Hi KQED!

My name is Stephen Malinowski.

Let me tell you what I've been making.

A while ago, when I was learning to read music, I found I could follow the score for a single instrument much more easily than a score with many instruments.

To make complex scores easier to read, I made condensed scores (in which the notes of all the instruments were on a single grand staff—like in piano music). Unfortunately, this made it hard to see which instrument was playing which note. I tried coloring the notes by instrument. That worked better, but since all the note symbols were about the same size, a long note for one instrument could easily be lost among shorter notes of other instruments.

The solution was to use bar-graph notation. At first I drew paper scrolls by hand but later I learned how to make them with computer software. Over the years, I experimented with other ways of showing music.

Recently, a violinist told me he wanted to use my visualizations in live performance, so I made a version of my software in which the timing of the animation was controlled with a crank. We tried this out with a symphony orchestra; it worked!

Loading more stuff…

Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?

Loading videos…