Data Sonification; An emerging opportunity for graduate music schools to expand research in an art and science collaboration

Coordinator: Scot Gresham-Lancaster

As the size of data sets grow larger and larger, they are becoming more difficult to investigate for unique patterns and anomalies. Most tools for this sort of investigation are visually based. There is an opportunity with additional tool of sonification to enhance the ability of researchers to observe new relationships in data sets. A synthesis of sight and sound increases the likelihood of exposure of new features and interconnections hidden in more standard “visual only” modes of investigation. The creative application of musical understanding of acoustics, physical modeling synthesis, harmony, even musical style enable the use of sonification to become part of the curriculum for graduate level study not only in research labs but in music conservatories and schools world wide. The bridge between musical practice and sonification is just beginning to be realized, but the potential reward is great. This white paper proposes to layout some basic premises that music and sound art departments should consider when introducing the concept of sonification tool set for scientific discovery. The aim is to encourage new resources that will leverage the rich history related to music and sound design to create new tools and paradigms for the expanded investigation of ever growing and varied data sets across a wide range of disciplines.