Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Thesis Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)


Music Theory and Composition

Committee Chairperson

Van Stiefel, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jacob Cooper, DMA

Committee Member

Mark Rimple, DMA


Sonification, the process of turning data into sound, has been a consistent technique in the creation of both electronic and computer music since their beginnings. With the proliferation of increasingly smaller, faster computers and larger, more diverse data sets, the possibilities of both practical and artistic methods of sonification have been rapidly expanding. This project explores one such possibility: creating an original piece of music from data recorded by a cyclist throughout the course of a training session. This possibility is achieved by leveraging the availability of wireless sensor systems, on-bike and wearable computers, software for the analysis of athlete data, and software and programming languages for music composition. The result is a computer program that takes a set of training data as input and renders in real time a computer-aided algorithmic composition that can be easily recorded using a modern digital audio workstation. To achieve this result, the program reads through the provided athlete data and generates MIDI data, synthesizes waveforms, and manipulates field recordings based on a set of mappings from athletic to musical parameters. When developing the program and algorithms used in the sonification process, parameters important to the evaluation of athletic performance and parameters important to musical analysis and composition were carefully considered. Possible mappings were then tested and refined until a musically satisfying result was obtained for one particular data set. The resulting composition, Indicators of Intensity, is the sonification of this data.