Home > f3r, gallows, Music > Mapping the Voynich Manuscript to music

Mapping the Voynich Manuscript to music

February 26, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Using a Java Media Framework MIDI application that processes the Voynich text, each character is mapped to a note on the MIDI scale in a two octave range: Note = 48 + i mod 24

Each word is played as one or more chords of these notes, using the Grand Piano instrument.

If a gallows character (“h” or “k”) appears in the word, then the notes preceding the gallows character are played as a chord, followed shortly by the notes after the gallows character, but shifted by either 1 octave (“h”) or two octaves (“k”). If the character “9” appears as the last in the word, then the delay before playing the next word is reduced.

Using this method, here is what the common Voynich word “8am” sounds like: 8am

The word “okoe”: okoe

The word “4ohc89”: 4ohc89

And the complete Folio f1r (a long pause is taken after each paragraph on the folio): Folio f1r

And Folio f3r

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Categories: f3r, gallows, Music Tags: , , ,
  1. Diogenes The Cynic
    December 26, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I tried to do the same with a folio that has repetitive features on it, but my .pdf copy of the manuscript is too low resolution to do it.

    If it is coded music, then repetitive glyphs could simply be different instruments playing the same song.

    But I can’t prove or disprove this one way or another. I hope you could point me in the right direction.

  2. Norbert Váradi
    December 18, 2013 at 6:56 am

    this thing is hard to be called “music”

    • JB
      September 25, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Music is in the ear of the listener 🙂 But I agree, it’s not very listenable.

  3. pbhd
    September 25, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Did some similar work, but optimized the mapping so that harmony gets maximzed. See at http://www.voynich-music.de, sounds then much better.
    Cheers, Peter

    • JB
      September 25, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Very nice, Peter. I’d rather listen to your mappings than mine 🙂

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