Home Music Articles Forums Blog Chat More...      

Etaoin Shrdlu



 Genre: Experimental

Get Flash to see this player.

album: Evolution No. 5
track 1: 4:47 Dream Ending A Dream
track 2: 6:44 A Few Words
track 3: 4:56 3519
track 4: 7:02 Gamma Rays
track 5: 4:52 Unentitled
track 6: 0:00 Etaoin Shrdlu
track 7: 0:58 inspiral merger ringdown
track 8: 6:12 Engineering Change Order
track 9: 3:10 Archaeology
track 10: 10:05 Souls On The Wind
...more albums...

Song Description

ASCII code is a very old way to convert printed letters into binary code for use in computers. the original teletype version had only 6 bits per character and could only represent capital letters and punctuation. (think telegrams.) the 7 bit version included the lowercase letters and a few more symbols.

7 bits encodes 128 distinct values. as does MIDI pitch codes. so... i set up some software to convert text into pitches by directly mapping the ASCII code to pitch codes.

the thing to be aware of is that spaces and punctuation map to low pitches. and capital letters map to fairly low pitches as well. lowercase letters map to rather high pitches. so you can actually read along in the text and follow the word breaks (the same low pitch every time), and the sentence breaks (the period, space and capital letter are all low pitches). the part of the text with lots of capital letters should grab your attention. and those double capitals stand out too.

it starts out slow to help you get oriented and speeds up as it goes along... i did a little cross fading of instruments throughout the piece.

lyrics from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_frequency
Leave a Comment
You must be registered and logged-in to comment.
The frequency of letters in text has often been studied for use in cryptography, and frequency analysis in particular. No exact letter frequency distribution underlies a given language, since all writers write slightly differently. Linotype machines sorted the letters' frequencies as etaoin shrdlu cmfwyp vbgkqj xz based on the experience and custom of manual compositors. Likewise, Modern International Morse code encodes the most frequent letters with the shortest symbols; arranging the Morse alphabet into groups of letters that require equal amounts of time to transmit, and then sorting these groups in increasing order, yields e it san hurdm wgvlfbk opjxcz yq. Similar ideas are used in modern data-compression techniques such as Huffman coding.

More recent analyses show that letter frequencies, like word frequencies, tend to vary, both by writer and by subject. One cannot write an essay about x-rays without using frequent Xs, and the essay will have an especially strange letter frequency if the essay is about the frequent use of x-rays to treat zebras in Qatar. Different authors have habits which can be reflected in their use of letters. Hemingway's writing style, for example, is visibly different from Faulkner's. Letter, bigram, trigram, word frequencies, word length, and sentence length can be calculated for specific authors, and used to prove or disprove authorship of texts, even for authors whose styles aren't so divergent.

Accurate average letter frequencies can only be gleaned by analyzing a large amount of representative text. With the availability of modern computing and collections of large text corpora, such calculations are easily made. This Deafandblind link details examples from a variety of sources, (press reporting, religious text, scientific text and general fiction) and there are differences especially for general fiction with the position of 'h' and 'i'. The example differs from the linotype 'etaoin shrdlu' to come out as 'etaoHn Isrdlu'. There is an unproven statement[by whom?] that conversation is similar in frequency to general fiction.

Herbert S. Zim, in his classic introductory cryptography text \"Codes and Secret Writing\", gives the English letter frequency sequence as \"ETAON RISHD LFCMU GYPWB VKXJQ Z\", the most common letter pairs as \"TH HE AN RE ER IN ON AT ND ST ES EN OF TE ED OR TI HI AS TO\", and the most common doubled letters as \"LL EE SS OO TT FF RR NN PP CC\".[1]

The 'top twelve' letters comprise about 80% of the total usage. The 'top eight\" letters comprise about 65% of the total usage. A spy using the VIC cipher or some other cipher based on a straddling checkerboard typically uses a mnemonic such as \"a sin to err\" (dropping the second "r") to remember the top 8 characters.

The use of letter frequencies and frequency analysis plays a fundamental role in several games, including hangman, Scrabble, Wheel of Fortune, Definition, Bananagrams, and cryptograms.

Letter frequencies had a strong effect on the design of some keyboard layouts. The most-frequent letters are on the bottom row of the Blickensderfer typewriter. The most-frequent letters are on the home row of the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard.
Song Stats
Hits: 3692
Comments: 7
Fans: 8
Plays: 65
Downloads: 52

Uploaded: Mar 31, 2011 - 09:09:02 PM
Last Updated: Jan 19, 2013 - 08:16:18 PM Last Played: Jul 24, 2019 - 12:12:24 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:

Creative Commons

Song Actions
share on facebook share on twitter download song
VicDiesel said 3120 days ago (March 31st, 2011)
The lower ascii codes are all terminal control, so they will not appear in ordinary text. So what is that one low note? CR or LF?

The subject of ascii is pretty fascinating. I once researched the whole topic, going from telegraph codes to unicode, including the exact definition of UTF-8. If you're interested I can dig them up and send it to you.

Oh, nifty piece.
Check out my latest song called Frippery
SmokeyVW said 3120 days ago (March 31st, 2011)
no crlfs in here (filtered out the paragraph breaks) - that low note is the space between words.

oh, thanks!
Check out my latest song called Farther
TreeFalls said 3120 days ago (April 1st, 2011)
This piece...
... has a "mad scientist" quality about it. Whatever, I really like it. Much like many other songs you've posted, it's unique, brave, and original. Thanks for sharing your work!
dimm witness said 3120 days ago (April 1st, 2011)
switching to Dvorak now to type my comment

ybxn dhchfuj eiejend?!

translation: radically advanced!
Check out my latest song called conflation
bud said 3118 days ago (April 2nd, 2011)
I've come to expect nothing less than
an enlightening listening experience whenever I drop by. I love this side of your brain.
Check out my latest song called mixer 2
peterms said 3116 days ago (April 5th, 2011)
so much for your comments! great work. keep it goin. Peter
Check out my latest song called How Cool Is That!
papag said 3113 days ago (April 8th, 2011)
kick some ASCII
technology in the hands of musicians is a quirky thing. I enjoyed the flow of this one. fun on my laptop speakers, will listen on monitors later.
Check out my latest song called found you over there
Artist Info
artist photo
Name: Bill Grundmann
send a note
[see more] click here to check out my albums click on the blue table headings below (e.g. Last Comment) to sort the song list ... [see more]

Check out some of my other songs:

Genre Info
Experimental music is any music that challenges the commonly accepted notions of what music is. There is an overlap with avant-garde music. John Cage was a pioneer in experimental music and defined and gave credibility to the form. As with other edge

More songs in Experimental:

Who's Online
Invisible Members: 0
Visitors: 87