A Visual Exploration of Melodic Relationships within Traditional Music Collections

C. Walshaw


The aim of this paper is to discuss a technique for visually exploring melodic relationships within traditional tune collections encoded in abc notation, a widely used text-based music representation system particularly popular for folk and traditional music. There are approximately 1/2 million melodies encoded in abc on the web and abcnotation.com provides a searchable index of the entire corpus with tools to view, download and listen to the scores.

This paper stems from related work known as TuneGraph which uses a melodic similarity measure to derive a proximity graph representing relationships between tunes in the abc corpus, and which allows users of abcnotation.com to explore melodic similarity. As it stands TuneGraph only gives a localised view of the melodic relationships: this paper aims to look at exploring those relationships at a global (corpus-based) level via a prototype visualisation tool. Currently the tool is not interactive: in this paper the aim is to consider a proof-of-concept approach to explore where there is a useful visualisation possible; future work will look at user interactivity with the tool.

Keywords: melodic similarity, graph drawing

Thu May 24 17:23:55 BST 2018