Have you ever wondered what your name sounds like in Morse code? I was always fascinated by the fact that you can communicate with that di di dah dit thing. When you think of it, Morse code is actually a series of rhythmic patterns put together.

Morse code alphabet:

You can hear what they sound like here – http://youtu.be/Z5uyK5MrsTs

An Australian-born composer Barrington Pheloung did an amazing job with Morse code to write a theme tune to one of the classic British detective TV drama, Inspector Morse. How he managed to integrate the name ‘Morse’ in Morse code into music was an ‘ear’-opening experience for me.(http://youtu.be/W8mrMF1RVCA)

To be able to use it in music, it somehow has to make a rhythmical sense within a given metre, so it can’t be used exactly as a Morse code manual says. Every letter is spaced with a tiny gap, which can be included or excluded in music to fit within a given time. You can hear how exactly he name ‘Morse’ should sound like in Morse code here – http://www.philtulga.com/morse.html (you can type in ‘Morse’ from the keyboard on the screen and play it using ‘tone’). As I was making my attempt to translate some names into Morse code, I found out that the metres that can handle Morse code easily are either 3/8 or 4/4. The Inspector Morse theme tune was written in 6/8. Here are some of names I translated into musical rhythmic patterns.

Inspired by Barrington Pheulong’s Inspector Morse theme tune, I once wrote a piano etude for one of my intermediate students with an add-on intro in which her name in Morse code is diguised as a melody. Her name is in the list above; can you work out which name that is by listening to it?

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