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Music Animation Machine — comments re: educational value

Comments posted in response to Music Animation Machine videos on YouTube

viewer comment video date
Jon Stewart I'm a total beginner in listening to classical music, and these animations are a brilliant 'way in'. They allow me to hold my attention completely on the music and become far more immersed than I would be if I were just trying to listen without any visual stimulation, or indeed watching a performance. Although I must have heard this piece (or the first few bars at least) hundreds of times in my life, this is the first time I've actually listened, and it was an incredible experience. Mozart, Symphony No. 40 in G minor, first movement 2017sep22
Ken Turley The graphic representation of the music we are hearing is the greatest teaching aid I have seen in a long time! It gives a visual image of the music that shows every relationship of the individual voices within the totality of the music. Connecting the visual and the aural in this way will help develop the ability read music and to hear more clearly the musical structure under and around the obvious melodies. A tremendous boon especially to those who would pursue composition. Bach, Brandenburg Concerto 4, complete, Bach Collegium Japan 2016oct18
Michael Stanley-Baker I appreciated the piece in an entirely new way, bringing home to me not only the way the piece trades on punctuating keystrokes into the fading sound, but also what the pianist's fingers are doing. Really showed me the power of visualisations and how they can transform how we perceive and think. Debussy, Clair de lune 2016aug27
Jalal Tabbouche I've been a subscriber to your channel since god knows when and i can say with confidence that you made me understand the structure of deeply complex pieces of music in a way that no music teacher could. Bach, French Suite No. 5 in G Major (BWV 816) 7. Gigue 2021mar10
Jake Simon Thank you so much. It was stumbling upon this video that got me interested in the pipe organ, piano, and classical music. Had I not found this video, I wouldn't have ever learned piano and now mastering the organ. This video literally changed my life when I first found it at the age of 7 (young, I know) Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D minor, organ 2014nov29
koyunbaba73 You Smalin, with your brilliant system of animating musical scores, have done more for meaningful pedagogy in music than any ten people I know. You have made the greatest music accessible for people who have difficulty reading music, and more importantly, you have created a visual reference for music's most important elements. I'm thinking particularly about texture. Whereas I would have to teach texture to my students in order to arrive at a logical performance practice for any given piece, your animations instantly make it clear. I expect my students to be able to justify every decision they make in performance by tying their performance to theory. So now when a student and I study theory, I often make a point of showing one of your videos. I'm certain that these videos will be used more and more in academic settings in the years to come. In fact, in 2008, I gave a presentation on the subject of music, cognition, and memory, and I used one of your videos. While the students liked my presentation, I think they were much more impressed with your video, and the long term implications of including them in their teaching. You have created a wonderful tool. Congratulations and thank you. Bach, Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582 2016aug24
dan haworth I am a teacher too and these videos are invaluable in helping pupils listen to music actively and understand what's going on! I had whole class of 12 year olds absolutely buzzing for Stravinsky after watching your Rite of Spring video. Really good, these videos have the potential to make the world of music more accessible and enjoyable for pupils, teachers, and every one alike. Beethoven, Symphony 9, 1st movement (complete), Allegro ma non troppo, Philharmonia Baroque 5/14/2014
jamesbachreeves I've played many of these pieces over the decades, and watching your videos is like revisiting them in lucid dreams in which everything is clearer and more fully experienced. After watching, I always return to the keyboard to rediscover them with fresh perspective. THANK YOU! Bach, Prelude in C minor, WTC I, BWV 847 2016may25
Luke Adamson I'm a self-taught pianist and I'll probably take up serious study soon, but having no technical background, watching the visuals in these videos - particularly as a young teen - really helped to give me a personalized understanding of music and its structure. Debussy, Second Arabesque 11/13/2015
fixxxt The beauty and joy this movement conjures in my mind is simply beyond words. I thought it impossible to enjoy it further until I stumbled upon this scrolling bar graph and found myself noticing subtleties, which have enriched my listening ten-fold. I never grow tired of listening, and now I look forward to an even deeper relationship with this gem. Thank you! Beethoven, Symphony 9, 3rd movement (complete), Adagio molto e cantabile, Philharmonia Baroque 2/20/2015
常山赵子龙 after watching this video, I am finally able to tell the twisted melodies apart. Bach, "Little" Fugue (G minor, BWV 578) 11/25/2014
Matt Whitinger I didn't think classical music could be 'upgraded' but this seems a benefit to both enjoyment, and learning!! Brahms, Violin Sonata No. 3 (in D minor), 2nd movement 6/9/2014
MOZ-Bachthoveen-ART I don't know about the others, but oh god, watching the music is just like seeing it naked (kinda weird) but I feel like I can see everything, like omniscient, you know. I'm not Mozart, I don't think I can ever enjoy his music or see it the way he did. He composed this in his head, with each single notes, phrases, instruments, put together to make such a perfect and satisfying whole. He knows every details of it. I don't. I can only notice a few prominent theme, usually the highest notes and the lowest ones. It's hard for me to notice the other supporting instruments like horns, bassoons, and clarinets in other symphonies. But even then, I already love this music so much. Let alone Mozart, who knows every details of the music! But with your videos! I am aware of everything. Mozart, Symphony 25 (G minor, 1st mvt) 12/31/2013
MOZ-Bachthoveen-ART hehe, i never really appreciate how great this movement is until I see what it looks like, MAM always help me to enjoy music better Mozart, Symphony 41, Jupiter, 4th mvt. (shapes) 8/30/2013
Marcus Vinicius To be honest, I started liking classical music from this video. Despite not being a voracious consumer of this kind of music, nowadays I listen to quite a lot classical music thanks to Great Fugue and your videos. Beethoven, Grosse Fuge (complete, Great Fugue), op. 133, string quartet (animated score) 8/29/2013
macpduff I'm an artist - a visual person. I've always been in awe of JS Bach, yet never could quite "understand" any music - because it's audial, not visual. Love your channel because it translates the world of music theory into the visual language I understand. tHANKS :-) Bach, "Little" Fugue in G minor, Organ 7/12/2013
Y. Samuel Arai This is the 1st time I've been able to appreciate this work by Stravinsky. By watching the visualization of his music, I can finally understand the organization is this chaotic sounding piece. Thank you! Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring 6/23/2013
M0untainS0undMusic My favourite chanel on youtube without a doubt. Thank you so, so much Smalin. I can honestly say I've gotten to love classical music because of your videos and am now learning the piano myself. Great work Sir. Debussy, Arabesque #1 5/15/2013
Flynn McGettigan I've been using these videos to help me on my essay on the importance of Bach to music. I have no previous knowledge of music, or Bach, but these videos have really helped me understand what makes his music great, and how it works. Thanks. Bach, Double Violin Concerto in D Minor, 2nd mvt. 4/22/2013
Matthew Dewey What you've done here is remarkable! The structure, the orchestration, the harmony - all laid bare before our eyes. A truly revolutionary way of experiencing this art. Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring 4/21/2013
flut4evr @smalin I have loved all of your videos, and they have helped me with more than one performance or assignment in better understanding the intricacies of certain pieces. This is by far your best video and I only wish it had been available before our performance of The Rite of Spring a couple months ago. Props to you on some incredible work. Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring 4/14/2013
Nicolas Messina Stravinsky said 'il faut ecouter la musique les yeux ouverts' --- you must listen to music with open eyes. All those geometric figures are really sophisticated with an intuitive interpretation; some passages are graphically gorgeous, even "Russian" if one can say; the acceleration is impressive at 8:00. But mainly, if I have listened this work one hundred times in my life however this score has shown me new sounds I hadn't detected yet. For instance at 9:11. Bien amicalement, N. Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring 4/14/2013
RTHettish Haha, I'm 13 and the previous version of this video was the one that got me into classical music. Thanks a bunch! Mozart, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik 4/7/2013
CptRick999 Brilliant. I find it hard to listen to Bach sometimes but certainly not this piece. And thank you, smalin for doing these wonderful visualizations, it is through this channel that I found enjoyment in listing to classical music. Bach, Brandenburg Concerto 4 3/27/2013
4ribes6 This is wonderful and amazing. It graphically shows what I hear in my brain. This is a huge CONVERSATION between the sections of the orchestra and now you can see it. People might even understand classical music more if they could see what they are hearing. I'm a purist (prefer not to be distracted by visual stimuli) but this certainly adds a new dimension to listening to classical music. Beethoven, Symphony 9, 2nd mvt. 1/29/2013
karthrags It's wonderful to SEE the individual melodies being set up and then being intertwined, to watch the way the piece is progressively developed. The video helped draw my attention to subtle things I missed in the music. I keep discovering new things each time I see and listen to this. Thanks for helping me to appreciate the music more, smalin! Beethoven, Symphony 9, 1st mvt. 1/29/2013
JeriJones I'm new to classical music. Your work truly makes it come to life. Thank You! Debussy, Prelude to 'The Afternoon of a Faun' 1/9/2013
neogeo53 thanks for all of these videos I started listening to classical music when I was 13 because of your videos now I'm 16 I'm learning this piece to be played on a synthesiser so thanks for all you've done Debussy, Clair de lune 1/5/2013
RectumPilum I find myself studying your videos over and over again, focusing on different instruments each time and listening to what roles they play and how they affect the texture. Now when I look at a regular score I automatically see colored bars scrolling past my eyes. Beethoven, 5th Symphony 12/5/2012
englishman32257 I'm learning to play this with a Saxophone quartett, and i wasnt able to understand how it was to be played, but when i seen this Video (amazing) it help me to hear the other three parts and where i fit in. Thank you Bach, Fugue 7 in E-flat major, WTC II 12/7/2012
PyronicPT Smalin, I've watched my first video of you when I was 10-11 (I am 14). Now, all I listen to is classical music. Thanks, for the genius work of art you have presented us. Sadly, only a select handful will understand the dedication, work, ingenuity and sweat put into this amazing creation :D Beethoven, Symphony 9, 4th mvt. 9/26/2012