Music is not only sound

After working with music-related movements for some years, and thereby arguing that movement is an integral part of music, I tend to react when people use “music” as a synonym for either “score” or “sound”.

I certainly agree that sound is an important part of music, and that scores (if they exist) are related to both musical sound and music in general. But I do not agree that music is sound. To me, sound is one (and an important one) component of music, but not the only one. From the perspective of embodied music cognition, music is truly multimodal, meaning that all our senses and modalities are involved in performance and perception. This is not to mention all the cultural and contextual elements involved in our experience of music.

From a scientific point of view it makes sense to try to separate musical sound from all the other sensations and contextual elements, but we should not forget that the magic of music is really based on how all the components work together.

AudioAnalysis v0.5

I am teaching a course in sound theory this semester, and therefore thought it was time to update a little program I developed several years ago, called SoundAnalysis. While there are many excellent sound analysis programs out there (SonicVisualiserPraat, etc.), they all work on pre-recorded sound material. That is certainly the best approach to sound analysis, but it is not ideal in a pedagogical setting where you want to explain things in realtime.

There are not so many realtime audio analysis programs around, at least not anyone that looks and behaves similar on both OSX and Windows. One exception that is worth mentioning is the excellent sound tools from Princeton, but they lack some of the analysis features I am interested in showing to the students.

So my update of the SoundAnalysis program, should hopefully cover a blank spot in the area of realtime sound visualisation and analysis. The new version provides a larger spectrogram view, and the option to change various spectrogram features on the fly. The quantitative features have been moved to a separate window, and now also includes simple beat tracking.

Below is a screenshot giving an overview of the new version:

Overview of AudioAnalysis

Other new selling points include a brand new name… I have also decided to rename it to AudioAnalysis, so that it harmonizes with my AudioVideoAnalysis and VideoAnalysis programs.

The program can be found over on the fourMs software page, and here is a short tutorial video:

Please let me know if you find bugs or other strange things in the program, and I will try to fix them as soon as possible (I expect there to be some Win 64-bit issues…).

PD introductions in Norwegian on YouTube

I am teaching two courses this semester:

In both courses I use Pure Data (PD) for demonstrating various interesting phenomena (additive synthesis, beating, critical bands, etc.), and the students also get various assignments to explore such things themselves. There are several PD introduction videos on YouTube in English, but I found that it could be useful to also have something in Norwegian. So far I have made three screencasts going through the basics of PD and sound synthesis: