Original Article


, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 197-205

First online:

Apropos sonification: a broad view of data as music and sound

  • Peter GenaAffiliated withSchool of the Art Institute of Chicago Email author 

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Numbers have been identified with symbolic data forever. The profound association of both with acoustics, music, and sonic art from Pythagoras to current work is beyond reproach. Recently, sonification looks for ways to realize symbolic data (representing results or measurements) as well as “raw” data (signals, impulses, images, etc.) into compositions. In the strictest sense, everything in a computer is symbolic, that is, represented by 0s and 1s. In the arts, the digital age has broadened and enhanced the conceptual landscape not simply through its servitude to the creative process, but as its partner. However, there is a rich history of the use of data that no doubt has paved the way for many of today’s experiments including my own.


Music Sonic art Music history Algorithmic composition DNA music