Music & Visualization

Music is widespread around the world and in all cultures, past and present. People listen to music everyday in order to relax, evoke memories, feel emotions, or find concentration, and for those objectives, individuals do not require to understand its underlying structure or have any particular training. On the other hand, a profound understanding of music theory, extensive training and a considerable effort is required in order to master musical techniques and understand the structure of music compositions, something that all professional musicians and composers are aware of. Music expertise is the ability to understand the harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic structural elements of the music composition by reading musical scores or listening to music performance. Learning musical rules is often hard, especially for classical music, where the rigidity of its structures and styles require a considerable effort in terms of understandability and applicability.

The most common way to learn music is through the study of musical scores, which contain the objective notations of a music composition. However, the analysis of musical scores is demanding, the learning curve is steep, and time consuming. Beginner learners have to spend considerable amount of time to learn the basics of music theory, before being able to understand the musical notations. In this context, novel and interdisciplinary approaches can be explored, evaluated, and validated in order to help in understanding musical concepts, reduce time and/or effort to learn, train, and master them. It is generally accepted that repeated practice often produces greater learning and long-term retention than studying alone. In other words, students learn best when they are actively engaged in their own learning, and more importantly, when they use integrated technology.

We have proposed two visual tools: VisualHarmony for the automatic harmonic analysis, and VisualMelody for the automatic melodic analysis.

Roberto De Prisco, Delfina Malandrino, Donato Pirozzi, Gianluca Zaccagnino, Rocco Zaccagnino.
Evaluation Study of Visualisations for Harmonic Analysis of 4-Part Music.
22nd International Conference Information Visualisation (IV 2018), Fisciano, Italy, July 10-13, 2018: 484-489.

Delfina Malandrino, Donato Pirozzi, Rocco Zaccagnino.
Learning the Harmonic Analysis: Is visualization an effective approach?.
Multimedia Tools and Applications, p. 1-32 (2019), ISSN: 1380-7501, doi: 10.1007/s11042-019-07879-5.

Roberto De Prisco, Delfina Malandrino, Donato Pirozzi, Gianluca Zaccagnino, Rocco Zaccagnino.
Understanding the structure of music compositions: is visualization an effective approach?.
Information Visualization, vol. 16, p. 139-152 (2017), ISSN: 1473-8716, doi: 10.1177/1473871616655468.