The Art of Mapping Music: Mike Hamad’s 200 Schematics of Songs by Phish, Pink Floyd & The Dead

Mike Hamad, a music writer for The Hart­ford Courant, has a deep and abid­ing love for Phish. He also has a tal­ent for draw­ing “schemat­ics” or maps that turn the expe­ri­ence of lis­ten­ing to music into some­thing visu­al. Over at his tum­blr SetlistSchemat­ics, you can find near­ly 200 schemat­ics of songs (usu­al­ly per­formed live) by The Grate­ful Dead, The Dave Matthews Band, Pink Floyd, and most­ly Phish. Accord­ing to a short pro­file in The New York Times, Hamad “has a master’s degree in music the­o­ry and a Ph.D. in musi­col­o­gy” — his dis­ser­ta­tion focused on the tonal rela­tion­ships in Franz Liszt’s songs — and, some­where along the way, he devel­oped a ten­den­cy to trans­late music into schemat­ics, a flur­ry of “arrows, descrip­tive notes, roman numer­als and wavy lines.”

phish map 3

If you’re inter­est­ed in giv­ing Hamad’s method a try, we sug­gest lin­ing up some col­or­ful pens and  big sheets of paper, and then tun­ing into these clas­sic Phish con­certs found in our archive: Phish Plays the Entire­ty of the Talk­ing Heads’ Remain in Light (1996) or Phish Plays All of The Rolling Stones’ Clas­sic Album, Exile on Main Street, Live in Con­cert.

via @NYTimes and h/t Eric

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