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An invention

There are little music rooms here that you can sign out to use. One has drums, one has a good upright, and two have deconstructed and badly-out-of-tune pianos. And so although each room has a window and is bordered by its neighbouring rooms, it's like locking oneself into a room and practicing. I like it. The closed door and the location - in the basement by the laundry - makes me feel like I can make mistakes and practice that one part a million times without worrying.

All this piano practice has made me aware of a Thing I first dreamed up of in grade eight when my Humanities teacher asked us for inventions. (She was a very cool teacher.)

PREMISE: A music score display.

PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES: Like an iPad! A tablet! The pianist for our choir used an iPad once, so that he could just tap the screen and have it shift to the next page. Anyone who's ever had to play long pieces or take music from a book knows what a pain it is. (I used to use those big clips to hold pages open. And bend spines without even a flinch, because it was so frustrating.) It should be about the same height and width as a sheet or two of paper, perhaps foldable in half, to save space. Light, so that it doesn't mess with the piano. As well, there should be some kind of flap or physical button to hit, when turning pages.

When I tried the idiocy of playing Erlkonig (link goes to Youtube, of a fantastic Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) and equally amazing pianist - watch the speed of the octave triplets), it was something like twelve pages. I taped six together - that was the length across that would fit - and ripped the sheets down to get to the next part. Dramatic, but cumbersome.

SPECIAL EFFECTS: A system of automation - set the pages to flip every, say, 21 seconds automatically. You could time your piece and then enter timings for each page - just play consistently. Even for pieces heavy with rubato you could set timings individually. Or documents in certain file types could have meta associated with it, so that it could calculate tempo (given by composer) and number of bars and estimate.

Even better, we could have another pedal, off to the left, which would turn pages! Like a sewing machine's pedal - stomp on it (the only important pedal's on the right anyway) and the page turns.

BENEFICIARIES: Pianists. Any musician that needs both hands to play. People who prefer not to pay freaking thirty dollars for ten pages of music (oh Debussy) and can get scores online. People who want to take music scores around with them but don't want to cart loose sheet music. Musicians who are too trivial to have page-turners assigned to them :P

DISADVANTAGES: The tech would be expensive, of course. And we might wind up with the same problems as ebooks do now, but by God, I'd love to have something like this.

(Of course, all of this is why you memorize pieces as fast as possible. But still!)

Crosspost: http://silverflight8.dreamwidth.org/96442.html.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 29th, 2011 08:51 am (UTC)
Sep. 29th, 2011 04:24 pm (UTC)
oh my GOD WANT
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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