in Music

Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ

Occasionally people ask how I “see” music. I do tend to perceive music visually, as a set of continually changing spatial relationships: with distance along axes representing pitch, time and tonal relativity. This technology gives some idea… though I would like there to be a third dimension of visual representation (toward you the viewer) which represents tension and release, i.e. gravity, through distance from the tonic… at the D minor the notes are at the default screen distance from you, and as they move around the circle of fifths they move closer or farther from you.

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  1. Marvelous! And to think that I once could play that (but POORLY!) on an actual organ… It was great to feel the virtual foot-pedals again.

    Reminded me of the human voice-pitch displays I built for DARPA back in the ’70s. We also used a fixed "now" point whose height was proportional to pitch, and a time-axis flowing leftwards from "now." This was so much more beautiful… the shapes and colors showed so much of the deep structure of the music. Tnx for the pointer 🙂

  2. Followup: I saw one live realization of the Circle of Fifths — an editor friend posted this in SlashDot:

    http://science.slashdot.org

    about a Princeton Prof., Dmitri Tymoczko, whose website is here:

    http://music.princeton.edu/

    There’s a Science News blogpost about him:

    http://blog.sciencenews.org

    Here’s the specific demo .MOV about a visual representation of the Circle of Fifths:

    http://www.sciencenews.org/

    … It doesn’t look like is quuuite what you were looking for, but it’s fun to look at — esp for me since I used to play that piece myself… 🙂