|Source: Abstract Bird|
Users' interfaces with music have changed radically in the past five years. Hand-held devices, apps, and software are pushing the evolution of composing and listening. Music education in K-12 schools, however, has remained remarkably the same for generations. Some progressive teachers do encourage students to experiment with Garage Band or MIDI-connected keyboards and synth pads. But most children still stand near a piano and repeat familiar tunes in chorus.
A host of terrific resources exists to teach with visual music. This seemingly oxymoronic experience can invigorate those children who often shrug during music class but who spend every waking minute tethered to their iPods with ear buds blaring. Below is the first in a series of posts about tools for visualizing sound. The blogs below feature interactions that would be inspiring in teaching music, creating projects, enhancing lessons, or augmenting classroom routines. A good background on potential lessons and graphics comes from a slideshow called "Using Visualizations For Music Discovery."
Visual Music Blogs
|Source: Ethan Hein|
Ethan Hein's blog is the first and best place to start for a comprehensive introduction to sound optics, music politics, and tune imagery. As a writer, teacher, and producer, Hein presents a tour de force in visual music theory. His syllabus offers novel ideas for music notation, time frequency games, pitch space pictures, waveform graphics, chord progression maps, song structure visualizations, and other aural conceptions. As a disclaimer, we do know Hein from his days playing mandolin in Garman House, but that doesn't lessen the educational lessons of his blog.
|Source: Visualizing Music|
This Visualizing Music Wordpress blog appears not to be recently updated, but it still establishes a strong resource of diverse posts about graphic representations of songs and symphonies. In particular, it shares eye-catching maps of pop artists and mp3 sharing sites.
The Visual Complexity site always highlights stunning graphics and data imagery. In this guest post on the VC blog, Portuguese applications developer Ricardo Nuno Silva showcases the many challenges and successes in rendering music into a visible show. Silva lays out an important litany of visualization types for teachers and students alike.
On this family blog, physicist Stephen Granade attempts to represent larger, deeper elements of sound through diagram displays. The videos show live examples of musicians at work.
|Source: Brain Pickings|
In this post on Brain Pickings, one of our favorite sites, prolific curator Maria Popova shares three different mental amalgams of hue and sound. Her choices center on animations and "sonic color." By the way, if you're not following @brainpicker on Twitter, you really should.
This engaging write-up about exhibiting a score and adding graphic interactions to concerts comes from Cooky La Moo, the work repository of artist and musician Ben.Harper (there are lots of "Ben Harpers" out there).
Stay tuned for more posts in our series about teaching with visual music.