Artist Alexander Chen has taken the first prelude to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suites and created a visualization that works in lieu of traditional musical notation.
The visualization contains eight strings, which match the prelude’s eight-note phrasing. The strings are also like those on a harp, which change lengths depending on Pythagorean tuning.
“It’s math based on the fraction 2/3,” Chen writes on his blog. “I started with the longest string, setting it to a symbolic length of pixels. When cut to 2/3 length, it goes up a fifth. Cut its length by 1/2 and it goes up an octave. 3/4 length, one fourth. From these simple numbers, I calculated the relative string lengths of all the notes in the piece.”
You can see, hear and interact with the full visualization at Baroque.me.
Found a great visualization? Tell us about it
This post is part of an ongoing series exploring visualizations. We’re always looking for leads, so please drop a line if there’s a visualization you think we should know about.