Sounds of a Story: Sonification of emotion time series extracted from Hungarian news published during the migration crisis

, Precognox

We harvested more than forty-two thousands articles on migration published on the main Hungarian news portals between 27/09/2014 and 11/06/2016. You can find an information visualization dashboard based on the corpus here. This sonification and the accompanying visualization are experimental tools, their sole purpose is to give you a glimpse into how the emotions related to migration flowed in the online media. If you’d like to know more about the data, use our dashboard. If you can speak Hungarian, you can read our article on

How it’s made

Emotion time series were extracted by using our own emotion lexicons.

Time series were mapped to midi notes by using the MIDITime Python library.

We used the Music21 library for assigning instruments to emotions:

– distress: Violin

– joy: Xylophone

– fear: ChurchBells

– anger: Woodblock

– surprise: Bagpipes

– disgust: Horn

The separate MIDI files were merged into a sound file by using LMMS.

The video was made by using the ggplot2 R package for plotting the emotion scores for every week.

Finally, we used ffmpeg to make a video from the plots and the sonified time series.

Kitti Balogh
Zoltan Varju

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