Created: 10/26/10
Last Edited: 12/04/12
My final project at the Kansas City Art Institute as an undergrad. A learning project, where I experimented with merging music and design in an educational way.
  • Senior Degree Project for the Kansas City Art Institute (May 2010)
    Educating the viewer about basic music theory.   

    PITCH: The lowness or highness that we hear in sound.   
    DYNAMICS: The volume or loudness of a tone.  
    RHYTHM: How long sound or silence occurs. Rhythm is about when to start and stop these musical sounds.  
    TIMBRE: The character of quality of a musical sound or voice.


    For clearity, I decided to show timbre and instrumentation with basic shapes.    

    I chose to represent percussive sound (drums) with a rectangular shape. I felt the fast and powerful attack of the drums needed a form that was strong and sturdy.  

    All of the instruments are visually presented individually and together make up the song as a whole. The drums are also made of multiple instruments the main center piece is representing the bass drum, inside the bass drum, moving up & down is the snare drum (which is equally as loud, i.e. the size), and the smaller, outside rectangles are the hi-hat noise.   

    Since the drums hold the song together musically, they also do so visually by being the center of the whole music form.

    The keys (piano & harp) are diamon shape, at basic structure. The harp (I say harp because that was the setting I used when playing the instrument) shape is suported with two small similar diamons. The reason for the additional diamons is because of the complexity of the multiple sounds that is coming from that one instrument. The piano shape is altered a little, too. You can see there is a rectangular shape involved in the formthe reason for this is because the piano is a percussive instrument and has a stronger attack, similar to the drums, so there is a drum shape (rectangle) incorporated into the piano. Also, at points in the song, you can see there are two piano shapes working together this is two notes harmonizing with each other.  

    Not only is timbre being represented within the form and structure of each instrument, but timbre is being shown with how the shape of the instruments are manipulated over time.  

    The size of each shape is determined by the loudness of the instrument each shape is representing. Throughout the song, you will see there are ususally two sets of drums playing and one is always smaller than the other this is because the smaller drums are quieter than the other drums, therefore they are smaller.  


    Each shape is moving to the specific rhythm the instrument is creating. Most of the rhythmic movement is an up and down motion. The reason the base guitar and some of the percussive shapes are moving outward are purely for compsitional preferences. The placement and rotation of each shape and camera are also for compositional reasons (simply for variety and for my pleasure.)   


    For each instrument, the change in color is representing the change in pitch. Each note is being represented by a specific color (i.e. C = Red). The colors arent necessarilly true visual representations of each note (The color red isnt what the note C actually looks like), but for my project, its purely a signifier I decided to use.

  • TEST EXPERIMENTS (As well as learning cinema 4d)

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