Information Design…Meet The Beatles
Science can enhance our experience of art- have you seen Avatar?- but it can also inform our understanding of it. For example, Information Design, pioneered by Edward Tufte and others in the 1970s and particularly en vogue these days, is a medium of processing info graphically. We recently stumbled across this example, Charting The Beatles, an exploration of Beatles music through infographics. And, as fans of both (the band and infographics), we thought we’d share.
Earlier pictographs gravitate towards the upper right, the keys where the standard pop/rock blues I-IV-V chord structure is easier to finger on a guitar. Later pictographs fan out as the band’s use of song keys became more varied, and as more songs were composed on the piano.
The data are based on the song key appendix in Ian McDonald’s book, Revolution in the Head: The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties.
“ was a curious year for the Beatles, one in which they consolidated all the successes and excesses of 1964 by virtually repeating everything already achieved. They made a second feature-film, Help!, they toured North America…and Britain again…John even had a second book published.”
-from Mark Lewisohn’s book, The Complete Beatles Chronicle
These pieces are just four examples of a larger open collaborative project currently in the works for chartingthebeatles.com. If you are interested in contributing Beatles infographics (anything is fair game) or being involved in this project in any other way, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Charting the Beatles flickr group for more info.