seeing music, hearing pictures

i just have to post a link to this site. it's called the music animation machine and consists of videos of classical pieces being performed, with a piano-roll type animation showing the notes as they play, with different colours for separate voices and highlights for the current tone, almost like a strange karaoke machine. you can buy them on dvd or just watch some samples on youtube. apparently edward tufte is a big fan, and uses the system as an example in his lectures, to show how information can be easily assimilated if it is in the right format.

the best ones i have seen are Johann Sebastian Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Frederic Chopin, Etude, opus 10 #7 and Franz Liszt, Feux Follets. i think they look like some sort of bizarre 2D cellular automata evolving with the music


(see also the IBM glass engine, infinity edition - a java applet for exploring philip glass's musical works.)

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