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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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Interviews & Features - NBC's Heroes: The Show's Secrets Unmasked! | TVGuide.com The show finally premieres tonight at 9pm! I just ran across this TVGuide.com article with some interesting news. ForHeroes: Last minute notes!

Everybody dies. Some of them more than once. Usually, that kind of statement is either a joke or a major spoiler, but then, this is a time travel movie, so IReview: Stargate: Continuum

Quick, think of all those movies from the '60s. The fun ones. The ones with energy that just kept going. Fast dialogue. Bold colors. Doris Day. Frankie and Annette.Review: Down with Love

The majority of senior executives and managers are stressed at work. Eighty percent of senior executives and managers are stressed at work, with a third saying they are highly stressed,Stress: Executives and managers feeling the pressure

Well, this week was the one to launch three shows I'll be following this year (Heroes, FlashForward, and Smallville) and close out the opening season for a summer series IPremieres/Finales Fall 2009

This weekend I saw Spider-Man 3. Before I got to the theater, I'd been hearing all week from critics and friends that it was "okay" or it "wasn't as goodReview: The Spider-Man Trilogy

The coolest thing about The Illusionist is that every trick he does is something that can be performed practically. The movie does use a little CGI because of production constraintsReview: The Illusionist

Trailer for 11 Minutes Ago The first thing that impressed me about this movie was that it was shot, in it's entirety, in a single day. For a feature length film11 Minutes Ago

When I returned from my vacation yesterday, my computer would not recover from hibernation mode (i.e., it wouldn't turn on). I went into a local computer store today to askA child's view of computer repair

The MASIE Center - Learning Lab & ThinkTank - PodCasting for Learning Call I'm listening right now to this podcast. It's got a slow start, but there are some good ideasPodcasting for learning Podcast

If you were the head of a movie company, which movies would you choose to spend $1.5 million per 30 seconds to advertise during the Super Bowl—an event watched primarilyTuesday TubeWatch: Super Bowl Movie Roundup

Creating Passionate Users: Re-igniting passion We can't expect passionate users, if we ourselves can't hold (or rediscover) the passion we felt for the work we chose. That is an excellent point. WhenRe-igniting passion

'Highlander: The Source' Final Nail in Franchise Coffin - OhmyNews International I just had to pick a few of the favorite quotes from this review. Most of the reviews I've readMore on 'Highlander: The Source'

Monkey Bites The post is missing a few details (perhaps because they aren't available), but it looks like the popular Eudora email client from Qualcomm is being completely re-written, using theEudora goes Open Source

Well, Blockbuster has been sucking me dry on this movie for a long time (it's been sitting around my house for way too long). I finally got a chance toReview: Inside Man

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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