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?


—update 1—
Due to the popularity of morse code rhythms amonsgt my piano students, I’ve decided to make a poster showing all the morse code letters in three groups.  It’s available from my website shop.

—update 2—
I’m putting together a collection of morse code tunes I wrote for my students.  They are particularly popular amongst those whose music reading skill is still at the elementary level.  Focusing on the rhythms and finger positions on the keyboard makes it much simpler to learn some catchy tunes that you don’t usually come across until you reach the late elementary level.  I’ll announce when it becomes available to the public.

—update 3—
Here’s the link to the preview of my new ‘Fun with Morse Code Rhythms for piano‘.

 

Thanks for reading!

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