Data Sonification in Creative Practice
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Sonification is the process of data transmission with non-speech audio. While finding increasing acceptance as a scientific method, particularly where a visual representation of data is inadequate, it is still often derided as a ‘gimmick’. Composers have also shown growing interest in sonification as a compositional method. Both in science and in music, the criticism towards this method relates to poor aesthetics and gratuitous applications. This thesis aims to address these issues through an accompanying portfolio of pieces which use sonification as a compositional tool. It establishes the principles of ‘musification’, which can be defined as a sonification which uses musical structures; a sonification organised by musical principles. The practice-as-research portfolio explores a number of data sources, musical genres and science-music collaborations. The main contributions to knowledge derived from the project are a portfolio of compositions, a compositional framework for sonification and an evaluation framework for musification. This thesis demonstrates the validity of practice-as-research as a methodology in sonification research.
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