Animal Music

The MIDI music you will hear on this site has been created from the amino acid sequences of different animal proteins. The software used to generate the MIDI files is Bio2MIDI (Algorithmic Arts.) In Shark Music and in Gecko Music the harmonizing line was produced using a composition program to duplicate, transpose or offset the original melody.

Each piece is a direct readout of the protein sequence, with specific pitches corresponding to specific amino acids. The following animal proteins are represented on the site:

Sumatran Tiger Beta Globin:
Red Kangaroo Beta Globin:

Beta globin is part of the structure of hemoglobin, the oxygen-tranport molecule of red blood cells. The same beta globin sequence is also found in lions, jaguars and Persian leopards.

Gorilla Histocompatability Antigen:
The histocompatibility antigens are the ID cards for the cells of an organism. Each individual has a unique set of these antigens. They function in the recognition of foreign cells, and are important both in the immune response against invading microorganisms and in graft rejection.

Hippo/Giraffe Alpha Lens Crystallin:
The lens crystallins are proteins that make the lens of the eye clear and refractive. Many lens proteins seem to have been recruited from enzymes and other proteins originally serving other functions. This alpha crystallin is found in both hippos and giraffes.

Rhino ATP Synthase A
When sugars are metabolized in the presence of oxygen, mitochondria use the energy to synthesize ATP -- an important energy intermediary in the cells of all organisms.  ATP synthase, the enzyme that makes the ATP, is a multiprotein complex embedded in the inner mitochondrial membrane.  ATP synthase A forms part of a channel protein through which protons -- H+ ions -- flow and help to drive ATP synthesis.

Shark liver fatty-acid binding protein:
This protein helps to move fatty acids around within the cells of the shark's liver. Shark livers contain high concentrations of fats. Since sharks don't have swim bladders to keep them afloat, the fatty livers may increase their buoyancy.

Eastern Diamondback Venom Protein:
Many of the proteins in snake venoms are modified digestive enzymes that attack either proteins or lipids. One advantage of these enzymes is that besides helping to subdue the snake's prey, the enzymes help to predigest the snake's food.

Gecko Blue-cone Receptor Protein
Color vision in vertebrates is a function of several receptor proteins in the cones of the retina. There are separate proteins for blue, red and green light. These proteins are similar in all vertebrates with color vision.

Penguin Myoglobin:
Myoglobin is a muscle protein that stores oxygen. The molecule is similar to hemoglobin. The muscles of active flyers, or in the case of the penguins, swimmers and divers, are rich in myoglobin.

The Protein Music Web Page