Visualisation of Music
A comprehensive image of Perotin’s famous piece „viderunt
omnes“ showing the architectural characteristics of this
early polyphonic music, which also for this reason is rightly
classified as “Notre-Dame-style”.
“Spem in Alium” by Thomas Tallis reflects the exuberant
impression of maximum polyphonic structure achieved during
the Renaissance era. This piece is composed as a 40-part (!)
motet with sequences where polyphonic structure dissolves
into pure harmony, leaving twinkling fragments of melody.
The intuitive colours and shapes are shown as perceived and
not chosen by aesthetical considerations.
Piano motif from Franz Schubert’s song „Die Stadt“,
lyrics by Heinrich Heine, included into the song cycle
„Schwanengesang“ D.957 XI.
György Ligetis “poéme symphonique” is based on the sound
of 100 mechanical metronomes, each acting with different
tempo. Started quite simultaneously, the ticking noise
diminishes one by one. The total noise changes from amorphous
random to transient quality of single pulses, passing various
steps of complex rhythm. The graphics demonstrates this
effect using 16 groups of bars with different distance
causing different length. Overlapping the bar series leads
to a structure that changes from random character on the
left to more and more simplified rhythms on the right.
While remembering Ligetis composition “Lontano”, its complex,
micro-polyphonic structures compress to a landscape-like image
with various textures.
Arnold Schönbergs movement “Farben” (colors) as 3rd part of
his 5 pieces for orchestra op.16 was characterized as “musical
pointillism” with analogy to impressionistic paintings (e.g. by
Georges Seurat). This visualization is a result of mathematic-
physical transformation performed by a sound-analysis software
(HEAD acoustics: Artemis). Surprisingly, this image clearly shows
the pointillist structure which was intuitively described before.
An orchestral glissando from the 1st Symphony by Krzysztof
Penderecki. Continuously decreasing pitch evokes an illusion
of infinite downward movement, based on the principle of the
Shepard scale. The transformation by the sound analysis
software includes time (horizontally from left to right hand
side), pitch (vertically) and sound pressure (colour scale).