Using Visualizations for Music Discovery

From the abstract presented at ISMIR 2009:

As the world of online music grows, tools for helping people find new and interesting music in these extremely large collections become increasingly important. In this tutorial we look at one such tool that can be used to help people explore large music collections: information visualization. We survey the state-of-the-art in visualization for music discovery in commercial and research systems. Using numerous examples, we explore different algorithms and techniques that can be used to visualize large and complex music spaces, focusing on the advantages and the disadvantages of the various techniques. We investigate user factors that affect the usefulness of a visualization and we suggest possible areas of exploration for future research.

Helmholtz double-siren


“Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (August 31, 1821 – September 8, 1894) was a German physician and physicist who made significant contributions to several widely varied areas of modern science. In physiology and psychology, he is known for his mathematics of the eye, theories of vision, ideas on the visual perception of space, color vision research, and on the sensation of tone, perception of sound, and empiricism. In physics, he is known for his theories on the conservation of energy, work in electrodynamics, chemical thermodynamics, and on a mechanical foundation of thermodynamics. As a philosopher, he is known for his philosophy of science, ideas on the relation between the laws of perception and the laws of nature, the science of aesthetics, and ideas on the civilizing power of science. A large German association of research institutions, the Helmholtz Association, is named after him.”

No sound for the first minute, then sounds like a variety of instruments including a vocoder.