The Shape of Music

Jeff over at Scintus passes along yet another fascinating link regarding the structure of music. Special software reads a MIDI file (a form of digital music transcription) and draws arcs to connect repeated sections. Most music has repetition in some form, and it’s fascinating to see how classical, pop, and modern music have strikingly different patterns.

The visualization itself is graphically quite interesting, but I find myself wishing that I could also hear the accompanying passage, or see some additional color coding. It would also be interesting to assign mood colors to particular chords or ascending / descending progressions, but the visualization would probably look pretty chaotic. Another thing that bugs me about the visualization is how the height of the arc tends to perhaps overdramatize its role in the music, but still it’s pretty cool.