Would you like to understand a complex classical music piece in a new way?
Click on the above video and listen to the Igor Stravinsky's score The Rite of Spring without watching it for a few minutes. Then start the video again, watching the visualization that music animator Stephen Malinowski has created.
What did you experience while only listening versus listening-and-viewing?
Wondering what this color and movement mean? Malinowski explains it on his Music Animation Machine notation page:
Each note is represented by a colored bar (see diagram below).
--- The bars scroll across the screen from right to left as the piece plays, and each bar lights up as its note sounds (so you can't lose your place).
--- The length of each bar corresponds exactly to the duration of its note as performed (not in any way "quantized").
--- The vertical position of the bar corresponds to the pitch -- higher notes are higher on the screen, lower notes are lower.
--- The horizontal position indicates the note's timing in relation to the other notes.
Feedback I have heard from people who have viewed this (summarized):
I can't usually listen to music like this, but seeing it captivated me, and I was able to listen to it.
I now totally understand what the composer was trying to do and have a new appreciation of classical music.
This type of music must be so difficult to write!
How can I get access to that software?
Malinowski's musical visualizations are an excellent example of how displaying information in alternative formats can increase understanding and engagement.
NPR wrote about Malinowski's work last year close to the 100th anniversary of Igor Stravinsky's ballet of the same name
To see many “re-rites” of the Rite of Spring, including Malinowski's, check the Pacific Symphony's the ReRite of Spring Project.
More of Malinowski's animated graphical scores are available on his YouTube channel.
To understand how Malinowski's Music Animation Machine (MAM) has evolved over decades (from static illustrations to moving images, assisted by changing technologies) check out his MAM timeline.