Amazing algorithmically-generated scatter-plot of 1387 musical genres


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Every now and then new attempts are made to draw the ultimate genre map of music, and every now and then the attempts are worth sharing – like this one. To plot 1387 genres in one go will probably make you quite dizzy, but in this map you can quite easily jump back and forth. Below are some details:

This is an ongoing attempt at an algorithmically-generated, readability-adjusted scatter-plot of the musical genre-space, based on data tracked and analyzed for 1387 genres by The Echo Nest. The calibration is fuzzy, but in general down is more organic, up is more mechanical and electric; left is denser and more atmospheric, right is spikier and bouncier.

Click anything to hear an example of what it sounds like.

Click the » on a genre to see a map of its artists.

Another recent example is this little gem covering electronic music.

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Electric Love Blueprint” is a fantastic art print, created by the UK-based Dorothy Collective, that maps out the history and evolution of electronic music on the blueprint of a theremin circuit board. Prints are available to purchase online.

Our Electric Love Blueprint celebrates over 200 inventors, innovators, artists, composers and musicians who (in our opinion) have been pivotal to the evolution of electronic music from the invention of the earliest known sound recording device in 1857 to the present day. Key pioneers featured include Léon Theremin, Bob Moog, Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage, Brian Eno, Kraftwerk and Aphex Twin.

The print loosely groups genres, from the obscure Musique Concrète (Pierre Schaeffer) to the better known Krautrock (Kraftwerk, Can, Tangerine Dream, Neu!, Faust, Cluster, Harmonia and Amon Düül II) Synthpop (Gary Numan, Human League, Depeche Mode, Yazoo and Pet Shop Boys) and Electronica (New Order, The Prodigy, Massive Attack, LCD Sound System and Daft Punk). There are also references to the experimental BBC Radiophonic Workshop and our favourite innovating record labels Mute and Warp.

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