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I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

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This is my favorite way to listen to music now.

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(Unfortunately, only works in IE.)

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I'm gonna try starting a recurring series here at Caddickisms. Every Tuesday I'll post a video for your enjoyment and/or edification. In other words, I'm gonna embed a video hereComing Soon: Tuesday TubeWatch

How could anyone be stupid enough to let his skin turn blue? Slice of Sci-Fi has a two lists of movie trailers. Here are my favorites from their lists. The Chronicles ofBlue Skin, and movie trailers

A few posts back, we got into a bit of a discussion that significantly hinged on fair use. I mentioned that I had a fair use reference but didn't haveFair Use

(Yeah, I know I'm months behind 90% of the free world in seeing this one...) Okay, obviously from the trailers the special effects on this movie were going to be top-notch.Review: Transformers

Recently a North Carolina man named Tommy Jordan posted a video on Facebook in response to a letter his teenage daughter, Hannah, had written on Facebook. The video was intendedTommy Jordan: Parenting and Instant Fame in the Internet Age

A long time ago, before I knew how to embed videos, I linked out to a David Letterman clip showing Steve Martin and Earl Scruggs (and a bunch of otherTuesday TubeWatch: Banjos and Steve Martin (and Star Wars!)

On further reflection there is one more thing I want to say about The Prince Of Egypt. The second trailer (included on the DVD) paints the film as a "triumphFollow-up review: The Prince of Egypt trailer

Bryce Zabel's FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH: Santa's 2007 Movie Smackdown! Bryce has put together a fun poll on which Christmas/holiday movies make the cut for annual viewing. Which ones can youThe Santa Smackdown!

Okay, what can I say... I didn't get to spend any time this week combing the Tubes. I actually have something lined up, but I didn't get a chance toTuesday TubeWatch: Woman+hot water bottle+weird contest

Nothing new going on here. I created the map for a project at work, and I wanted to test out the embedding plugin bubbl.us has for WordPress. So, for what it'sMind Map of Learning Technologies

*BREAKING STORY* — Singer Out of Next Superman - Slice of SciFi I know Bryan Singer didn't make "Superman Returns" exactly the way a lot of people wanted, but it was*BREAKING STORY* — Singer Out of Next Superman - Slice of SciFi

J. Michael Straczynksi, the creator of the 5-year TV series Babylon 5 in the 90's, has been doing little side stories from the B5 universe on and off since theBabylon 5 - the final word (mostly)

Well, apparently one does. I don't know if anyone else saw this coming, but I was completely blindsided. Disney just bought Lucasfilm, including the rights to all their films - and mostStar Wars VII, VIII, IX... and beyond?!

Way back in the distant past... I had an idea for a short web comic. Unfortunately, I have ZERO skill at drawing. Luckily, I know someone who has that skill inTime Travel Is Tricky

Well, another year has come and gone. In just a few hours it'll be 2009. Lots of people all around the planet are gearing up for some serious, I-can't-remember-what-I-did-last-night celebrations.Mundane New Year's Eve

A colorful cavalcade of classical coolness

This excites me on many levels. It’s so simple, and yet so cool.

It’s not at all new either. In fact, there’s a multi-award winning film that uses something very similar in its most famous scene. (Comment below if you know what it is.)

What is it, and why does it excite me?

Don’t laugh.

It’s a bar graph.

Yes, seriously.

Wait, wait! Don’t go… it’s not just any old bar graph. This one moves. And it lights up. And there’s music.

Starting to see the cool yet?

Yeah, I probably wouldn’t either, if I was just reading this. Stick with me.

Let’s package it this way: This is a different way to experience music – visually and accurately. We’ve all seen light shows of one kind or another accompanying music, but most of the time it’s just pulsating to the beat or rhythms or some approximation thereof. What we’ve got below is accurate parts, durations, and relative pitch of the notes in a song depicted in a way that you could actually learn something about the music itself.

Check this out as a “simple” example from J.S. Bach:

I call that simple only because it’s one instrument and pretty easy to see how the thing works. But check out the first movement from Mozart’s Symphony #40 in G-minor (one of his best, for my money). For some people this may be a better example because you can actually follow a single instrument through the symphony (for instance, green is the violin (with other strings in shades of green)):

Beyond that fact that I just think it looks neat, I really think this could be used to get people to think of music in a different way. It could be used to help people see the connection between music and math (you can’t get a bar graph without math!). In our increasingly visually driven society, it could be used to help show the ebb and flow of the musical lines, and the intertwining of parts to create the whole. Heck, maybe it could even be used to help the deaf experience music in a new way (maybe it already is, for all I know).

Because this is based on MIDI, it would be pretty easy to single out a given part or parts for display to focus on just the brass, for example. All sorts of ways to slice and dice this.

Like I said, this excites me in many ways: as a music lover, as a technology geek, as an (extremely) amateur composer, and as a trainer/educator. It’s just plain cool.

In case you’re interested in how this works (from the technology side), it’s actually pretty simple. It’s a visual representation of MIDI, which has been around for quite a while (I actually programmed my computer to play the “Ghostbusters” song in MIDI back in the 80′s). MIDI is a mathematical representation of pitch and duration for each note in a score/song. Run that MIDI file through this free software, and it reads all that math and gives you that scrolling bar graph (or even a few other visual options). It’s fun! :)

Do did you figure out which movie used a colored bar representation for music yet? Here’s a hint… ba-ba-da-BUM-BUM!

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