The entertaining little round linked into yesterday’s post came from (music & animation – or rather the animation of music by Stephen Malinowski). The animations offer a kind of graphical music score using coloured bar graphics. Pitch is represented along the y-axis, duration along the x-axis and the various voices are shown depicted in different colours. Why is this useful? I feel that it binds the audio and the visual in a dynamic, meaningful way. Does it offer anything that a reader of music couldn’t already spot from traditional notation? I think there is one thing. 1′ 18” into this animation of Debussy’s Clair de Lune (access to YouTube essential) there is a series of moving chords. However, looking at the graphic, you can see that there are three notes present in every chord. Although this could be spotted in traditional notation (see top of page 2 of this pdf Claire de lune), I feel that you’d have to be looking for it, whereas here it leaps out at you. This could, in turn, lead onto a discussion of how the colour of an individual note may appear to change depending on the chord in which it appears, and of the parallels in language. As an example, consider the feel of the word “run” in the following sentences:

  • I run 5 miles a day
  • The poor car was run into the ground
  • If you run your words together the listeners will not understand you
  • This minimalist piece opens with a 4-note run which continues throughout
  • The run in the model’s tights added to the punk nature of the outfit
  • I often feel run down by the end of term – mostly by pupils’ cars in the car park 🙂
  • My run of luck with these phrases has run out

May I also recomment the animation of of this playful Sonata (K445) by Scarlatti