Welcome to the Music from the Genome website. MftG is a unique project funded by the Wellcome Trust. It comprises two elements, both unprecedented. In the scientific part, we studied the genetic characteristics of choral singers. We were interested in parts of the genome that relate to natural communication between brain cells - principally communication influenced by the substance serotonin. We compared the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) of 261 choral singers with that of 258 non-musicians. We found that choral singers were more likely to have particular variants of the SLC6A4 gene than were non-musicians. For the musical part of the project, the results of DNA analysis from 40 members of the New London Chamber Choir were used to create a major new choral work, "Allele". Allele is the name given to alternative forms that can occur at parts of the genome that differ between individuals. The text of "Allele" was written by the poet, Ruth Padel, and the music by Michael Zev Gordon. Each singer's musical part was created using the results of their own personal genetic analysis. They are, in effect, singing their own genes. Allele was first performed on 9th July 2010 at Diamond Light, the UK National Synchrotron Facility, in a concert presented by Oxford Contemporary Music and Oxford Inspires.
Read more at http://www.musicfromthegenome.org.uk/index.html