Music,  Song Fu / SpinTunes

Digging into SpinTunes

Choose an artist:Pick a song:

I have been doing a bit of work recently with the stats package R and trying out the visualisation library d3, so it seemed reasonable to load them up with some musical data and see what I could come up with. Here is the first result. It’s a force-directed graph of the lyric linkage within every one of the SpinTunes songs, showing how common words appear in a song and how they flow. Common words like ‘the’ or ‘and’ appear in the middle with lots of links, whilst short, uncommon phrases float around outside. Some of the longer or more complex songs don’t fit very well into the space below, but you can grab the circles and play around with them.

Just select an artist and one of their songs and the network will automatically update. Don’t forget to listen to the song using the embedded player above!

I have changed a few things since I originally posted this. The thickness of the links represents how often the two joined words appear together. As a result, you’ll often see choruses or repeated verses standing out because of common lines. The circle size now also represents the number of times each word appears in the lyrics.

Finally, I have posted a version that adjusts to the size of your web browser. This version will let you get a better view of more complex songs and let the visualisation fill your whole screen. Have fun!


  • Mick

    Found the culprit! Edric’s ‘missing’ song threw the lyric count out of kilter. Made a fix or two and re-running the R script now… Will upload the fixed lyrics in the morning.

  • Mick

    Hi Jon,
    Thanks for the feedback, and I’m glad you’re enjoying playing around with it. With 343 songs up there, it was bound to happen that there are a few errors. Since I uploaded it, I have noticed various little text errors in some songs – stray quote marks and colons, for example, but I hadn’t noticed that some songs were incorrectly linked. I’ll have a look at the data and see if I can fix that.


  • Jon Eric

    Hi Mick,

    This is a really cool tool and I’ve been playing with it ever since you posted it. But I notice that some of the word tags don’t appear to point to the correct songs – for instance, selecting Inverse T. Clown’s “Something in the Air” appears to load the words to Alexa Polasky’s “Infidelity,” and selecting Alexa Polasky’s “Infidelity” appears to load the lyrics to some other song I wasn’t able to identify.

  • Mick

    Hehehe! Yes, indeed. I also like dumping a little fragment that sits on the outside into the middle and watch it make its escape. It’s the simple things in life 😉

    I’m working on a ‘full-screen’ version at the moment that will make it a bit easier to see what’s going on in busier songs, too.