How awesome is this: CNN has created the “Dow Piano,” which translates the peaks and valleys of the Dow Jones Industrial Average into the notes of a musical scale. Thus, just by listening, you can actually hear how the Dow did over the course of the year. (You listening, Auto-Tune The News?)
Built by CNN creative director Bård Edlund, the Dow Piano render’s each day’s closing level as a note, spanning three octaves. The higher the pitch, the higher the level was. Additionally, a higher audible volume maps to a higher trading volume. Thus, a panicky, furious trading day translates to a loud, low note; a loud, keening flourish is a good day; and more muted notes represent days when trading was sluggish.
Awesome stuff — and proof that even though we’re visual creatives, sound is a totally under-appreciated tool for rendering data intuitively. (In fact, the only other recent data/audio experiment we can recall were these amazing New York Times charts for the 2010 Winter Olympics.)