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Viola Notation

For the inept composer (ie me.)
  [vote for,

I can play viola, yet my sight reading is completely and utterly hopeless (in other words, I'm good at playing, I just can't read music that well, I have to have it played it to me to see how it 'goes'), which is a problem when I create my own pieces, and I can't write them down.

What I'm suggesting is an electronic viola (heh heh), which has pressure sensors to show where you put your fingers (with the computer having a generalised area where flats, sharps and naturals are), and 'markers' so to speak on the bow, so that a red laser can see how long the beats are and another sensor to show which string you're on. The viola would then have a cable attached from the side of it, into a computer which then transcribes the music being input into proper terms which other people can understand. This then needs to have an editing feature so that someone can mark down harmonics, etc if the need occurs.

Of course, this would make it rather heavy, so noting down peices shouldn't be done for prolong periods of time.

(I can't seem to find anything quite like this on google.)

froglet, Dec 21 2005


       Wouldn't it be easier for a device to just listen to the sounds you make and write down those frequencies and durations from a regular scale that most resemble it?
jutta, Dec 21 2005

       I know that MIT, working with Yo Yo Ma, created a very articulately instrumented cello to capture performances but it wasn't like this.
bristolz, Dec 22 2005

       Sort of baked.   


       Tabs aren't used very regularly for bowed, fretless instruments (as most of them tend to read music a lot better than us guitarists) but there's no reason it shouldn't work.   

       There is the fact that most people don't tab out the timing correctly but that's just a case of patience on the part of the transcriber.   

       IMHO, tab is actually more expressive than your generic western music notation, but then again I read music like I read Chinese, so I guess I'm biased.
Mr_John, Dec 22 2005

       [froglet], if the strings are conductive (metal), and the 'fretboard' is also conductive, then the point where the string touches could be measured by the resistance of the circuit (which is dependant on the length of the string from near the bridge to the touch point on the fretboard). The string near the bridge should have little resistance, so that the movement of the bow along the string would have little effect.   

       If the bow string was conductive, then this could be used as the positive side of the power supply, and the fretboard as the sensing side.   

       So when the bow is stroked, it touches the string and the current passes along the string to the fretboard.   

       I know that the bowstring is normally not conductive, but for composing purposes only, a substitute could be used, perhaps?   

       For teaching, I think that a set of fibre optic light guides could be used to illuminate the correct positions. But they would need to be buried in the wood. I suppose it would look like a Casio keyboard, where the keys are lit up.
Ling, Dec 22 2005

       Shouldn't be too hard, as there are only two positions on a viola -- "first" and "emergency". (sorry, couldn't resist)
phundug, Dec 22 2005


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