Music Animation Machine

YouTube Review: Music Animation Machine

Michael Lining

A New Way To See Music

Today on the blog, we want to feature the Youtube videos of Stephen Malinowski, an incredibly innovative musician who has developed a unique platform for viewing graphical music scores, and turning those scores into visually engaging Youtube videos. Malinowski’s invention is called the Music Animation Machine. What is it?

From his website: The Music Animation Machine display is a score without any measures or clefs, in which information about the music’s structure is conveyed with bars of color representing the notes. These bars scroll across the screen as the music plays. Their position on the screen tells you their pitch and their timing in relation to each other. Different colors denote different instruments or voices, thematic material, or tonality. And each note lights up at the exact moment it sounds, so you can’t lose your place. MAM notation is extremely simple:

  • Each note is represented by a colored bar.
  • 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.

Why we love it:

  • The music animation machine is an engaging way to immerse yourself in a musical score. Young children will especially be enamored with the way the scores move and the notes “come alive.”
  • Similar to Preschool Prodigies’ scrolling sheet music, the music moves across the screen, reinforcing the concepts of view music geo-spatially, with time being horizontal and pitch being vertical. While these animations are not necessarily on a staff, it reinforces seeing music on a staff.
  • They are fun for children to watch and listen to!

Here’s some of our favorites! Be sure to click the Full Screen button!

YouTube video

YouTube video

YouTube video

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By the way, our good buddy Boo loves to dance to these videos! Check it out!