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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 74 | June 22 , 2008|


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Rhythm & Sound

The Sea Organ

Nazia Ahmed

ONE of the most unusual musical instruments is the Sea organ that is actually played by the sea itself! Located on the shores of Zadar, Croatia, it is the world's first musical pipe organ that is played by the sea. Simple and elegant steps, carved in white stone, were built on the quayside. Underneath, there are 35 musically tuned tubes with whistle openings on the sidewalk. The movement of the sea pushes air through, and depending on the size and velocity of the wave musical chords are played. The waves create random harmonic sounds.

Expert Dalmatian stone carvers and architect Nikola Basic created this masterpiece of acoustics and architecture in 2005, who recently received the European Prize for Urban Public Space for this project. Many tourists come to listen to this unique aero phone, and enjoy unforgettable sunsets with a view of the nearby islands. Famed director Alfred Hitchcock said that the most beautiful sunset in the world could be seen from precisely this spot on the Zadar quay.

Chaotic reconstruction work undertaken in an attempt to repair the devastation Zadar suffered in the World War II turned much of the sea front into an unbroken, monotonous concrete wall. Now, the inviting white marble steps lead down to the water. Concealed under these steps, which protect and invite, is a system of polyethylene tubes and a resonating cavity that turns the site into a huge musical instrument, played by the wind and the sea.

This part of Croatia the prevailing musical tradition is the spontaneous four-voice male singing, with melodies and chords conforming to the diatonic major scale. The 5 musically tuned pipes of each section are arranged in 1.5-meter spacing. A listener, standing or sitting on a chosen point on the scalinade, should be able to hear 5 to 7 musically tuned pipes play their natural music. Thus, whole five-pipe sections are tuned to one musical chord. The citizens of Zadar are extremely proud of the first natural musical organ driven by the sea waves ever to be constructed. This installation, absolutely unique in the world, was designed to let people enjoy the point where the medieval town of Zadar embraces the Adriatic.

Did you know?

Some singers sing with tremendous power without sacrificing tone quality, while other singers become harsh and impure when they go for power?..

Well once again it comes down to the vocal exercises you practice. But let's have a look at why the exercises you practice are so important. What does it mean to sing a loud powerful note as opposed to a note of medium volume? Well, it's basically an increase in intensity. You send a little more air pressure to your vocal chords while still holding the same posture as you would when you're singing at medium intensity.

Your vocal chords hold this air back for longer, which produces a sound wave of higher intensity, which means a note at higher volume.

Now to train your voice to produce tremendous volume and power, you don't need to strengthen your diaphragm. Many singers make this mistake. They believe that they need to send LARGE amounts of air to get good volume. The vocal chords simple buckle under the pressure, vocal tension begins and things get ugly.

Instead you need to train and strengthen the tiny muscles that coordinate your vocal chords. When you do this, your chords will be able to hold down more air, for longer.

Biotechnology at UODA

Md. A. H. Rana

IT is important for developing countries like Bangladesh to formulate strategies to achieve an adequate level of scientific and technological competence, especially in emerging technologies like biotechnology. Biotechnology covers many aspects, which are interrelated and have a cumulative impact.

Today, capabilities of developing countries in the field of science and technology are far too limited. Only 4% of the world's expenditure on Research & Development (R&D) is directed towards these countries, and only 14% of the worlds supply of scientists and engineers are in developing countries, where more than 80% of the world's people live.

The Government of Bangladesh recently formulated the "biosafety guidelines" through expert committees and a national seminar. This must be followed by scientists working in the area of Biotechnology. Some public universities have already started offering this course. Few private universities also teach Biotechnology along with Genetic Engineering. UODA is one of them. UODA is the first private university to offer this subject. This department mainly emphasises Plant and Tissue Culture (PTC), Pharmaceutical biotechnology, Fish biotechnology, Food biotechnology and promising research on various medicinal plants, termed as "Ethno botanical study of medicinal plants in different regions of Bangladesh." The Molecular Medicine and Bioinformatics department jointly carry these out. I am really happy to inform that some of the works in this area carried out by UODA have been published in international journals from Pakistan, Tanzania, Japan and few days ago in Egypt. Some other papers are also awaiting publication in Canada, South Africa and China. Biotechnology is a new area in Bangladesh. The UGC should monitor the progress of Biotechnology research both in public and private universities.

(The writer studies Molecular Medicine and Bioinformatics at UODA)

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