DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

Video: Translating the movement and patterns of music into something meaningful and visual

By John Terauds on April 8, 2013

There are a number of ways to animate the sound of music. American technological gadabout and generally curious person Stephen Malinowski passed along his first two installments of an animated Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds

Malinowski created these animations using his own Music Animation Machine.

This is how he describes it:

The Music Animation Machine display is a score without any measures or clefs, in which information about the music’s structure is conveyed with bars of color representing the notes. These bars scroll across the screen as the music plays. Their position on the screen tells you their pitch and their timing in relation to each other. Different colors denote different instruments or voices, thematic material, or tonality. And each note lights up at the exact moment it sounds, so you can’t lose your place.

The experience of watching the Music Animation Machine can be a remarkable awakening to the inner structure of music, especially for people who are sensitive to music but lack the training to “see inside” a conventional musical score. A tool for listeners of all ages.

Coupled with a vibrant score like Rite of Spring, it makes for a great viewing as well as listening experience.

Malinowski added the following Q&A when he posted Part I:

Q: How was this recording made?
A: Jay Bacal performed and rendered this piece using virtual instrument software by Vienna Symphonic Library.

Q: What do the shapes indicate?
A: Each shape corresponds to a family of instruments:
-ellipse: flutes (also cymbals and tam-tam)
-octagon: single reed (clarinet, bass clarinet)
-inverted ellipse/star: double reeds (oboe, English horn, bassoons)
-rectangle: brass (also, with “aura,” timpani, guiro and bass drum)
-rhombus: strings

Q: What do the colors indicate?
A: In this video, musical pitch (as ordered in the musician’s “circle of fifths”) is mapped to twelve colors (as ordered on the artist’s “color wheel”). With this mapping, changes in tonality and harmony correspond to changes in the color palette. You can read more about this technique here: http://www.musanim.com/mam/pfifth.htm
Unpitched instruments (bass drum, cymbals, tam-tam, triangle, guiro) are shown in gray.

John Terauds

 

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

INSTAGRAM | Close Encounters Of The Instrumental Kind

By Jennifer Liu on August 25, 2017

We've rounded up photo evidence of musicians who played with the idea of changing instruments. That's Insta-worthy!
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

LISZT | Five Stratospheric High Notes To Finish Off Your Weekend

By Sara Schabas on September 10, 2017

The weekend isn't over until you hear these sky-high finishers! They'll be sure to end your week on a high note.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

SCRUTINY | A Moving Bruckner Fifth In Many Ways

By Arthur Kaptainis on September 8, 2017

Under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the call for "all hands on deck" commanded impressive results out of the Orchestre Métropolitain.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.