, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 197–205

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

Original Article


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 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of the Art Institute of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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