Proceedings: GI 2007

Isochords: visualizing structure in music

Tony Bergstrom, Karrie Karahalios, John Hart

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2007: Montréal, Québec, Canada, 28 - 30 May 2007, 297-304

DOI 10.1145/1268517.1268565

  • BibTex

    author = {Bergstrom, Tony and Karahalios, Karrie and Hart, John},
    title = {Isochords: visualizing structure in music},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2007},
    series = {GI 2007},
    year = {2007},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {978-1-56881-337-0},
    location = {Montr{\'e}al, Qu{\'e}bec, Canada},
    pages = {297--304},
    numpages = {8},
    doi = {10.1145/1268517.1268565},
    acmdoi = {10.1145/1268517.1268565},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada},


Isochords is a visualization of music that aids in the classification of musical structure. The Isochords visualization highlights the consonant intervals between notes and common chords in music. It conveys information about interval quality, chord quality, and the chord progression synchronously during playback of digital music. Isochords offers listeners a means to grasp the underlying structure of music that, without extensive training, would otherwise remain unobserved or unnoticed. In this paper we present the theory of the Isochords structure, the visualization, and comments from novice and experienced users.