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The first phase of the project, The Microscope Sings, was based on work carried out over two summers by three University of Warwick students and supervised by Dr. Gavin Bell. It has been generously supported by the university's URSS scheme, the Nuffield Foundation and the Department of Physics. We explored the generation of music from images. The project has yielded a framework for the sonification process, named SAMI, and a wide variety of scripts which can be used within the framework to generate music.

We have published a paper on this work in infocus, the magazine of the Royal Microscopical Society. You can download it here. A selection of images and snippets of music is available in the Gallery.

What is SAMI?

SAMI Ain't a Musical Instrument. SAMI is a framework for sonification, which allows an image file to be loaded and facilitates the passing of variables between python scripts. A selection of python scripts for the purpose of sonification have been written to be used with SAMI.

the team who built SAMI

Who are we?

The concept for the project was thought up by Dr. Gavin Bell. Jack Dobinson and Simon StJohn-Green started the project in the summer of 2010, creating SAMI and a number of python scripts. The project was then continued by Robert Wilson the following summer, during which the focus was solely on writing new scripts.


SAMI (Sami Ain't a Musical Instrument), our image sonification framework. This one requires a bit of effort to compile, but full instructions and explanation is included in the README.

(SAMI uses the MIB Ossigeno KDE Icon Theme and Qt, as such it is released under the GPL, python scripts require mxm's midi library)