Utility Versus Creativity in Biomedical Musification

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Sonification techniques provide a well-documented methodology for auditory display of data, which can be particularly useful when combined with other display types for the presentation and analysis of complex data streams (including multidimensional data arrays). Creativity in sonification often becomes a function of the chosen mapping scheme, whereby deliberate specification of data mapping to auditory events provides opportunities to creative expression. Thus, such techniques can be used as part of the music creation process, if mapping strategies are carefully designed with specific musical outcomes in mind. Increasingly this particular type of sonification is therefore referred to as musification. However, the creative decision making process involved in designing these mapping strategies can by its nature compromise the presentation of the data in terms of accuracy, and perhaps in terms of overall utility. This article reviews an example of this work with both creative and utilitarian ends, and considers techniques for the evaluation of the success versus the utility that musification of complex biological or biomedical data might achieve, whilst maintaining the necessary integrity of the source data.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Creative Music Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016

Bibliographical note

©2016 ­Journal of Creative Music Systems


  • Music
  • Creativity
  • algorithmic composition

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