“The single coolest thing to happen to music ever.” – Thomas O’Hara, 12, of West Genesee Middle School
Music software that lets anyone compose music. The first music software program designed to teach students and adults how to compose music simply by drawing lines on the screen.
Composer and MIT Media Lab professor Tod Machover is devoted to extending musical expression to everyone, from virtuosos to amateurs. In this TED talk, he describes the invention of Hyperscore and how it freed Dan Ellsey, a man trapped in a body afflicted with cerebral palsy, to discover his inner composer.
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Check out the wonderful compositions by young people in Lucerne, composed with Hyperscore. Many of the pieces were introduced to the public yesterday by the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and have been incorporated into Tod Machover’s “A Symphony for Lucerne,” which receives its world premiere tomorrow, Saturday, September 5, at the KKL main hall. Tickets here.
Here is one of the compositions, “Stuttering Stammering Spluttering Susan,” by Leander Perrez from Musikschule Luzern in Lucerne. More pieces are posted on the project website. Scroll down here.
Check out this new video about the Hyperscore workshops we are doing in Lucerne as part of the EINE SINFONIE FUER LUZERN project that premieres at this summer’s LUCERNE FESTIVAL. Amazing young people from around the city are working on original compositions that reflect aspects of Lucerne. These will be transcribed for instruments (some transcriptions by the students themselves, a first!), and featured in their own “40-minute Concert” and also incorporated into my Symphony. Check out the clip to see how the process works, and to see how great these young people are…..and how exciting and fresh their music is. Recorded at Jugendmusikschule, Luzern.
Tod Machover writes: “As part of our Symphony for Perth project, we have invited young people from throughout Greater Perth, in Western Australia, to create original compositions using our Hyperscore software, expressing some aspect of life – and sound – in Perth. Students from elementary through high school, and from the CBD to Narrogin, worked on their pieces from October through mid-December (brought together by Jemma Gurney, the amazing Education Coordinator at the Perth Festival). I was lucky enough to visit eight different schools when I was in Perth this fall, and got to hear all this music as it was developing. Great experience! Final compositions were sent to me a couple of weeks ago, and I have been listening to them ever since to decide how to incorporate as many of these brilliant, vivid musical visions as possible into the final Symphony.
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- Tagged arts education, Australian education, creativity, music composition for kids, music education, music software, music technology, Perth International Festival, symphony orchestra
Saturday evening saw the successful debut of Tod Machover’s “A Toronto Symphony”, described aptly by conductor Peter Oundjian as “the most collaborative piece of music that has ever been written.” Nearly a year in the making, the new work was commissioned by the Toronto Symphony for its New Creations Festival. Scored for a full symphony orchestra, the half-hour-long piece involved thousands of citizens of Toronto who contributed acoustic sample and original compositions. Hundreds of school children composed original music using Hyperscore.
Check out this BBC News video about the project here: Tod Machover: composer’s social media symphony for Toronto.
The Toronto Symphony posted this terrific video highlighting a workshop with composer Tod Machover and Toronto school kids who composed music inspired by the sounds of their city. The kids used Hyperscore, guided by a creative group of music teachers. We are looking forward to seeing the curriculum they developed!
Read more about the A Toronto Symphony project here.
We have long wanted to develop a Mac version of Hyperscore, and hope this is the year we can make it happen! To get started, we need a great application developer with a passion for music to redevelop Hyperscore for Mac OSX and possibly iOS. If you’re interested, please contact email@example.com. Include a cover letter and CV.
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Composer Stacy Garrop was invited by the Ying Quartet’s David Ying to lead a series of Hyperscore composing workshops for the 2011 Skaneateles Festival. The resulting works were performed by string quartets at the Festival. In an interview with us, Garrop shared some of her lessons learned from mentoring non-musicians to compose music using our software. You can listen to her in the video.
Some key points:
- Teachers need to be committed so that the kids won’t just put it down after one day. Teachers who are passionate about the project will communicate that passion to their students.
- With high school students, you may run into the problem that many students know notation and may try to replicated note for note the music they already know.
- The visual representations of music in Hyperscore gets kids excited and is helpful.
- You need to break things down into building blocks. Design lessons around what’s important in music and what’s meaningful in music.
- The colors helped isolate different elements of music and provide a way to talk about their different functions in the music.
- People who are already in a creative field really get it.
- I created lots of exercises to help people learn about the tools in Hyperscore. For example, we did an exercise about range.
- Everyone needs a goal. Before my first workshop, I gave people small assignment that they can have ready for me to look at and a goal for the end of each workshop.
- Make sure you know what the equipment needs are. A good sound system is important!
- Also really important – You need enough computers so that the kids can be working on their pieces while I’m going around the room. If I have enough time, they can get enough work done during a class to get feedback at the end of class.
Garrop remarked that she found it “very enlightening” to talk with much younger students. Overall, it was a “really fun” experience for her.
If you are interested in inviting Stacy Garrop to lead workshops in your school or organization, she may be reached via her website at http://www.garrop.com/
Several hundred school children in Toronto have been giving their Hyperscore programs a good workout, composing music about their city for composer Tod Machover’s collaborative “A Toronto Symphony” project. Some of it may end up in the Machover’s new orchestral work, to be premiered in March 2013 by the Toronto Symphony. Take a listen to some of the kids’ compositions here.
As we reported previously, Hyperscore is being used by hundreds of school children in Toronto this fall to compose music for Tod Machover’s “A Toronto Symphony” project. How has it worked in practice? We found out last Friday when Tod met with around 300 kids gathered with their teachers on the campus of Toronto’s College Français. There to witness the occasion was Musical Toronto‘s John Terauds. He writes:
Hyperscore offers synthesized audio output of its own, but orchestrated by a real composer and played by the excellent young musicians on stage, these miniature compositions from pint-sized composers sounded remarkably sophisticated.
Here is one example, from Broadlands P.S. student Nebyou. What you see on the projection is the Hyperscore screen. The crazy doodle is the composition. The music is being played by members of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra:
Terauds says, “I have to admit that the ease with which the user becomes a creator worries me, because it feels too easy. Part of me considers this to be a form of pseudo creation, that only the careful application of pencil (and eraser) to notation paper is real creation.”
But the results have convinced him otherwise:
These children, many of whom I’m sure haven’t had any lessons music theory, were truly and fully engaged with the act of creating music.
Isn’t that what we all dream of?
The fact that their work will eventually find itself performed on the stage of Roy Thomson Hall seems almost superfluous after this amazing accomplishment.
Read John Teraud’s full post here: Toronto school children become engaged composers in Toronto Symphony experiment