Strange Loop

Musical Steganography: Hiding Things in Music

Steganography is the art of hiding information in innocuous places such as pictures. It has its roots as early as the 400s BC in writings by Herodotus. It gets a bad rap due to its use by nefarious actors, but it has been used rather ingeniously over centuries to hide messages. One method of steganography that is perhaps slightly less well known is hiding messages in music. There are many different ways to hide messages in music. Let's take a look at a few of those ways from Bach hiding messages in his compositions to Aphex Twin hiding a picture of himself in his own music. I'll use a live coding language called TidalCycles along with some Haskell and other fun software to demonstrate these techniques. Many steganographic techniques are fairly easy to apply and after this talk you'll be able to have fun hiding your own messages using your collection of 80's pop hits!

Scott Fradkin

Scott Fradkin


Scott is a long time programmer who works as a team lead for Flexion, Inc. He also produces music under the moniker 17.2m and is active in the music live coding community. He has given talks and led workshops about live coding music for kids and adults, and he teaches programming to kids in his spare time.