Image of an exploration
Where should we start?
Finding the right point of origin when in search for new music. (01.08.2019)
Förderjahr 2018 / Project Call #13 / ProjektID: 3803 / Projekt: out-of-tune

Last month we asked ourselves an important question: What is a good point of origin to start exploring the world of music? The easiest - and most obvious answer - is to begin with something you already know.


When we are looking for something, choosing the correct starting point is key for our success.

Samuel Daurer, 2019


Think about last time you didn’t find your keys: You probably started to look for them where they should normally be. Then - in a slight panic - you might have tried to trace back your steps and search in places where you have been before. After ten unnerving minutes of running from room to room you finally find them - of course - on the couch again. 

Even though you didn’t have any idea where you lost your keys, you found them anyways by backtracking systematically from a familiar starting point. If you had started looking for your keys at your neighbors house, you probably wouldn’t have found them for ages.

This search pattern can also be used when you are in pursuit of new music. To find music you might like, it makes sense to listen to songs you already know and look at similar artists and musical works.

You might think right now: “I can already do that in <insert music streaming service of choice>”.

And of course, you are right: In most music streaming apps you can already search for specific music and find related tunes, but there are a few drawbacks:

  • There is too much information when you search for too broad terms, like genres

  • You have to trust the company behind the service to show you unbiased results

  • Due to the massive amount of information the shown results have to be filtered to make sense and therefore create a bubble

  • Only certain attributes can be searched (like the name of an artist, but not the bpm of a song)

  • The results are displayed as an unwieldy, long list 

  • ...

So we set out to improve the process of finding new music.

To make that possible, we have created an extensive search functionality. You can search for genres, artists, albums and songs, by just typing in some words in a search bar. Pressing the ENTER button will add new dots to the already existing graph: This is the result of your search. 

Search for MGMT (Yellow: Artist, Green: Songs, Pink: Albums)
Search for MGMT (Yellow: Artist, Green: Albums, Pink: Songs)

You can now use your result as your starting point. Go on a tour and explore every connection these artists or songs may have - You might find some interesting connections or completely new genres you may never heard of before (or did you know that there was a genre called nintendocore?)

And for all people who have no clue where to start, or what to search for: Start at the genre overview. This graph shows all genres and how they are connected to each other.

Overview with all genres displayed
Overview of all genres and their connections


Stay tuned!


out of tune out-of-tune graph visual analytics visualization search explore navigation

Christoph Baumann

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