Then I Can Hum a Fugue of Which I’ve Heard the Music’s Din ‘Afore

by Jimmy Akin

in Curios & Humor, Music

Interesting visualization. Gives you a different perspective of what’s going on in the piece–without the pain of sheet music!

Love the build over the course of the piece, and it’s neat to see my favorite passages laid out graphically.

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{ 26 comments }

Ben June 26, 2010 at 6:50 pm

That was an incredible experience. I was enthralled for all eight minutes – thanks for sharing! I have always considered classical music (in the loose sense) to be my favorite genre by far, but I hated my music appreciation courses in college. This did more for me in a few minutes than those two semesters combined. I know my dad will love this too!

TC June 26, 2010 at 11:03 pm

There’s a whole channel of these “animations” on YT.
They are scrolls for player piano, run horizontally.

John F. Kennedy June 27, 2010 at 9:56 am

Great! It always reminds me of the 70′s movie “Rollerball”.

Tim J. June 27, 2010 at 10:06 pm

It reminds me of The Great Race.. Professor Fate played it, as all good Dark Lords will.

SouthCoast June 27, 2010 at 11:35 pm

It’s still a Mystery…

The Masked Chicken June 28, 2010 at 3:40 am

I pioneered the technique of converting music to geometry back in my master’s thesis in the 1980′s. I used a PDP-11 computer. It took a whole summer to make a single phrase of music. Times have changed.
The Chicken

Nancy June 28, 2010 at 6:56 am

This was wonderful! Interestingly, it helped me realize/admit how much of a visual learner I actually am. Now if someone could do this with philosophy…. ;-)

The Masked Chicken June 28, 2010 at 11:59 am

I just looked at the video. Yes, my thesis has the full-blown theory, which, if implemented, would lead to three-dimensional or higher-dimensional representations of music (or any sound, in general). This could easily be done on a PC, today. It’s a pity that there are only limited abstracts for master’s theses. It has been sitting on the shelf for twenty-five years.
In fact, the three-dimensional representation of music looks like structures that one can walk through (imagine running down a corridor being chased by the music). The whole piece can be frozen in space. In fact, one can use the technique to make “touchable” music. One can give the deaf a sense of the structure of the music.
The Chicken

The Masked Chicken June 28, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Oh, one more thing…one can also do interesting things like “rotate” musical sound using the techniques I developed to view the music at different “angles”. It is a really bizarre concept, but perfectly capable of being done on modern computers.
The Chicken

The Masked Chicken June 28, 2010 at 12:45 pm

The technical term for this type of reprentation is hypergraphics or hypergraphical (not to be confused with hypergraphia).
The Chicken

Anthony Rowe June 29, 2010 at 10:01 am

I have to oddest urge to go play super mario brothers, the way the screen is always moving little thinges jumping around.

Martin T June 30, 2010 at 7:40 am

Visualizing this as a 3D structure I can see turning it upside down and having the high and low notes invert, but I wonder what out sounds like turned on its side

The Masked Chicken June 30, 2010 at 1:06 pm

It’s hard to describe. It’s been years since I did any modeling of this sort. If anyone wants to play around with the math, I can send you instructions. A program like Matlab would be excellent.
The Chicken

jpjackson July 1, 2010 at 11:41 am

Chicken:
I’m finishing up an M.S. in computer science and would be interested in those instructions. Is the complete thesis too much to hope for? =)

The Masked Chicken July 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Is the complete thesis too much to hope for? =)
I wrote it back in the day when things were typed on a typewriter. It is currently in storage, but if you want, I could try to make a photocopy. You might be able to get a copy through Interlibrary Loan. Send me an e-mail address.
The Chicken

The Masked Chicken July 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm

That should be, post an e-mail address to the combox.
The Chicken

jpjackson July 4, 2010 at 8:01 am

Thank you! It’s jjackson385@gmail.com.

The Masked Chicken July 5, 2010 at 2:24 pm

I will try to get the thing out of storage and take photographs of the pages. It may take a few weeks (it is very hot and the thesis in in storage in a steel room). If you need it sooner, let me know.
Programming a computer to make three-dimensional models of music is something that shouldn’t take more than a day or too. In fact, I could write a program for a Mac in a few hours.
The Chicken

jpjackson July 7, 2010 at 7:51 pm

No hurry. Thank you again.

victor July 9, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Ah yes, the classic “Piano Roll View” which has been the mainstay of music sequencing applications since the heady days of Opcode Vision and probably many Atari ST applications before that. It is still alive today, despite challenges from Abelton’s Live (which attempts to, as they have been attempting to do for the last 6 or 7 years, do away with traditional paradigms sequencing altogether, BUT THEY WILL NOT SUCCEED!). The Piano Roll View is here to stay, and I think it will outlive the notes and staff music notation.
Anyway: rotate the classic piano roll view 90 degrees around both the X- an Z-axes and you have your “Guitar Hero/Rock Band” game view.

jpjackson385 July 10, 2010 at 3:27 am

Speaking of the Atari ST…if you’re an Atari fan, you should look up the Atari Coldfire Project. The goal was to create a machine that would be compatible with the ST, Falcon, etc., and they ended up with a really well-designed piece of hardware.
I wish there were more computers like the C64, Amiga, and the Ataris…tightly-integrated high-quality hardware, real documentation (at least for the C64…that’s the only one I have), and open to programmers without special equipment or a developer’s license (like today’s game consoles). Sigh.

The Masked Chicken July 10, 2010 at 3:47 am

The piano roll is 2-d. Rotation by 90 degrees produces a quasi-sonographic view.
The Chicken

David B. July 26, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Should I be scared that I can understand what “erica” the spambot is saying?

The Pachyderminator July 26, 2010 at 3:54 pm

“Should I be scared that I can understand what ‘erica’ the spambot is saying?”
In this case, no, because, as is often the case with spammers, her content is plagiarized from a respectable source, in this case an AP editorial. Source here.
It would be nice if something could be done about these spammers, however. They seem to be increasing in either number or frequency of posts and are starting to adversely affect the blog experience.

David B. July 27, 2010 at 6:14 am

The Pachyderminator,
Hmm. Thanks for the interesting yet disturbing info. Seems like a lot of trouble to go through to post spam.

The Pachyderminator July 30, 2010 at 6:05 am

Okay, this is really not funny anymore. I think some closer monitoring of the comments is called for. How about it?

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