Sonification of Stanley Cup goals

Posted to Data Art  |  Tags: , ,  |  Nathan Yau

Artist Bard Edlund sonified the goals during the 2012 Stanley Cup.

The goals tally cumulative scoring for each team (rather than goals against). When a puck crosses the goal line, a musical note plays. There's one instrument sound for Western Conference teams, and another for Eastern Conference teams. Higher-seeded teams are assigned a higher pitch. This means you can actually hear whether higher- or lower-seeded teams are scoring more, and if Western or Eastern Conference teams are producing more goals.

The beat in the background almost makes it sound like an actual song.


  • Richard Hackathorn July 10, 2012 at 7:33 am

    This is a great illustration of how much audio can enhance data visualization, especially for time-dependent data sets.

  • What a great literal application of the signal to noise ratio. I had trouble figuring out whether the sounds I was hearing were data points or just background noise. Just as in visual design, there can be distracting elements in sound design. I felt the drum beats and sliding tone in the background only helped confuse me, rather than add to the clarify the information.

  • Richard Hackathorn July 10, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Wonder if there is an analogy to tufle’s chartjunk…soundjunk? Was the background beat useful in providing regular timing? Was the high/low pitch useful in segmenting the teams? And so forth… I must admit that the sound was initially disorienting as noise (soundjunk). However, I did find a useful rhythm to the sound toward the end.


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