What if every single note of a song could represent information and communicate ideas like lyrics do? What if we could give data a ‘voice’?
Think about that one song that makes your heart sing or moves you to tears. Or the last time you were in a movie theater and the sound effects had you on the edge of your seat. Sound - and by extension music - has the power to affect our mood, help us learn and even change our perspective on reality.
So when it comes to the intersection of music, information, and technology, it’s not a huge surprise that data sonification is now on the rise. Data sonification is the process of using non-verbal audio to communicate information. In other words, it transforms data into sound, helping us understand information faster and on a deeper, sometimes emotional level.
Just like a movie’s sound effects and soundtrack, data sonification can have a huge impact on our mood and our ability to grasp concepts more quickly, but that's not the only benefit! There are many advantages to sonifying data - for instance, in cutting through all of the beeps and tones in a hospital to alert doctors of emergencies, or even to tip them off to a pandemic. Sonifying data rather than creating a visualizationcan really radically change how we perceive it. Imagine being able to hear your WiFi network, or greater still every radio wave that was passing through you at any given moment. Believe it or not, these are real studies that have been done using data sonification, and the results are incredibly impactful.
So what are the practical applications of data sonification in the fields of education, health, and even NFTs? How is it already being used to reach wider audiences and create inclusivity in science? Where does the line between science, art, and music lie, and is there a target market for this kind of art?
Join us in our latest podcast episode to hear us discuss all these questions and much more.
CAMD Center for Design
Data Sonification Archive
Hear Climate Data turned into Music
Loud Numbers (examples of sonification)
Listening Back add-on
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