Thank you comp sci! Oh and Harry Potter music

Since the initial research was done, the next step was to go through each pair of genres and count up the number of similar characteristics they have. So that’s about 100×100 cells that needed to be filled, and about 30 characteristics to compare to fill each individual one. I did it in about half an hour. It was one of the few times I was glad to be an ex-computer science major because after looking at the sheer amount of easy-to-mess-up comparisons that I would have to do, my first thought was, “I bet I could code something to do this for me.” In the programming language Ruby I wrote a short program that would do all of the comparisons if given a file with the characteristics, and so after copying and editing the research table to make it more acceptable to the code, all I had to do was copy and paste the results into a new excel sheet.

I’m super glad that I was able to save the time on this part of the project, because I’ll be repeating the process for every clump I end up with in the first tree iteration. I also just had a bit more school work than usual this week.

The next move in the project will be analyzing this new table of about 1000 numbers to find the mins (the least related subgenres) and the maxes (the most related subgenres). With this information I can start the exciting process of actually drawing out small phylogenetic trees. These outer trees will be the easiest, and then I expect things to get muddy as I get into the middle pieces of subgenres with average-relatedness.

To answer a blog prompt:
My audience is ideally anyone that enjoys listening to rock music, of any kind. I’d like this to be a portrayal that is a combination of phylogeny based data, with as much scientific credibility and influence as possible, but also a format (online) that invites users who have never heard of phylogeny. If you’ve listened to any rock music, you would be able to at least appreciate a subgenre or two on the tree, and explore its characteristics, its close relatives, its condensed origin, and a bit of its music. For users who do understand more aspects of the creation of the tree, such as a more in depth understanding of how phylogeny works, I will have the “comment” section that will be a place for users to “vet” my research and offer their own input, where only I can see it. I don’t think this set up will favor one audience over the other, and if it ends up that it does, then I’ll make any adjustments that I think would improve the evenness when I reach that later point in the project.

Genre of the week: Wizard Rock

Wizard rock first appeared in the 2000s, and is directly linked to the Harry Potter series. Bands such as Harry and the Potters and The Parselmouths are composed of musicians directly cosplaying as characters from the series, or at least as wizards from the Harry Potter universe. Their lyrics are often humorous, and usually directly reference characters from the series.

Harry and the Potters:

and a counter band Draco and the Malfoys:

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