The film footage seen here is from experiments performed by Swiss scientist, Dr. Hans Jenny in the 1960s. More of his experiments have been compiled into a 60-minute DVD called Cymatic SoundScapes: Bringing Matter to Life with Sound, available through the publisher at www.cymaticsource.com
Cymatics is the study of visible sound and vibration, a subset of modal phenomena. Typically the surface of a plate, diaphragm, or membrane is vibrated, and regions of maximum and minimum displacement are made visible in a thin coating of particles, paste, or liquid. Different patterns emerge in the exitatory medium depending on the geometry of the plate and the driving frequency. The apparatus employed can be simple, such as a Chladni Plate or advanced such as the CymaScope, a laboratory instrument that makes visible the inherent geometries within sound and music.