As most news bulletins prove, the world is not, alas, an harmonious place. The same point is proved, if inadvertently and on a more symbolical level, by this stunning musical map of the world.
This is a pretty clever translation of the shape of the world’s continents into the dots, ties and bars of traditional musical notation, but ironically, its main claim to harmony is visual, not aural.
For even though the legend over the top left hand corner of this World Beat Map reads harmonious world beat, I suspect the result of this piece being played would be anything but harmonious to the ears.
I don’t read sheet music (I prefer to listen to the stuff), but the outline of the continents, though perfectly familiar and expected as such on a normal map, seems just too jagged and capricious when translated into notes – not to mention temporally chopped up by the bars travelling from left to right and top to bottom.
Of course, I could be wrong. Anyone more familiar with music in its written form, and how to squeeze it out of an instrument, is cordially invited to comment on this song’s playability, enjoyability and harmoniousness.
UPDATE: On April 19, 2008, Krissy Clark of Weekend America interviewed James Plakovic about his harmonious world beat map. Listen to the interview – and the map – here.