Visualizing Carnatic music as projectile motion in a uniform gravitational field

Venkata Viraraghavan, Rahul Gavas, Hema Murthy, R Aravind


´╗┐There are several examples of visualization of Western classical music, many of which use the score as a reference. By contrast, a standard descriptive notation that serves the same purpose for Indian music is not available. In this paper, we draw upon recent transcription approaches for Carnatic music (CM) and propose an automated visualization procedure. It is formalized by an analogy between the pitch movement and projectile motion in a uniform gravitational field. During constant-pitch notes (CPNs), the projectile moves horizontally on ledges at constant speed. Outside CPNs, reflectors are placed at the points where the pitch curve changes its direction. The positions of reflectors and ledges are quantized, and the motion between them is under the influence of gravity. We then suggest that the non-uniform scaling of CPNs, silence, and transients (i.e. music outside CPNs) in CM matches the analogy. Finally, the projectile motion equations are used to interpolate pitch curves for CM synthesis. Perceptual tests rate it on par with existing interpolation schemes. In addition, experts felt that visualization is needed to correct errors in descriptive notation.


 DOI: 10.21437/SMM.2019-9

Cite as: Viraraghavan, V., Gavas, R., Murthy, H., Aravind, R. (2019) Visualizing Carnatic music as projectile motion in a uniform gravitational field. Proc. SMM19, Workshop on Speech, Music and Mind 2019, 41-45, DOI: 10.21437/SMM.2019-9.


@inproceedings{Viraraghavan2019,
  author={Venkata Viraraghavan and Rahul Gavas and Hema Murthy and R Aravind},
  title={{Visualizing Carnatic music as projectile motion in a uniform gravitational field}},
  year=2019,
  booktitle={Proc. SMM19, Workshop on Speech, Music and Mind 2019},
  pages={41--45},
  doi={10.21437/SMM.2019-9},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SMM.2019-9}
}