Astrological Chart Music

Developed by Frans Leonard Hummelman and Jos Hustings, in 1988.

1. Introduction

Astrology interprets human character traits through the positions of the planets at the moment of birth. Previously regarded as forces from outside forming life and character, nowadays planets are more regarded as energy-constellations and the horoscope is in fact a map of relationships of energy.
To us the resulting atmosphere of these energy-vibrations can excellently be translated into musical expressions. The idea to combine music and astrology into sound images therefore is not illogical to us. As composers we like to use programming rules in generating music.
The relationship between astrology and music is a very old one. The zodiac consists of 12 signs, the western scale consists of 12 tones. Astrology also uses the concepts of harmony and disharmony. Keppler was one of the first to relate astrology and music.
We transformed astrological symbols into programming rules, thus enabling the computer to generate music. It was a long lasting process of intuition, creation, programming, listening and rearranging. And combining astrology, astronomy, music theory, and a selection of mystic approaches into a horoscope/music program.
That's how AstroMusic originated, a form of conceptual music, aiming at the creation of personal music based on the data of the birth chart.

2. Principles of orchestration and melody-composition

Sign Key Tempo M/F Instrument Cross Hexagram
Aries C 110 M Organ c 111110
Taurus C# 50 F Tuned perc. f 000100
Gemini D 150 M Flute m 101101
Cancer D# 90 F Guitar c 100110
Leo E 70 M Chime f 111001
Virgo F 130 F Xylophone m 000010
Libra F# 100 M Saxophone c 110110
Scorpio G 40 F Bass f 010100
Sagittarius G# 140 M Sitar m 111101
Capricorn A 80 F Piano c 000110
Aquarius A# 60 M Bassoon f 011001
Pisces B 120 F Violins m 001010

There are 12 basic melodies, one for each sign. Each melody consists of 7 notes, composed by binary representations of elements and crosses, but mainly by I Ching like hexagrams. Traditionally the fifth line of a hexagram is the ruling line. So this line accounts for the primary interval. The Crosses are also responsible for the rising (cardinal), descending (fixed) or alternate (mutable) melodies.

3. Principles of transformation and harmonization

Planet Tempo Transformation Note length
Mercury 102 1 3 5 7 2 4 6 .75 - 1.25
Venus 88 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (trills) .18 - .56225
Mars 78 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 .875 - 1.625
Jupiter 68 L1 2 M3 4 5 H6 7 1 - 2
Saturn 65 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1.5 - 3.5
Chiron 63 1 4 7 fixed 2 3 5 6 random .125 - 4
Uranus 62 random 1.75 - 4.25
Neptune 60 H 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 3.5 - 3.75
Pluto 59 L 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 - 6

Note lengths are reflections of the planetary orbits around the sun, between aphelium (longest) and perihelium (shortest).

4. Construction in time

The music is divided into 7 parts:

1. Conception and pregnancy Initial Chord

Based on Kepplers principles: every planet has its own key, related to its astronomical distance from the sun.
Gradually the initial chord transforms into the sun-chord (Sun in Sign and House).

2. Birth Prelude

Rising sign, planets in first and twelfth house and the house where the ruler of the Rising Sign is situated make up for the melody.

Accompanied by sign and house of the ruling planet of the rising sign
As a second melody the essential melody of the Moon is woven through the other melody

3. Planets in Signs Five sub-parts

a. Personal melody
Primary Sun-Melody, transformed by the cross of the sign of Saturn, enriched with the aspects of Saturn according to the Add Aspects Principle
Secondly the melody is enriched by the cross of the house of Saturn according to the peak-principle
b. YOU - melody
Consists of 2 melodies: that of Mercury and that Venus-Mars.
Mercury's melody has 2 parts:
- the AAD-enriched melody, symbolizing the acquirement of skills
- the melody that symbolizes the mediating role of Mercury between Sun and Moon. This melody is the peak-enriched melody of Mercury and the half-melody of Sun and Moon.
The Venus-Mars melody is being constructed following the next considerations:
- Venus is more dominant with women, Mars with men - the melodies are melted together to symbolize the ideal-androgyne personality.
c. ONE - melody
The AAD-enriched Moon melody is being opposed to the melodies of Jupiter and Saturn.
At the same time the peak-enriched melody of Jupiter and Saturn is being played.

d. Sun-melody
Gradual adding the aspects of the Sun to the melody of the Sun in Sign.
e. Moon-melody
Played during parts a to d. The world of Being (The Moon as the unconscious self expresses through reaction-patterns while the conscious Self is developing (Sun)) as opposed to the world of Development (Jupiter is growth within expansion, Saturn is growth within structure).

4. Midheaven Interlude

Sign of Midheaven, planets in tenth house and the house where the ruler of the Midheaven is situated make up for the melody.

5. Planets in Houses 3 sub-parts

a. Passage through the houses
Following the transits of Saturn, i.e. the development of the personality by completing the personal 'crises'.
In every house we hear:
- the chord of the actual house, composed of the aspect configurations of the ruler of the house with other planets as rulers of houses
- the melody of the house itself
b. Melodies of the planets in the actual house
c. Theme
In every house we hear the slow change of the working of Kharma. The Sun Melody, enriched with the basic House Melody, is gradually becoming clearer, while the Kharma is being solved.
d. Pulse
Throughout part 5 as well as part 3, the Pulse Melody is heard, a concatenation of the melodies of the outer planets.

In part 3 played by percussional instruments, now by their specific element instruments
6. KharmaChord integration
Composed by the so called Kharma data:
- Moon, Saturn, Pluto, Nodes
- Houses 4, 8, 12
- Signs: Virgo, Pisces, Scorpio and Cancer
7. SunChord Completed Personality
The ultimate personality, saved from Kharma, the ideal "sound" of the integral horoscope.

Performed live in Den Bosch, Boulevard Cafe, november 14, 1991