Songs with Science Themes by Prof. Alan Marscher (stage name: Cosmos II)
Of the roughly 100 songs that I have composed, about 15% have science themes. Some of the songs I play at appropriate times to supplement topics discussed in my introductory classes such as AS109 Cosmology, and the Core Curriculum physical science course CC105 The Evolution of the Universe and the Earth. I have recorded the songs on my home recording system, although I haven't had time to polish them - they are produced at the demo level. You can download MP3 files with the science-related songs below. You can also download (or simply listen to) MP3s of most of the science songs and non-science songs at soundclick.com under Cosmos II.
In addition, in 2001 I composed a tribute song, "Sage of the Core," for Professor and Assistant Dean Brian Jorgensen, who was the first director of the Core Curriculum and served in that position with passion, compassion, and great success for a dozen years. I performed it at a banquet in Brian's honor that year. Some who heard it cursed me because they couldn't get the catchy hook out of their minds. So, with that warning, feel free to listen to it: lyrics & MP3 recording
Below are are links to the science songs that I have composed for the Core Curriculum course.
"All from Nothing?" Musings about where the universe came from and a lament that a definitive answer is so elusive. Lyrics and MP3 recording
"Universal History ," a description of the Big Bang, our natural history Lyrics and MP3 recording
"Relatively Weird" about Einstein's famous theories of special and general relativity Lyrics and MP3 recording
"An Asteroid Will Crash into Earth" about the inevitable catasrophic event when a space rock collides with our home planet. Tune from a well-known holiday song. Lyrics and MP3 recording
"Elusive Truth" about the difficulty in identifying truth in nature
"Parallel Lives "- There are infinite numbers of everyone in an infinitely large universe or multiverse with an infinite number of universes. Everything that can happen does, in every possible variation, in an infinite number of locations. Lyrics and MP3 recording
"Universe Perverse," a protest against determinism Lyrics and MP3 recording
"Explosive Origins," a reminder that humans should aspire to greatness, not to trashing of the Earth Lyrics and MP3 recording
"Another Planet," a review of the non-human-friendly conditions on other planets and a rebuke of politicians whose focus on short-term gains threatens to make the Earth uninhabitable as well Lyrics and MP3 recording
"Timeless," a sentimental lament about the ephemeral nature of time, based on a pun Lyrics and MP3 recording
"Reality Abuse," a lament about quantum theory Lyrics and MP3 recording
"The Particle Zoo," a synopsis of the fundamental particles that compose matter and cause forces Lyrics and MP3 recording
"The Fall of Ancient Science," on how long-held scientific theories are overturned by new evidence Lyrics and MP3 recording
"Retrograde," on how retrograde motion of the planets caused the ancient Greeks to create overly complicated Earth-centered models of the universe. Lyrics and MP3 recording
"Stars by the Colors ," a straightforward song about the differences among stars and how you can tell the different classes apart by their colors and spectra Lyrics and MP3 recording
"Bad Data." Marshall Cohen, a professor emeritus at Caltech and an expert in VLBI, remarked on more than one occasion, "Bad data is worse than no data." That's the theme of this blues song. Lyrics and MP3 recording
At a meeting in Miami ("Variability of Blazars II: Entering the GLAST Era") in April 2005, I teamed up with the meeting host, Prof. Jim Webb of Florida International University, to sing Monty Python's "The Galaxy Song". Here you can watch and listen to a video of a segment of the performance, recorded by Prof. Tom Balonek of Colgate University.
"Superluminal Lover." For the same meeting, I wrote a hot love song, "Superluminal Lover," with a Latin beat, that links activity in blazars with human passion. You can enter the Superluminal Lover page, but beware: it is beyond X-rated, it's GAMMA-RATED! The page contains the lyrics, an MP3 recording of the song, video clips of the performance at the Miami meeting, and links to one full-length video and another full-length audio of Marscher performing the song a capella at meetings in Europe. Marscher recommends just listening to the MP3 version while referring to the lyrics; the video from the ENIGMA meeting can be dangerous to the viewer's sanity!
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