My 23andMe Genotyping DNA Tune!

This is a cute feature by 23andMe’s genotyping result, to convert one’s DNA results into a short little 8 second tune. Easy enough to blog about, too.

How does it work?

The lab creates a melody based on several traits that 23andMe reports on. A person’s melody will differ from another person’s depending on that person’s specific genotype (ie. AA, GT, CT, etc.).

The melodies created by the lab are defined by four musical elements:


A key is a series of pitches that relate to each other, creating tonal coherence.

The key of one’s melody is derived from one’s maternal haplogroup. Keys that are considered to be closely related (such as C major and G major) have been linked to haplogroups that are geographically similar.


Timbre is the unique tone color that distinguishes one instrument from another (ie. the reason a flute sounds different than a trumpet).

One has the opportunity to make this melody even more personal by choosing the instrument that best suits one’s interests. Piano is definitely mine!


Rhythm is the duration of time that a note is held.

In this program, rhythm is derived from traits such as eye color (brown) and height (5’2″).


Pitch is a tone whose frequency determines how high or low it sounds.

The pitches selected are derived from traits such as earwax type (wet) and photic sneeze response (typical).

What did I think of it?

Well, it’s not bad. I wish it were a lot longer. I don’t see why it couldn’t be given there were like 960,000+ genes genotyped! You should be able to get a symphony and then some with that, even if 95% of it were common and eliminated. One could use.

My melody was also only 5 seconds long on the 8 second track. Let’s hope it is symbolic of my shorter than average height rather than lifespan!

It’s definitely no ear worm, and I’m not sure I’d want it to be. However, at least it’s not as annoying to listen to as me!

I’m a songwriter every now and then and I can tell you it’d be a fun exercise for me to turn these notes and rhythms into a song somehow. While I think that’d be a cool idea, it’s a long time of things I’ve got to get to in life first that idea will wait behind. But here’s hoping it’ll nag me enough some time soon to give it priority. 🙂

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