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

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How do we create? What takes us from the point where a story, or a song, or a painting doesn't exist to a point where it does exist? How doTuesday TubeWatch: Creativity - Inspiration

I heard about a Tron sequel a long time ago, but haven't heard much about it since and forgot that it was in the works. I'm not sure how ITron: Legacy trailer from Comic-Con - Tuesday TubeWatch

Apparently, I'm prejudiced. Despite all evidence to the contrary, I persisted in believing an unfounded assumption rather than taking a few minutes to find out the truth. Because of that stupidity,I'm a prejudiced idiot

Well, I was on the live session tonight (read about my experience with last week's recorded session). For the most part, as I expected, the experiences were the same. ThereOprah's Online Training - live experience review

The Simple Dollar » The Money Savvy Pig and My Son’s Allowance Another good idea from Trent, over at The Simple Dollar. A transparent, compartmentalized, piggybank does seem like a goodTeaching money management to kids

I mentioned last week that I was a guest on a podcast over at Lee and Dan's Midnight Movie Club. The show has now been released so head over andGreetings, Program!

This is just a list of things I saw today that you need to see. Doctor Horrible, Act 1, the 8-bit Nintendo version: Mail truck converted into a Colonial Viper (original BattlestarStuff you just need to see

[article no longer available]Thomson Announces Strategic Realignment of Operations; Company to Sell Education Businesses - MarketWatch [tag]Thomson NETg[/tag] and [tag]SkillSoft[/tag] have been trading 1st and 2nd place in the [tag]enterprise e-learning[/tag]SkillSoft buys NETg

When this movie came out I saw it in the theater and was blown away. I still remember the feeling of exhilaration I had during the launch sequence, and theReview: Apollo 13

The networks released their schedules for next year this week. No surprise: Smallville and 24 are both reappearing in the schedules. However, there has been surprising news/rumors about both shows... 24 JackTV updates: 24 and Smallville (w/spoilers)

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 similarA colorful cavalcade of classical coolness

The movie lived up to the hype. And that's saying quite a bit. Jamie Foxx did an unbelievably good Ray Charles. By the end there were literally a couple of scenesReview: Ray

Apple - Trailers - Iron Man - Trailer - Large Hey, the trailer for the May 2008 movie is out! Looks good, but I'm not totally sold yet. I'm a littleIron Man - Movie Trailer

Woo hoo! I called it! Afro-Blue was surprisingly bad, though, on Monday's R&B episode. I think they got too caught up in trying to take on the judges criticisms and lostThe Sing-Off: The Final Four

Human Brain Transplantation Protocol Approved To Reverse Nerve And Brain Damage This is one of the coolest science pieces I've come across ever. You know why brain injury is so bad? BecauseHuman Brain Regeneration

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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