A group of computer scientists based at the University of Helsinki, Finland, have developed new software which creates automatically composed music from data concerning a person's sleep measurements. The software makes use of figures gleaned from an internet-equipped Beddit sensor, which is placed beneath a subject's mattress in order to record the stages of their sleep, their movements, heart rate and breathing.

Once this data is duly collected and uploaded to the Sleep Musicalization website, the new software crunches the numbers and automatically composes synthetic music. The resulting harmonies range in musicality, but all lend a new perspective on the still relatively little-understood sleep processes which we all experience.

"We are developing a novel way of illustrating, or in fact experiencing, data," explained Hannu Toivonen, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki. "Music can, for example, arouse a variety of feelings to describe the properties of the data. Sleep analysis is a natural first application."

Existing subscribers to the Beddit service can visit the Sleep Musicalization website and enter the relevant details to hear whether their slumber translates into beautiful music, while non-subscribers are also welcome to listen to the compositions.

The researchers are presenting a study of the work, entitled Sleep Musicalization: Automatic Music Composition from Sleep Measurements, at the International Symposium on Intelligent Data Analysis in Helsinki next month.