One measure is a quarter of the page in height, the full page width is four octaves – or half of most pianos. A complete song would require more than ten sheets of paper, or two ipads side to side if you're the techy type.
It requires color, and – most importantly – prevents you from actually learning to know notes and chords as you learn songs.
My personal reaction, as a musician, is that this is surprisingly unhelpful :/
I'm really not sure this is easier to read at all. Prettier, yes, but not better IMO. Also consider space constraints. Your variation is vastly more space consuming. You would not be able to produce a full song with this design.
As someone who can read music - this was entirely confusing.
As a guitarist who learned a lot by tablature, I totally support your effort but can't say I can instantly understand this notation. I never learned piano for this very reason. I get that two lines of music is hard as hell to read and representing that in a clear and instantly recognizable manner is just tough.
I can read actual music as that's how I started out, but it takes me forever to decipher and isn't as of a no-brainer solution as tablature.
In terms of UX, we need a "Don't Make Me Think" solution per Steve Krug's famous book
So I don't read music.
I understood this immediately though. It just clicked. This would work brilliantly for me and I'd gladly give this a go.
Yes it can probably be more refined for more complex pieces, but damn, that's an instant visual approach that just works. I get where all the negative comments come from, but as a start, this is pretty great.
.edit: also, I'd love to see more comments on how this could be improved, over comments on why it's not a good solution. Come on guys. We're making ourselves look like a bunch of nay-sayers. Colour an issue? You know that can be fixed with some patterns or whatnot?
Yay! A Student Redesigned Something That Works Just Fine
First off, for a non-professional project with no user research, this is really cool! It may not actually solve the problems it set out to, but it got me thinking and is certainly a space worth exploring.
I thought the use of a "space" to denote a measure change was very questionable, since that will throw off the rhythm. I'd much rather see a line dividing the page.
I also thought its much harder to read a single chord when you have to read a whole line... with traditional sheet music its more like you're reading a word per chord, rather than a sentence.
The reason why traditional sheet music has notations for "half notes" "whole notes" and "quarter notes" is because the length of the note is really important, and the difference between those short lengths of time significant. With this, it could be really hard to tell when a note should be two or three or four beats long. So I don't think having the length denote the length you play the note is very successful because its hard to read quickly.
Sheet music is a complex system, but you can read it quickly once you learn it.This system is slower to read, but easier to intuit. I think that is not really the goal of sheet music, and if you want "guitar tabs" for piano, just learn to "comp" by picking up some jazz sheet music with just chords.
Interesting take, and a very hard one. In a way, sheet music has been "habitualized" by not only musicians, but everyone who thinks about music -- your alternative follows "iPad" style piano apps where the player would just follow which keys to press as they "fall down". It works great on a digital screen, but I'm not so sure on a sheet of paper that doesn't change.
I think for this to work out, the piano itself would need to change to include a digital screen for an interface like this where the notes fall as you play.
Either way, this is cool. I love it when people re-think tradition.
Anyone else recognizes Synthesia here? (⊙_ʖ⊙)
Or guitar hero, rock band, ddr etc. This is like comparing two flat designs and saying "do you recognize the similarities!?".
I can see this being useful for people who've never played before but when they get more advanced, they'll want proper sheet music anyway so why make them learn two languages?
Also the black line on the right of the 'C' key really confused me. Since that's universally considered the first note it should be on it's left.
Looks pretty though.
The note to the left of "C" is "B", so it doesn't make sense to put a black line on the left of "C" since the key to its left is white, not black.
The black line isn't to represent a gap between black and white, it's to represent the start of a C-G section.
Say for example, you've got the sequence 1-10, It's like putting a black lineS on the right of the 1, 11. It makes you think it starts at 2, not 1.
The black lines don't represent the gaps between white and black keys, they represent black keys directly.
Including the shaded C, there are seven white areas (with double-wide spaces representing B/C and E/F) and five gray lines (including the black line used to represent C#) in each octave, corresponding exactly to the white and black keys of the piano.
The sections are also C-B, not C-G, since in the key of C an octave loops around G and through A and B as it returns to the root note C. The notes in the key are CDEFGAB(C).