What does music look like?

When you plot the spectrum of music, the differences between genres can be pretty striking. In these plots, frequency is the vertical axis and time is the horizontal axis.

Dubstep (We Are Infinite)

Dubstep is interesting to watch, because of the high contrasts and sound effects. Once you recognize the patterns, you can predict what you will hear a few seconds before it plays.

Piano

Piano
Piano tends to look relatively crisp and clean

Movie Soundtrack, Full Orchestra (The Pagemaster)

Movie Soundtrack, Full Orchestra (The Pagemaster)
The triangle shape going up and down in frequency is from a harp or wind chimes.

Adele Singing a Capella

Adele Singing a Capella
You can see the vibrato as the up and down "squiggles"

Death Metal

Death Metal
A bit repetitive and noisy, the bass dominates

Electric Guitar & Drums

Electric Guitar & Drums
The lower vertical lines that occur in pairs are bass drum. The higher vertical lines are from tapping drumsticks.

Country Music

Country Music
A section of Home Alone Tonight, by Luke Brian

People's Voices

Here are a couple examples of people talking:

Bob Ross

Bob Ross
Now then, you have to make a major decision. Where does your mountain live in your world? Right there.

Obama and Romney Arguing, 2012 Debates

Obama and Romney Arguing, 2012 Debates
The pitch rises in the middle as they become more animated.