Interactive: Common chord progressions in 1,300 songs

Posted to Network Visualization  |  Tags: ,  |  Nathan Yau

If you listen to the radio long enough, you’ve probably noticed that many songs sound similar or remind of you of a song you’ve heard before. Hooktheory shows you just how similar some songs are via chord progressions in over 1,300 songs. The small group analyzed the data last year and presented some static charts, but this interactive version takes it a step further.

Simply start by selecting a chord in the network diagram. Songs that use that chord appear on the right. Then select another chord in the network diagram to find songs that use the chord progression from the original to the new. Keep selecting chords to filter further.

So in the end, there are two main things you can do: (1) Find songs that use the same chord progression and (2) see the most likely chord given the current selection.

My musical knowledge from middle school jazz band is long gone, but it’s fun to explore, and you’ll likely find relationships to songs that you didn’t expect. [Thanks, Dave]

2 Comments

  • It’s called 18th century music theory. Take it and you’ll never be able to listent o popular music again without knowing what’s coming… see also, “Everything is Pachabel’s Canon”.

  • You’ll love this musical spoof of the chord progression findings…

Favorites

Real Chart Rules to Follow

There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn’t break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.

Where Bars Outnumber Grocery Stores

A closer look at the age old question of where there are more bars than grocery stores, and vice versa.

Years You Have Left to Live, Probably

The individual data points of life are much less predictable than the average. Here’s a simulation that shows you how much time is left on the clock.

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2011

I almost didn’t make a best-of list this year, but as I clicked through the year’s post, it was hard …