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The Sound of Space

What does space sound like? 

Middle School music teacher Deadra Hart posed that question to her 7th graders in February as part of a project to create their own "space music."

As part of the recent Project Week, 7th graders were introduced to NASA recordings of space sounds and to composer Gustav Holst's The Planets. Students then created their own space music in the electronic music program Soundtrap.

"When we did this project, the Mars rover Perseverance had not yet landed on Mars," explains Deadra. "The NASA recordings that we listened to were radio emissions, captured from spacecraft that scientists converted into sound waves.

"Now that we have access to the first audio recordings in history of the surface of another planet (Mars), we're planning to listen to those recordings when we share our space music pieces in class next week," Deadra adds.

Below are six examples from this project with each student's responses to prompts about their pieces.


"Martian" by Zahabiya


What sounds, visual imagery of ideas inspired your piece? 
"I imagined a funky version of Mars."

 

"Floating in a Universe of Possibilities" by Marlena


What sounds, visual imagery of ideas inspired your piece?
"I was inspired by the sounds of a spaceship and the sounds that are often used in space movies. But I gave it a bit of a twist."

Did you use reverb (echo) or other effects (adjusting treble, bass) in your piece? If so, how did doing that change the piece?
"It caused it to sound almost like it was in your head, and the echo really made it sound real."

What do you picture when you hear your space music piece?
"I created this story in my mind of an astronaut that has never been to space before. They get a first look outside and they see how small they are in this universe. At the same time they are blown away by the uniqueness of life and how they might be a small part of what is out there, but they are still part of it. In the beginning of my piece, I have this almost beeping like sound that fades away and that is supposed to represent some part of the spaceship beeping. But as the astronaut starts to feel like a part of where they are, it fades away into the distance."

 

"Beyond the Imaginable" by Jake


What do you picture when you hear your space music piece?
"I see all the stars and the Milky Way."

What sounds, visual imagery of ideas inspired your piece?
"I think the examples from NASA gave me a good idea of how to start off, but once I started making mine it ended up very different from the examples."

 

"Bunny on the Moon" by Olivia


What do you picture when you hear your space music piece?
"Plain space with some random person alone and bobbing around."

Did you use reverb (echo) or other effects (adjusting treble, bass) in your piece? If so, how did doing that change the piece?
"The only effect I used was making one of the loops fade out, so it could transition better."

 

 

"Space Music" by Jai


What do you picture when you hear your space music piece?
"Stars and spaceships. The stars look a little like the sun, but just closer up."

Did you use reverb (echo) or other effects (adjusting treble, bass) in your piece? If so, how did doing that change the piece? What effect did it have?
"I didn't add reverb, but I used sounds that had echo in them."

 

 

"Alone in the Multiverse" by Emma


What sounds, visual imagery of ideas inspired your piece?
"Sound waves coming from a satellite."

 

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