Six Degrees of Black Sabbath
Frequently Asked Questions
- How does this work? This
post on the Music Machinery blog describes how Six Degrees of Black Sabbath works.
- Hey! You didn't know that Rick Wakeman played backing harpsichord on Black Sabbath's Sabbra Cadabra. WTF? We know about millions of relations between artists, but we don't know all of them. You can add more relations by contributing to MusicBrainz
- What do you mean by 'Six Degrees'? Six degrees refers to the idea that everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, "a friend of a friend" statements can be made to connect any two people in six steps or fewer. This is clearly not true in the music world - it is quite easy to find longer paths between artists. But I use the term 'Six Degrees' to refer to the overall connectedness of the music world.
- What is the average path length? 7
- What is the longest path? It is a secret. People have found paths that are longer than 30.
- Hey, I found two artists with no paths. Is this rare? No, there are a number of non-connected clusters of artists.
- You are missing an artist That is not a question - but yes, there are some artists that are not in here.
- Who built this? Paul Lamere - I work for a company called The Echo Nest. You can contact me at Paul@echonest.com. I have a blog where I write about music technology: Music Machinery
- What is The Echo Nest? The Echo Nest is a music intelligence company founded by Tristan Jehan and Brian Whitman, who met at the MIT Media Lab while they were both getting their PhDs in music understanding and synthesis research. The company has since grown to a small but insane team of developers, designers, musicians and business people all housed in a cozy office in Davis Square, Somerville, MA, USA. We grow an intelligence platform that automatically reads about and listens to the entire world of music for developers to build search, personalization and interactive music applications.
- How come when I skip an artist sometimes the path gets shorter? Paths are picked based upon the strength of the relationship. A path that takes 4 steps may score better than a path with 3 steps if the relations in the 4 step path are stronger.
- Why is this app so ugly? Because an engineer designed it. If you have design skills and would like to make it look better let me know. I'll gladly give you credit with a link in the footer of the app.
- Is this somehow related to The Oracle Of Bacon - Clearly I was inspired by the awesome The Oracle of Bacon but other than that, there's no connection.
- Why did you pick the name 'Six degrees of Black Sabbath' I knew that if the name was 'Six Degrees of X' and X was a well-known music artist, people would 'get it' right away. The most connected artist is Pigface - but they are not well known. Black Sabbath is pretty well connected and quite well known and so I chose them for this great honor.