Music Map

Due to my inherent need to procrastinate (I’m looking at you, P.chem exam!!) I find a lot of random, but very interesting, things on the internet.  One such discovery was this music map. It’s really interesting from a number of points of view.

Full disclosure: I don’t know jack squat about programming, or computer languages, so that part went totally over my head.  But I do understand music, and I do understand the connections in music, so I was extremely surprised to find that classical music pretty much existed on its own little island.

Maybe I’m biased, coming from the classical side of things (I’ve been in orchestra for the past 10 years and before that did primarily classical piano) and having branched out into other things, like rock gigs and pop covers at weddings, but I find it really difficult to be unable to find connections to just about everything from classical music.  And while the map does admirably show some connections, I feel that there are a lot more out there.

While perhaps not the best example out there, this is definitely a good indicative one.  I’m currently playing a string quartet by Borodin for a chamber enesemble.

This happened to be the musical inspiration behind Kismet, a musical about a poet who falls in love.  It’s main tune, from both the first movement in the video link and the third movement, also appear in some older pop songs.

Without just using melody lines, there’s also the fact of chord progressions and harmonies to be considered.

(Note: it is impossible to state this matter better than the guy in that video, so I’m going to let him speak for me).

While I understand that Pachelbel himself probably wasn’t the first person to use that particular chord progression/base line, the point remains that a lot of pop music takes from it.

True innovation builds on what is already known, regardless of if you’re doing chemistry or music.  So all music, in some way, has classical to thank.  I guess I find it impossible to doubt the influence of great composers like Beethoven and Mozart in modern music, but I’m sure enthusiasts for all types of music will claim the same.  Maybe that was the goal of this project, to make sense of of the data without taking personal bias into account.

What do you think of the music map project?


2 responses to “Music Map

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