animating chopin using harmonic colouring

Spotted via digg, a graphical visual representation of Chopin’s Etude opus 10 no 12 in C minor. There are so many others in the same youtube channel, not only Chopin but Bach, Brahms and even Beethoven symphonies.

The project and software is harmonic colouring, a method for assigning colours to musical pitches. They use 2 methods to assign colours. The first is the simple scale that starts with C:

C, C-sharp, D, D-sharp, E, F, F-sharp, G, G-sharp, A, A-sharp, B, back to C

The second is called the circle of fifths is based on frequency of pitch classes where the frequency ratio is approximately 3:2:

F, C, G, D, A, E, B, F-sharp, C-sharp, G-sharp, D-sharp, A-sharp, back to F


I understand the first method but not as familiar with the second method. Anyway, using these methods, a wheel of colours is determined. Then it’s just a matter of assigning colours to a score. They use a software called music animation machine. It’s really fascinating. This is Brahms’ piano quartet op 60 in C minor:


Talk about a symphony of senses.