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Thread: Visual representation / animation of classical music

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    Senior Member DeepR's Avatar
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    Default Visual representation / animation of classical music



    First I want to say that I just listened to this piece for the first time (five times in a row) and that I'm in awe and enjoyed it immensely. But the reason I post this is because I think it's a wonderful way to listen to music. With the limited musical knowledge I have, it allowed me to see some of the complexities of the music and that only increased my appreciation for it (even though I can read music, I'm far too slow at that and scores don't provide such a nice, compact overview).
    Maybe we can post some other fine examples. What do you think of this? Does it enhance the listening experience?

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    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    I do enjoy these animations, but for me they come in handy for fugues. Because of a fugue's complexity I don't always immediately hear every time the main subject comes in, especially if it is played at a different speed as Bach often uses. So having a visual clue is sometimes helpful. Plus it's pretty. What it doesn't easily show are the modulations to different keys which can really enhance the enjoyment of a classical work like the Jupiter symphony. The score is good for that. Annotations, maybe even better.

    I'm curious what software is being used to create these.

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    Senior Member LordBlackudder's Avatar
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    i suppose its a midi and the software automatically makes it an animation.

    unless someone has done it by hand.

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    Senior Member Feathers's Avatar
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    I find these very intuitive to watch and understand, since they are very close to (but much more accurate and detailed than) the visual representations of what's going on in my subconscious mind when I learn to music, without having to specify specific pitches. They are perfect for times when I'm too lazy to read a score.

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    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    These are analogue to the original player piano roll, simply flipped to the horizontal. The piano rolls were vertical, the bass to the left.

    Cubase and other software use just this analog graphic, with the piano keyboard to the left, that flipped vertical, low pitches at the bottom. The reason for that choice should already be apparent to you -- they are readily and intuitively grasped by those who have no other knowledge of music notation.

    Those analog graphs are very close to what actually reading score is like, sans specifics of notes, accidentals, rhythm and all other notational conventions.

    Color coding distinguishes either musical fore, middle and background and / or orchestration. In printed matter, multi-color print, whether the old-style plate print or currently digital, ramps up publishing costs a great deal. In the virtual arena of the computer, the expense of color is negligible.

    You may, having essayed the graphic illustrations, have an easier time 'reading' scores than you might think. You still need not know the specifics of musical notation: the principle is very much the same, a graph, the notes produce contours, the conventions of rhythmic notation apart, those are still graphically spaced to give the same sense of timing.

    I advocate giving that a go, and starting with scores of pieces with reduced forces, chamber music, early classical symphonies with strings, a few winds, a horn.

    This Brahms piano quartet movement, if you found a score, would not be much more difficult to follow than this analogue animated graphic
    Piano Quartet in C minor, opus 60, 3rd mvt.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMtufkVhVUs
    (N.B. to the right of this link are many other "Chromadepth 3D" analog animated scores of various repertoire.)

    Ravel ~ Introduction and Allegro for harp, Flute, Clarinet, and String quartet (Introduction et allegro pour harpe, flûte, clarinette et quatuor à cordes.)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBm1w8J63mg

    Or a string quartet, etc.

    Orchestral scores, once you become accustomed to the hierarchy of the conventions of that notation, (Top to Bottom, Winds, Brass, Strings, Percussion) also start to become more accessible.

    Just as a pointer focuses your attention to that which is being singled out, following a score and focusing on any one element has the rather spectacular effect of 'amplifying' that particular part when you listen.

    Remember, without all the formality and conventions learned, a score is but another graphic form which represents what we hear. Do not let the fact you may not actually 'read' music intimidate you at all.
    Last edited by PetrB; May-07-2013 at 08:14.

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  8. #6
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    Slower movements are obviously easier to read with a score for beginnners, as the most basic difficulty is keeping up with the speed.

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    [Duplicate post originally]

    I'll just add that I have preferred the bar graph style ones he has done over some of the other styles.

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