Great Visualizers: Mike Deal charts The Beatles

Monday, January 18th, 2010

New York-based designer Mike Deal has a great project going visualizing The Beatles.

Charting The Beatles - Mike Deal

Charting The Beatles - Mike Deal

I especially like this one. It tracks the keys of Beatles’ album tracks. You can see at a glance their poppier, more harmonic albums.

Charting The Beatles - Mike Deal
Charting The Beatles - Mike Deal
The project is an offshoot of an ongoing kaleidoscopic project at chartingthebeatles.com and on Flickr.

If it grabs you, head on over and take part. See you there!

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Show Comments ( )

  • Fábio

    Great stuff!

  • Max Sang

    I’m already suspicious about the accuracy of this. The “song keys” graphic contains the non-existent B#/Cb. There is no key, or note, called B# or Cb (B to C is a semitone). It looks cool, but…

  • Matt

    looks like the site got knocked off line!

  • sam

    delightful.

    one small correction… the “song keys” graphic maps the keys of songs on each album; it doesn’t directly show information about what songs are in what keys. so i believe you actually cannot use it to see the “poppier, more harmonic numbers”, on the poppier, more harmonic albums.

    cheerio.

    [Thanks for the correct - David!]

  • Joe Mahon

    Max Sang wrote: “I’m already suspicious about the accuracy of this. The “song keys” graphic contains the non-existent B#/Cb. There is no key, or note, called B# or Cb (B to C is a semitone). It looks cool, but…”

    It actually says B/Cb. And while it sounds odd and counterintuitive, the key of C flat does exist in music theory.

  • http://www.alextemplemusic.com Alex Temple

    The notes B# and Cb don’t exist only in music theory, but in actual notated music — lots of it. For example, the notes of a Gb major scale are:
    Gb – Ab – Bb – Cb – Db – Eb – F
    You can’t write the Cb as a B natural, because then the interval between do and fa would be incorrectly spelled as an augmented third rather than a perfect fourth, the interval between fa and sol would be incorrectly spelled as a diminished third rather than a major second, and so on.

    Notating a piece in the key of Cb Major would be a bit silly, though, since just about any musician on earth would find the equivalent B Major easier to read.

    And a note to the maintainer of the site: major keys aren’t any more “harmonic” than minor keys, and these key distributions don’t tell us anything about how “poppy” the songs sound. “Please Please Me” has an abundance of songs in E Major, sure, but E Major doesn’t sound any “poppier” than any other major key. What this really tells us is that the Beatles’ guitar chops weren’t as advanced as they would become, so they wrote most of their songs in keys that are easy to play on the guitar.

  • http://www.azcentral.com/members/User/maurise Cecily Milloy

    Thank you, Beatles!

  • http://mudcu.be/ Michael

    Beautiful work!