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Classical Notes

Watching The Rite of Spring

Posted at 1:51 PM on May 1, 2013 by Emily Reese (1 Comments)

In the 1980s, a composer named Stephen Malinowski invented software that changed music notation into shapes. Different shapes correspond to different types of instruments, and while music plays, these shapes scroll along in time.

Malinowski turned the abstract idea of reading music notation into something far more simple than it is - we watch the shapes move with the music, and it's an invigorating way to consume a piece of music.

Since this month marks the 100th anniversary of the premiere of Igor Stravinsky's The RIte of Spring, it appears Malinowski has done it again.

I've seen Malinowski's videos on various Chopin Etudes, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky... and now, Stravinsky. The entire piece, all processed through his Music Animation Machine.

It's a magnificent way to see the order in what sounds like chaos at times - and watching the blocks of music shift in tandem or in contrary motion made me hear this piece differently.

See more of Malinowski's videos on his YouTube channel.


Comments (1)

INSPIRING! I remember listening to this piece in the 'listening lab' in college, and my head was spinning with lights and objects. I can't wait to show this to my children! Makes one want to dance, choreograph, paint, and close their eyes and imagine simultaneously! Thank you for the opportunity to dream.

Posted by dianne delledera | May 4, 2013 1:39 PM