alternative method


Designer / Researcher


MSc Digital Architecture and Design, University of Sheffield


Jan 2018

The main theme of this work is to visualize data. My initial idea is to use music as the source data set. In the past, there has already been many computational programming successfully visualizing music in real time, which mostly use the digital sound properties (for example, frequency, amplitude, speed, …).

This approach was able to create memorizing interactive graphics, however it can be used for every sound input, thus did not adequately address the nature of music. This function which I made have a more ‘analog’ approach. Musical elements, in this case, the notes, the chords, their position, arrangement and relationship are tools that composers used to create music. Therefore, if a graphic can visualize all that factors, the user can achieve a deeper understanding of the artist’s composing process, thus providing a different viewpoint for the user, from ‘audience’ to a kind of ‘musician’.

The challenge here is how to find the music data source that can provide all those factors. Fortunately, there is one spectacular music coding-based file type that was developed for sharing musical sheet: MusicXML. There are also various website that provide Free XML file. As a result, there are two steps that the function have to addressed:

  1. To extract musical variables from the XML file
  2. To visualize those variables effectively in real time