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Conversation between Alex and Stephen (prev top next)



An interesting visualization issue is: how do you visualize expectation?  If you are expecting something to happen, is it appropriate for a visualization to represent that expectation somehow?  When we're listening to something new, our expectations change a lot as we listen, because we predict what we're going to hear based on what we're familiar with.  When we listen to something we're familiar with, we expect to hear what we've heard before.  When there's a surprise in a piece of music, like a phrase that stops suddenly when you're expecting the final chord of a resolving cadence, we may be able to both expect it and know that it is a surprise.  Can a visualization depict "there's a surprise coming" --- for example by showing both what (customarily) ought to happen and contrasting it with what is actually going to happen?  Here's a moment-by-moment description of what happens when I listen to a rhythm that has various types of surprise in it:



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