The Groove Pizza

  • Ethan HeinEmail author
  • Sumanth Srinivasan
Part of the Springer Series on Cultural Computing book series (SSCC)


The Groove Pizza is a widely used web application that enables users to program drum patterns on a circular grid. This visualization scheme supports playful rhythm exploration using mathematical concepts like shapes, angles, and patterns. Symmetries and patterns in the visual domain correspond to those in the aural domain and vice versa, giving novice musicians multiple paths into an understanding of rhythm. We discuss the musical and pedagogical design of the Groove Pizza. We then present a variety of real-world drum patterns and discuss how a circular visualization scheme illuminates their structure and functioning.



The conceptual groundwork for the Groove Pizza originated in an NYU master’s thesis (Hein 2013). Adam November built early web and physical prototypes for his NYU undergraduate thesis. Under the leadership of Dr. Alex Ruthmann, the NYU Steinhardt Music Experience Design Lab developed and tested the Groove Pizza in its current form and launched it in 2015 as part of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz’s MathScienceMusic initiative.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Music Experience Design LabNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Vimeo IncNew YorkUSA

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