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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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Free business cards! That's pretty cool. Via the excellent Parent Hacks site (see below) I've now found two online printing companies that will print business cards for free. You have"Free" business cards

Today held a couple of movie 'firsts' for me. I didn't see either of them coming. The first 'first': I went to a movie alone. The second 'first': I left before itThe #1 reason to walk out of Inception is...

GateWorld - Staite talks Atlantis Season Four Stargate Atlantis's newest recurring guest star is ready for the show's fourth season, which enters production this February in Vancouver, British Columbia. Jewel StaitePaging Dr. Kaylee!

Save Journeyman Streaming - Slice of SciFi All over the country, fans of this much loved, highly praised show will be streaming Journeyman’s first episode from the official NBC website. YouSave Journeyman! Stream at 10pm!

Here's the cure to boredom! Over 200 Christmas specials on Fanpop! Yes, this includes all the old favorites you've come to know and love: A Charlie Brown Christmas... Frosty the Snowman... The YearStuck in the office (or your in-laws' house) during Christmas week?

I'm currently watching the recorded version of Oprah's first session of her "class" on A New Earth, which is about "new spirituality". For the purposes of this post, however, theOprah's Online Training - experience review

(Originally posted Jul 31, 2005 on my older blog) I've been watching Justice League and Justice League Unlimited lately. This is good stuff. Mike got me hooked. I'd caught it while flippingReview: Justice League

An extremely long time after I started it, I just finished Ex Machina's 50 issue run. Brian K. Vaughn puts on a heck of a story. This is one of thoseThe Colors of Control: Ex Machina

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

Two incredible shows are currently on the edge of cancellation, if reports are to be believed, and NBC seems to be saying that they won't even air episodes that wereNBC is sharpening its axe

I had the opportunity to watch 2 TED talks tonight. Both of them were about the power of technology and its relationship to... well, relationships. The intertwining of connection and isolationTwo TED talks: Turkle and Whitacre - Internet Connections and Isolation

What’s the Difference Between Learning and Training? Don't worry. I'm not going off on another long post about this. I'm really just linking in here because it validates that I'm notWhat’s the Difference Between Learning and Training?

First, the confession: I've been a Doctor Who fan since I was about 8 years old. Sitting and watching those episodes (Tom Baker, at the time) with my Dad isReview: Doctor Who 2005 & 2006 seasons

When I went to college, I hung out with a bunch of music majors. I also hung out with a bunch of geeks. Sometimes those were the same people. IDrinking games for geeky music majors - Tuesday TubeWatch

The fall TV season is upon us. Are there any shows out there worthy of watching this year? Any guilty pleasures you've just gotta have? Anything that just drains theFlashing Forward to Fall TV

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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