In this post I'd like to introduce my blog Visual Music Theory - what kind of content you can expect, for whom it is written and why.
Music is a language that people use to share emotions via sound.
Music carries an enormous amount of structure, some of which can encode and transfer human emotions. Still, this structure can be studied by reason and scientific means.
In the articles you should find descriptions of various concepts in music and thoughts on how they're related. The main emphasis is on visualization and on reducing the complexity down to the necessary minimum.
Information Visualization is a very powerful tool that allows humans to understand even quite complex concepts. Most people are trained every day in their life to see and seek visual patterns so it's the most natural way to accept a large amount of information.
Although the primary domain of music is acoustic (based on sound), by turning some information from music into visual representation humans have another channel by which to sense and understand the music. Another use of visualization is to turn music theory concepts (besides music itself) into visual form. In this blog we will utilize both.
"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler" –- Albert Einstein
In software engineering one of the most important goals when designing systems is simplicity. Many principles like DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself), KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid), Occam's Razor or Refactoring just say that by keeping the complexity at the necessary minimum the systems remain understandable, maintainable and extensible. Making things simple is our daily bread and one of the best survival tools. It is natural to apply this to other domains, such as music.
Unfortunately there's a lot of unnecessary complexity in classical music theory, a "technological debt" that accumulated throughout centuries. The goal of this blog is to "refactor" the theory and try to explain the concepts and their relation as clearly and illustratively as possible and then allow to translate the concepts to the classic language of majority of music community.
Anybody who loves music and wishes to understand it better is welcome. Same as open-minded people who do not just blindly accept what they've been thought but ask questions for meaning and seek the answers. However, since I come from the software engineering tribe I can naturally speak to more geeky people like me - from software engineering, signal processing, data science and visualization communities.
To allow people better understand and appreciate the vast beuties of music. And also to allow me summarize my thoughts onto paper and not forget the ideas.
About the author
Hi, my name is Bohumír Zámečník an enthusiast in many fields. Although I studied Computer Science and Computer Graphics, work as a Software Engineer, I'm an active self-taught musician - sing in a choir and play guitar for 10+ years. I recently become involved in machine learning and data visualization. My goal is to understand complex things, simplify them and be able to teach them, so that others can benefit too.
So what do you think? Did I miss something? Is any part unclear? Leave your comments below.