The major challenges

From the preceding examination, there are a few challenges that stand out.

Intervals and Harmonic relationships

Several of the primary features that pose the biggest challenges in translation appear to be centered on the harmonic relationships between intervals that are operative in melody and harmony, and the spectral aspects of timbre. Both areas have to do with relationships between tones of different frequencies.

Overall Temporal Flow

Some aspects of music can certainly be experienced outside of time. But there is not doubt that much of the visceral and emotional power of music is generated by temporal experience. To what degree can the temporal modulation of visual features replicate the temporal experience of music?


If satisfying translations of all of the most significant features of a piece of music are found, the question remains whether or not this mix of visual activity can be read at a sufficiently rapid rate to communicate the music.

Embodiment of the musical experience

Some aspects of music seem to speak quite directly to the body. Can this experience be replicated in vision? Perhaps, but it is more likely that this can be expressed much more effectively with the use of low-frequency vibrations that can be felt through the body. At the very least this would likely provide a stable anchor for any visually presented rhythms.