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Much effort has gone into exploring the role and utility of external graphical representations of programs in visualisation.

Our approach is to investigate how sound can be used as a communication medium for software visualisation, or rather, auralisation. Program auralisation is the mapping of program information to sound. The CAITLIN system auralises a program so that one is able to hear, through a musical framework, its execution. Our belief is that an audio representation (auditory display) of a program will enable a programmer to recognise patterns and behaviours not otherwise apparent with more traditional visual display techniques.

The CAITLIN system was developed for a PhD project in an attempt to determine whether musical auralisations of Pascal programs can usefully assist the novice programmer with debugging. CAITLIN musically auralises programs written in Turbo Pascal and presents the user with an integrated environment for carrying out auralisation, compilation and running of programs.

Why not read the tutorial to get an overview of what musical program auralisation is about? From the tutorial page you can also access example auralisations that you can listen to online (Internet Explorer) or can download as MP3 for off-line or Netscape/Opera listening.


To view answers to some commonly-asked questions, click on the FAQ link.


To listen to a CBS radio interview, see the top news story on the right-hand menu bar.


To access/download the journal/magazine articles, conference papers, book chapters, & technical reports we have published, click on the Publications.


To download the PhD thesis (including some audio examples), click on the Thesis link. You can view the PhD thesis abstract at


You can download the powerpoint slides from and listen to recordings of seminars I have given.


I have put together a small lexicon of auditory display to explain some of the more common terms.

If you have any questions, or want to discuss doing a PhD or possible research collaboration then please do get in touch. Either e-mail me or see my personal homepage for full contact addresses

   News stories

bullet13 April 2004 Interview on CBS radio! See acfnews summary and transcript of the Osgood File in which it appeared. Full mp3 of interview now available.
bulletStory in Technology Research News
bulletStory in New Scientist
bulletBritish Council story
bulletArticle in Science News
bulletRoss, D. Music programmes to find bugs IEE Review, 2003, 19.
bulletHenderson, T. Sound of music to bring out the bugs The Journal, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2002, 22.
bulletSurvey fever BBC Music Magazine, 2002, 4.
bulletZimmermann, R. Schräge Töne im Programm: Die Erfindung eines Doktoranden macht Software-Fehler hörbar SonntagsZeitung, Zurich, 2002, 127.

Bugs swarm in the dark. Music plays and in its light logic is made clear

This web page is for reference. For details of recent activities and an up-to-date publications list see my home page