Cymatics – A Study of Wave Phenomena and Vibration

Always interested in approaches to visualising sound, I’ve been looking into Cymatics as pioneered by Dr. Hans Jenny in the 60s and 70s.

I found a PDF of a compilation of his original two volumes…
CYMATICS – A Study of Wave Phenomena and Vibration
Volume 1 – The structure and dynamics of waves and vibrations, 1967
Volume 2 – Wave phenomena, vibrational effects and harmonic oscillations with their structure, kinetics and dynamics, 1974

A youtube.com search for cymatics lists a surprisingly large number of relatively lo-fi videos of Hans Jenny’s original experiments, home made ‘tonoscopes’ and other related stuff…


Jake Ewen gave a talk recently on CymaticPlanet – Sacred Geometry Through Sound – as part of the recent Kinetica Museum/Cybersonica SOUNDWAVES exhibition. I didn’t make the talk myself and I’m really not into the metaphysics but… his his myspace site is CymaticPlanet.

Q – Is it possible to create a virtual tonoscope?

How to mirror the physics?

  1. Empirically – analogue tranducer on resonating board – use powder or sand – film these and then select relevant patterns to match sounds – cut up bass/lead lines…
  2. Virtual Modelling – can you code an application to model the behaviour of particles? In 2D? In 3D?

Talked briefly about this to Nick Rothwell during SOUNDWAVES.
Wonder if Anthony Rowe of squidsoup might be interested?

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