The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Visualization of music  (Read 2589 times)

Offline Atomic-S

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 935
  • Thanked: 19 times
    • View Profile
Visualization of music
« on: 14/11/2012 04:36:04 »
Music coming in through the Internet is illustrated on the screen by the player in the form of fancy shimmering patterns that are, to some extent, shaped by the music. But it is only to some extent. Largely, the patterns do not seem to correspond to the music. One wonders if a better correspondence could be created. But if so, what would be the basis for it? That would seem to require a process that goes well beyond simply displaying the wave form, but rather displaying how the brain interprets music. That could be difficult, inasmuch as listeners might not agree on the interpretation of music -- if they did, they might all like the same music, which they in general do not. Nonetheless, there seems to be at least some common understanding of musical symbology -- most people would understand that the freaky sounds found in a horror movie would not be used at a coronation. One therefore wonders what kind of formulation could be defined for this purpose? The software to do it would likely be complex but first it is necessary to define what it is that is to be achieved. Any thoughts?


 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8134
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
Re: Visualization of music
« Reply #1 on: 14/11/2012 12:23:41 »
Those artistic visualisations are only partly influenced by the sound. 

If you want a consistent and scientific visual representation of sound see audio spectrograms ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectrogram

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=41329.msg368925#msg368925

[ software which can produce audio spectrograms is available free of charge, e.g. Audacity, SoX  ]
« Last Edit: 14/11/2012 12:39:23 by RD »
 

Offline Atomic-S

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 935
  • Thanked: 19 times
    • View Profile
Re: Visualization of music
« Reply #2 on: 15/11/2012 04:06:26 »
Correct. However, spectrograms only exhibit individual chords; reading such a spectrogram is not much different in principle than reading the printed musical score. The hypothesis was that music contains significance that has to do with its larger structure, namely, the interrelationship of note patterns, measures, movements. According to this understanding, the brain is not looking at music the way a player-piano would -- one chord at a time, but more like the painter, who, although applying one brush stroke at a time, sees a much larger reality. the painter will start painting in one section, then he may change theme and move down to another part of the canvas and start on another aspect of the picture, but then he may go back to his earlier section and continue it or elaborate upon it. He may hop around the canvas from place to place, building various aspects of the overall scene. Thus also the composer. Present visualization software seems to attempt to simulate this experience through  complex patterns on the screen, but nobody seems to have been able to figure out how to connect the patterns in any meaningful way to the music itself.
 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8134
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
Re: Visualization of music
« Reply #3 on: 15/11/2012 05:53:45 »
... nobody seems to have been able to figure out how to connect the patterns in any meaningful way to the music itself.

People have tried to create software to predict a song's hit potential ... http://www.bris.ac.uk/news/2011/8116.html

[ but did they predict "Gangnam style" would be a hit in the UK ? ]
« Last Edit: 15/11/2012 06:08:35 by RD »
 

Offline damocles

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 756
  • Thanked: 1 times
    • View Profile
Re: Visualization of music
« Reply #4 on: 15/11/2012 13:59:47 »
There is something essential and little understood about music. To a large extent, visualization of music and appeal of music is culturally based, and one would expect quite different visualizations from people with different backgrounds. And yet there are other connections that seem to be universal -- connections between sound, vision and touch: staccato goes with jagged lines, crystal textures, sharp edges -- as opposed to legato with smooth curving lines, liquid textures. There is no real logical reason why that should be the case.

It also seems to be the case that there are certain exceptional musical works or themes that appeal to a very wide and diverse range of people from very different musical and cultural orientations. There is something about 'Gangnam Style' that means it would probably be a hit anywhere. That might also be the case for Guantanamera, Kalinka, Ghost riders in the Sky, Muss ich denn, Po kare kare ana, American Pie or the Passion Chorale to name just a few that are widely recognised outside their original and core audiences.

So it seems to me that in music there is something that is much stronger than cultural significance and familiarity, and yet that much in music is determined by cultural significance and familiarity. I have no idea how science could legitimately get started on an investigation of the associated phenomena. Neurological reactions to music perhaps?

I think a lot has been made of the strong heartbeat rhythm of much of rock music and a connection with the pre-natal environment. What is the current scientific status of those notions?
 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8134
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
Re: Visualization of music
« Reply #5 on: 16/11/2012 00:32:11 »
I have no idea how science could legitimately get started on an investigation of the associated phenomena. Neurological reactions to music perhaps?

Quote
Emory University neuroscientists went straight to the source and looked at how teenage brains reacted to new music tracks. Kids ages 12 to 17 were shoved into MRI machines and asked to listen to new songs from upcoming artists on MySpace.

Three years later, and the researchers looked at the results. The kids' taste in music showed no link to a song's commercial success, but their brain scans told another story. The ventral striatum -- the brain's reward region -- was predictive of a song's future sales.
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-12/19/song-prediction-algorithm

 

Offline Atomic-S

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 935
  • Thanked: 19 times
    • View Profile
Re: Visualization of music
« Reply #6 on: 21/11/2012 03:35:19 »
Interesting. These questions may yet be answerable.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Visualization of music
« Reply #6 on: 21/11/2012 03:35:19 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums