22 July 2021
Exergonic and Endergonic Via Sound
As a student of music at the University of Alaska Fairbanks I have always been interested in the science behind sound. Whether that be in the form of sound waves which the individual listener hears or the reason that some notes sound good with others and some notes clash(overtone series). Preparing for this project I wanted to take advantage of the skills I have acquired to portray a scientific concept(s) through sound. And through this sound example that I have composed I will be able to demonstrate the reactions produced by both Exergonic and Endothermic reactions.
For starters, an Exergonic reaction is one that creates a product with less potential energy than there was to begin with. In other words the reaction has a release of energy and has little left over. This implies that there was an instantaneous release of energy or spontaneity. The way that I demonstrated this in the original composition “Exergonic and Endergonic” is by use of a constant note in the cello of a string quartet creating a drone effect or the catalyst for the reaction to combust above in the viola, first, and second violins. Only four notes go by when “spontaneously” a texturly rich melody breaks out for a four bar phrase. This happens very quickly, and what remains is the product, a simple three voice harmony overlying the droning cello pulsing in the background.
Making an instantaneous transition to the Endothermic portion of the work. An Endothermic reaction is one that results in an absorption of energy during the chemical change. A good way of describing this is obseverbing metabolism, an endergonic process here is anabolic, referring to the stored energy. An example of this anabolic processed energy is supplied by joining the reaction to adenosine triphosphate(ATP) and consequently resulting in a higher energy.
The way I create this effect in the work is through the first violin. The reactive elements in this context are the notes C and B natural. This reaction takes place in the key of C minor(Beethoven’s Favorite Key) and the B natural is only found in the dominant or the five chord built on the fifth scale degree in the key of C minor. What makes it so volatile is the fact that it is only a semitone away from C. This causes a tension to be built between when played close together. There is a clash! Followed promptly by a wild reaction of tension with the tempo marking of Vivace (Really Fast in Italian). And that is an auditory example of Exergonic and Endergonic Reactions!
Engedahl, Unni, et al. “Reaction Mechanism for Methane-to-Methanol in Cu-SSZ-13: First-Principles Study of the Z 2 [Cu 2 O] and Z 2 [Cu 2 OH] Motifs.” Catalysts (2073-4344), vol. 11, no. 1, Jan. 2021, p. 17. EBSCOhost, doi:10.3390/catal11010017.
Chongqin Zhu, et al. “Formation of HONO from the NH3-Promoted Hydrolysis of NO2 Dimers in the Atmosphere.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 115, no. 28, July 2018, pp. 7236–7241. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edb&AN=130668869&site=eds-live.