14 August 2006

The Shape of Song

Martin Wattenburg has created a javascript that puts together a structural visualization of any MIDI file; this means you get to see the different layers of repetition. It's a little limited--as far as I can tell it only analyzes repeated phrases or notes and doesn't take into account harmony and dissonance; I have no idea how adding that next level could be done, but it'd win major props from me.

This is Phillip Glass's "Candyman;" the two tracks represent two voice parts, and it won't surprise anybody who's familiar with Phillip Glass.

This, on the other hand, is Chopin's Mazurka in F sharp minor. Again, it won't surprise anybody who's played or listened actively to Chopin.

It's interesting to look at the different parts from a complex song like, say, Radiohead's "Exit Music (for a Film)", but another limitation of the script is, there's no way to overlay these tracks or see how they might interact. It's still damn cool, though.

I lurve creatively analytical people.

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