A Survey on Visualizations for Musical Data

R. Khulusi*, J. Kusnick*, C. Meinecke*, C. Gillmann*, J. Focht*, S. Jänicke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Digital methods are increasingly applied to store, structure and analyse vast amounts of musical data. In this context, visualization plays a crucial role, as it assists musicologists and non-expert users in data analysis and in gaining new knowledge. This survey focuses on this unique link between musicology and visualization. We classify 129 related works according to the visualized data types, and we analyse which visualization techniques were applied for certain research inquiries and to fulfill specific tasks. Next to scientific references, we take commercial music software and public websites into account, that contribute novel concepts of visualizing musicological data. We encounter different aspects of uncertainty as major problems when dealing with musicological data and show how occurring inconsistencies are processed and visually communicated. Drawing from our overview in the field, we identify open challenges for research on the interface of musicology and visualization to be tackled in the future.

Original languageEnglish
JournalComputer Graphics Forum
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)82-110
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • information visualization
  • visualization


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