Hullabaloo, Caneck, Caneck!
Using an algorithm that converts songs into artwork, a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering created this visual representation of the Aggie War Hymn.
Developed by Tim Davis, the algorithm captures a song’s time and frequency and maps this information into a domain of space and color. Each line signifies a musical note, while colors denote different frequencies. Blue and green represent low notes, while yellow, red and maroon represent high notes.
In this image, the War Hymn starts with the orange and maroon burst on the left. “The orange is the soloist calling out ‘Hullabaloo,’ while the maroon flecks are the yells of the band and crowd in response,” Davis said. The deep maroon in the center signifies the whistle blow that calls the band’s instruments to attention, while the trumpets’ blares are white and blue. “The maroon spiral is the band playing the rest of the music,” Davis added. “You might say the band makes the ‘G’ for ‘Gig ’em!’”
Davis applies his algorithms to all genres of music, but finds they work best on music with heavy beats like electronic. Regular patterns result from genres with consistent beats like jazz, but orchestral music yields complex art. “Math is so incredibly beautiful,” Davis said. “It just needs to be translated into a medium that everyone can appreciate.”
View Davis’ gallery of art.