World Music's DIVERSITY and Data Visualisation's EXPRESSIVE POWER collide. A galaxy of INTERACTIVE, SCORE-DRIVEN instrument model and theory tool animations is born.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Questions Music Visualisations Might Answer

Which music questions might an interactive, visual approach answer more directly and intuitively than text-based descriptions?

Music being in essence mathematics -and hence modellable- just about any..

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• I'm new to world music theory, how do I start?
• Are there significant differences in approach to music theory in different countries?
• WTF is 11/8 time?
• How relevant is the western circle of fifths in a chinese music context?
• Is there an visual catalog of world music scales?
• Show me what happens if I try to transpose on a just intoned instrument
• What are the main genres of classical Chinese music?
• Demonstrate which is better: sight-reading or learning by ear.
• Is Balinese folk music an oral or written tradition?
• What are the common east European gypsy modes?
• How are African polyrhythms constructed?
• How does the overtone series relate to a chromatic scale?
• What is atonal music theory? Are there models?
• What are the common modal building blocks in Balkan music?
• What is graph theory in music? What possible use could it have?
• Demonstrate Schenkerian analysis using this score, please.
• I want to do something musically innovative. What underexploited music system resources can I build on?
• In which musical systems (just, well, western 12-tone etc) is perfect pitch meaningful?


• What note representations are used in Turkish maqam music?
• Are there pitch-compatible alternatives to these 19 and 31 EDO character (glyph) sets?
• Which notation should I use to write music for this 17 tone just intoned Persian instrument?
• I'm told this tuning has a so-called musical comma in it. Now what would that look like applied to this piece? Will it cause problems, and if so, where?

Chord progressions and composing

• In what folk traditions is the notion of mode meaningful?
• Summarise each of the Irish modal chord scales? Do alternative paths through these scales exist?
• How do I construct a modal chord progression for an Irish traditional tune?
• How do I vary my modal chord progression?
• What are the ways I can modulate?
• What tools can be used to get a handle on music from an oral-only tradition?


• What are the string or coursing differences between typical Celtic and South American harps?

• Show me Irish B/C, C#/D and F#/C button accordion fingering examples for tunes in the common Irish keys of D, G, E dorian, A dorian, A mixolydian, D mixolydian, B minor, and E minor, but *side-by-side* and *dynamically*.

• In which tuning should I be playing this complex guitar piece so as to keep finger movements to a minimum?


• Give me some context on the Paraguayan or Venezuelan Quecha style or genre - on a timeline/map.

• What moods are associated with various traditional Irish modes?

History of music theory questions

• Describe the development of Chinese music in broad graphical terms.

• I’ve heard there are Asian music traditions with 53 notes in an octave. How can that be?
• Why are ionian and aeolian the favourite ‘western’ classical modes?
• What differentiates the 12-tone equal temperament from historical tunings/temperaments, such as well, temperament, meantone tuning, and Pythagorean tuning?

• is there a graphical representation of music instrument development?

Meta questions

• Is the study of world music theory overkill?
• What does it mean to articulate a theory of music?
• What is music analysis?
• What is the difference between music theory and music fact?
• What's all this 432Hz tuning and fundamental frequency of the universe jazz?


About Cantillate -

Autodidact. Laird o' the Windy Wa's. Serial Failure with Attitude. Bit of a Dreamer..

Comments, questions and (especially) critique welcome.