Christian Long

Evan Grant: Making Sound Visible Through Cymatics

In TED Talks on May 26, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Extra credit reflection by RYAN S.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Evan Grant:  Making Sound Visible Through Cymatics

Wow. I had always assumed that by studying the vibrations of sound, there would be certain frequencies that could form works of art. Or by working backwards you could turn works of art into songs. However, it wasn’t until I saw this video that I truly saw the potential of cymatics. In and of itself, cymatics has no true impact or importance, but it relates back to some of humanity’s most primal feelings.

Music has always been magical. It’s everywhere. It carries with it emotional weight. It has been with us since the creation of our species. It is the thing that could best represent our species. Cymatics allows for a physical view of music. Almost as if cymatics allows us to view music’s true form.

While many TED talks I watch either have a basis in the metaphysical or a basis in reality, very few have both. This is one of the few that does. It has a very practical use such as detecting and translating sonar, and it also allows us a better understanding of the word beautiful, because when we translate a song using cymatics, we can see the images it produces… or we can hear the words themselves.

Over all this was a very interesting TED talk, and I’m glad that I got the opportunity to watch it. I think cymatics can allow a new way of thinking about music. Over all, It was a well done video both in presentation, and subject

  1. Hello Christian,
    Much of the material presented by Evan Grant in his TED talk was supplied by myself and Erik Larson. We are primary cymatics researchers, that is, we work in laboratories with cyamtics facilities. The deciphering of the dolphin language, for example, is our work in collaboration with Jack Kassewitz of

    If you would like to view our work please go to:
    We recently imaged the sound of a star for the first time and this can be viewed in our astrophysics section.
    Happy browsing!

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