Welcome to VLMU

This webpage accompanies the paper accepted at 13th International Symposium on Computer Music Multidisciplinary Research (CMMR 2017). Illustrated videos generated with the proposed visual language are available here. The paper describes a simple visual language which improves the interpretation of chamber music compositions. Classical music appreciation is non trivial. Thus, a visual language is an important tool to improve the music teaching and music learning processes.

Classical compositions based on Musical Instrument Digital Interfaces (MIDI) format were analysed. Figure 1 shows a colour mapping of sound tones to colour tones. Such colour mapping is utilized in our experiments.

Figure 1: Sound tones to colour tones.


VLMU visual mappings:

  1. Tonal pitch is represented according to the colour palette presented in Figure 1.

  2. Octaves are represented by regular polygons, according to Figure 2. A polygon with less sides indicates an octave within a low frequency range, ergo bass sounds. On the other hand, a polygon with more sides indicates an octave within a high frequency range, ergo treble sounds.

  3. Velocity (or volume) is represented by the height of the polygon.

  4. Chords (set of notes played at the same time) are represented by nested (or shifted) polygons, according to Figure 3.

Figure 2: Polygons with less sides indicate bass sounds, while polygons with more sides indicate treble sounds.

For instance, considering Figure 3, an instrument playing chord (a) would be playing notes "C" , "E", and "G" at the third octave (hexagon). An instrument playing chord (b) would be playing notes "C" , "E", "G", and "B" at the fifth octave (octogon). An instrument playing chord (c) would be playing notes "D" , "G", "B", and "F#" at the second octave (pentagon). An instrument playing chord (d) would be playing notes "D" , "G", and "B" at the fifth octave (octogon), and also "F#" at the third octave (hexagon). The size of each polygon is proportional to the velocity (volume) which a musical note was stroked. For instance, in the case of Figure 3, the note which has the greatest volume is the note "D" at chord (c), because it is the largest polygon in the figure.

Figure 3: Different chords within different velocities.