.
All the figures are shown standing under the hieroglyphic sign for heaven and the baseline symbolizes the earth.
Translation of text: “The Great One, Ptah, south-of-his-wall, Lord of Truth, Creator of all that the king receives, Life from Amun-Re, King of all Gods. He who rests his other hand on the king’s shoulders, behind the falcon-headed god, Re-Horakhty, the good god, Lord of Gold”.
This octave of the electromagnetic spectrum, about a million times higher frequency than the octave our eyes respond to, contains very little energy that originates in our solar system. Almost all of the energy in this band is a result of unbelievably energetic radiation coming from the far reaches of the universe, ‘Cosmic Rays’. Fortunately, they tend not to make it all the way through the approximately 100 miles of air over our heads. As they smash their way through the atmosphere the collisions produce energetic emissions and it is these secondary emissions the Kosmophone responds to. The energy level of each detected event is measured and that information is sent to the MIDI control port of a music synthesizer. The ‘cosmic data’ is not altered or supplemented in any way and would be presumed to be completely random.
The measured distribution of energy values is indeed very uniform and the rate does not vary from local day to night. Apparently the normal output of our sun contains no significant gamma rays (which is a very good thing for us!) but they are produced in bursts during solar flares.