Exploring Real-time Visualisations to Support Chord Learning with a Large Music Collection

Johan Pauwels, Anna Xambó, Gerard Roma, Mathieu Barthet and György Fazekas

A common problem in music education is finding varied and engaging material that is suitable for practising a specific musical concept or technique. At the same time, a number of large music collections are available under a Creative Commons (CC) licence (e.g. Jamendo, ccMixter), but their potential is largely untapped because of the relative obscurity of their content. In this paper, we present *Jam with Jamendo*, a web application that allows novice and expert learners of musical instruments to query songs by chord content from a large music collection, and practise the chords present in the retrieved songs by playing along. Its goal is twofold: the learners get a larger variety of practice material, while the artists receive increased exposure. We experimented with two visualisation modes. The first is a linear visualisation based on a moving time axis, the second is a circular visualisation inspired by the chromatic circle. We conducted a small-scale thinking-aloud user study with seven participants based on a hands-on practice with the web app. Through this pilot study, we obtained a qualitative understanding of the potentials and challenges of each visualisation, which will be used to inform the next design iteration of the web app.

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