1482: "#NowPlaying"

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ramblinjd
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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby ramblinjd » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:07 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:...Fortunately, since the song in question is in C anyway, the two coincide. (Again, you need a method for sharps and flats; perhaps a song in a different key - say B major - or perhaps work on hearing what a semitone interval sounds like).


We're not sure it's in C major. The notes all fit in A major, as well. In fact, the notes all fit on the common Highland Bagpipe. Maybe he's touching base with his Munro Scottish roots. The piobeareachd of the Clan Munro is called Bealach na Broige - can anybody find the sheet music for it?

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby EugeneStyles » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:14 pm UTC

Envelope Generator wrote:The notes are most definitely not random and I immediately heard them as a specific phrase. I'm at work and can't record it, though. It's in eighth-notes except for the last note; the first E (in the unedited strip) is an anacrusis, and the intervals ascend up to D, then descend to the E (the consecutive A's are the same note), and from E again moves up to a long concluding A.


I tried it on a virtual piano and reached a similar conclusion, except that the top D sounds (to me) a little better if it's a dotted quarter note instead of an eighth. And the eighth notes mostly feel more like triplets than normal eighth notes. (scratch that, I think I changed my mind about the triplets) Also, the last E sounds better to me if it's changed to an F, so to me that says maybe I've got the wrong tune. Still not something I recognize though.
Last edited by EugeneStyles on Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:26 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby aphoid » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:15 pm UTC

This becomes totally reasonable if Brian is listening to the ongoing performance of John Cage's "As Slow As Possible" in Halberstadt. (search Google/wikipedia: if I include the URL here, it's flagging my message as Spam.)

One tweet every few years seems like it wouldn't be too overwhelming.

Does anyone know if the notes listed so far are from that piece? I can't find sheet music or a note list via google...

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby Keyman » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:19 pm UTC

ramblinjd wrote:
orthogon wrote:...Fortunately, since the song in question is in C anyway, the two coincide. (Again, you need a method for sharps and flats; perhaps a song in a different key - say B major - or perhaps work on hearing what a semitone interval sounds like).


We're not sure it's in C major. The notes all fit in A major, as well. In fact, the notes all fit on the common Highland Bagpipe. Maybe he's touching base with his Munro Scottish roots. The piobeareachd of the Clan Munro is called Bealach na Broige - can anybody find the sheet music for it?

Here you go:

http://www.pipesdrums.com/wp-content/do ... C6783E.pdf with some discussion about this "verison"
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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby orthogon » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:22 pm UTC

ramblinjd wrote:
orthogon wrote:...Fortunately, since the song in question is in C anyway, the two coincide. (Again, you need a method for sharps and flats; perhaps a song in a different key - say B major - or perhaps work on hearing what a semitone interval sounds like).


We're not sure it's in C major. The notes all fit in A major, as well. In fact, the notes all fit on the common Highland Bagpipe. Maybe he's touching base with his Munro Scottish roots. The piobeareachd of the Clan Munro is called Bealach na Broige - can anybody find the sheet music for it?

Sorry if I was unclear: I meant that the song Pfhorrest was planning to use, Do-Re-Mi from The Sound of Music, was in C. The C# in Randall's tune doesn't belong in C major; it could be a chromatic passing note, though the way it misses out the C is unusual. Then again, if it's a bebop tune it could be be totally in order to go from the flat 9th to the major 7th as a kind of "enclosure" around the (implied) root C; or it could be some 20th Century classical thing, in which case anything goes.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby DanAxtell » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:26 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:...Musipedia also lets you search by the actual sequence of notes, and it came up with the Friends theme by the Rembrandts; the melody matches the first part of the first line, corresponding to the words "Well no-one told me life was gonna be", although it has to be in A major, not the original key of F major.


YES! This is exactly the Friends theme and in the right key:
FriendsRiff.PNG

This is the same key as all the YouTube versions I found.
I was working on "Minstrel Boy" and "A-roving", but you and Musipedia nailed it.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby EugeneStyles » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:28 pm UTC

DanAxtell wrote:
orthogon wrote:...Musipedia also lets you search by the actual sequence of notes, and it came up with the Friends theme by the Rembrandts; the melody matches the first part of the first line, corresponding to the words "Well no-one told me life was gonna be", although it has to be in A major, not the original key of F major.


YES! This is exactly the Friends theme and in the right key:
FriendsRiff.PNG

This is the same key as all the YouTube versions I found.
I was working on "Bluebells of Scotland" and "A-roving", but you and Musipedia nailed it.


Dang, that's exactly right, and no way it's a coincidence. I must have missed orthogon's original post mentioning that.

I guess his friends have two reasons to be concerned.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby orthogon » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:32 pm UTC

DanAxtell wrote:This is the same key as all the YouTube versions I found.

Ah, that's interesting. I wonder whether Musipedia somehow stores all the melodies in a canonical format where the first note is C? Or maybe whoever entered it did it in a different key for some reason...
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby sevenperforce » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:36 pm UTC

EugeneStyles wrote:
DanAxtell wrote:
orthogon wrote:...Musipedia also lets you search by the actual sequence of notes, and it came up with the Friends theme by the Rembrandts; the melody matches the first part of the first line, corresponding to the words "Well no-one told me life was gonna be", although it has to be in A major, not the original key of F major.


YES! This is exactly the Friends theme and in the right key:
FriendsRiff.PNG

This is the same key as all the YouTube versions I found.
I was working on "Bluebells of Scotland" and "A-roving", but you and Musipedia nailed it.


Dang, that's exactly right, and no way it's a coincidence. I must have missed orthogon's original post mentioning that.

I guess his friends have two reasons to be concerned.

Wow.

This is why I like skimming the forums. Because y'all pick up on stuff like this.

Ostensibly his friends had a reason to be concerned that he was filling up their timelines/notifications/feeds with hundreds of updates per minute. But if they recognized it and realized he was starting to watch Friends? All the more concern.

Randall is the man.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby Morgan Wick » Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:16 pm UTC

sevenperforce wrote:I created an account just to say this:

Am I the only one very, very bothered by the fact that these updates are shown in descending rather than ascending order? Social media timelines pretty much never go from older updates at the top to newer updates at the bottom.

Twitter has newest updates at the top, but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of other services did it the other way (I'm not on the Facebooks), and the comic points at one reason why: people are naturally inclined to read top to bottom, so if you want to read a string of posts that are related, or if you want to read one comment that's a response to a previous one, you want the older ones at the top.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby Jackpot777 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:23 pm UTC

LtPowers wrote:
Andries wrote:My guess is Randall simply picked notes at random.


How long have you been reading xkcd?

Powers &8^]


It's not a RickRoll, is it?!?

EDIT - no, it's not. Good job, music nerds.
Last edited by Jackpot777 on Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:25 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby sevenperforce » Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:25 pm UTC

Morgan Wick wrote:
sevenperforce wrote:I created an account just to say this:

Am I the only one very, very bothered by the fact that these updates are shown in descending rather than ascending order? Social media timelines pretty much never go from older updates at the top to newer updates at the bottom.

Twitter has newest updates at the top, but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of other services did it the other way (I'm not on the Facebooks), and the comic points at one reason why: people are naturally inclined to read top to bottom, so if you want to read a string of posts that are related, or if you want to read one comment that's a response to a previous one, you want the older ones at the top.

Facebook also puts updates in a bottom-up configuration, opposite this depiction. Both Facebook and Twitter certainly thread comments/responses in a top-down configuration, but that's not what appears to be happening here. I don't know of any social media setups that do a top-down configuration for updates themselves; what would the "beginning" be?

Of course, the timestamps aren't perfectly ordered, which can sometimes happen when a particular page is set to auto-update but does so imperfectly. Still, the notes themselves correspond to the Friends theme too perfectly in a top-down configuration to be coincidence.

Did Randall think readers wouldn't be able to figure out the notes if he put them in a bottom-up configuration? That doesn't make sense. But it almost makes less sense that he wouldn't think about ordering at all and just do top-down by mistake.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby Keyman » Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:25 pm UTC

Morgan Wick wrote:
sevenperforce wrote:I created an account just to say this:

Am I the only one very, very bothered by the fact that these updates are shown in descending rather than ascending order? Social media timelines pretty much never go from older updates at the top to newer updates at the bottom.

Twitter has newest updates at the top, but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of other services did it the other way (I'm not on the Facebooks), and the comic points at one reason why: people are naturally inclined to read top to bottom, so if you want to read a string of posts that are related, or if you want to read one comment that's a response to a previous one, you want the older ones at the top.

And in some places, you have a choice (he says, glancing toward the bottom of this very thread):

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby Polixenes » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:13 pm UTC

Sorry for being a complete dummy, but I'm assuming this strip is based on 'a real thing', so should I take it Facebook knows what you are listening to, and is able to report the song title to all your friends? Do people voluntarily turn that feature on?

I would hate to think Facebook was doing that to me, or even worse, reporting to my friends list which internet websites I was browsing.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby Whizbang » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:17 pm UTC

It is probably some other app installed on the device that then pushes posts onto Facebook, rather than Facebook pulling that information from the device.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby Andries » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:46 pm UTC

sevenperforce wrote:Wow.

This is why I like skimming the forums. Because y'all pick up on stuff like this.

Ostensibly his friends had a reason to be concerned that he was filling up their timelines/notifications/feeds with hundreds of updates per minute. But if they recognized it and realized he was starting to watch Friends? All the more concern.

Randall is the man.


I must say I am still not convinced. Assuming the messages and updates are coming through in real time, and assuming Mike and Caitlin are responding to one another and typing at normal speed, that B, A and A sequence must be spread across at least 15, 20 seconds. And that's not the Friends theme.

I still think you guys are all over-interpreting this. The cartoon is a riff on the fact that 'Now Playing' can refer to either a song or a note, and the information that someone is listening to a particular note at a particular time is completely meaningless.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby Andries » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:50 pm UTC

By the way, the out of sequence time update has been fixed.

Image

Another thing that changed since early this morning is that the first version of the cartoon had the first note as E Major (which is meaningless, since E major is not a note).

Image
Last edited by Andries on Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:51 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby ctdonath » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:51 pm UTC

Next, this must become a thing: someone write an app which continually listens, identifies the dominant ambient-sound note, and tweets it in real time.
Bonus points for tweeting chords & duration.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby Envelope Generator » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:56 pm UTC

Yay, good job on ID'ing the song!

Andries wrote:By the way, the out of sequence time update has been fixed.


So he didn't realize he'd made an accidental extra joke...
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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby sevenperforce » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:04 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:It is probably some other app installed on the device that then pushes posts onto Facebook, rather than Facebook pulling that information from the device.

Even if that is something the permissions language of Facebook Messenger app's needlessly infamous Terms and Conditions "allows" it to do.
An app can use files or data stored on your device.

Photos/Media/Files access may include the ability to:
  • Read the contents of your USB storage
...

Other access may include the ability to:
  • Read your social stream (on some social networks)
  • Write to your social stream (on some social networks)

Of course, people who confused app programming permissions with a nefarious corporate/Illuminati conspiracy to snoop on texts to their bffs and repost their selfies without permission deserved the panic they created.

Andries wrote:
I wrote:(stuff about a double meaning)

I must say I am still not convinced. Assuming the messages and updates are coming through in real time, and assuming Mike and Caitlin are responding to one another and typing at normal speed, that B, A and A sequence must be spread across at least 15, 20 seconds. And that's not the Friends theme.

There's no reason to assume Caitlin is responding to Mike. Obviously, neither Mike nor Caitlin could actually recognize the Friends theme and respond that quickly, but artistic license can handwave that for the sake of the secondary joke.

This is if we assume that the alignment with the Friends theme is too close to be coincidence. I doubt it's coincidence simply because of the whole association with "friends" over social media making it the obvious choice.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby mathmannix » Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:04 pm UTC

So, um... does it say "Brian" for everyone? Just wondering if there was some kind of cookie thing going on in the comic...
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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:46 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:So, um... does it say "Brian" for everyone? Just wondering if there was some kind of cookie thing going on in the comic...


Mike, Caitlin and Brian for me.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby mathmannix » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:08 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
mathmannix wrote:So, um... does it say "Brian" for everyone? Just wondering if there was some kind of cookie thing going on in the comic...


Mike, Caitlin and Brian for me.

OK! Just wondered if it was like that one that wasn't the statue of Abraham Lincoln for everyone else.
Last edited by mathmannix on Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:29 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby Adam H » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:12 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:In other news, Musipedia also lets you search by the actual sequence of notes, and it came up with the Friends theme by the Rembrandts; the melody matches the first part of the first line, corresponding to the words "Well no-one told me life was gonna be", although it has to be in A major, not the original key of F major.

The song (as played in Friends) is in the key of A, so I think we solved it!

Edit: ah dang I never read past the first page, hehe.
-Adam

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:13 am UTC

Morgan Wick wrote:
sevenperforce wrote:I created an account just to say this:

Am I the only one very, very bothered by the fact that these updates are shown in descending rather than ascending order? Social media timelines pretty much never go from older updates at the top to newer updates at the bottom.

Twitter has newest updates at the top, but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of other services did it the other way (I'm not on the Facebooks), and the comic points at one reason why: people are naturally inclined to read top to bottom, so if you want to read a string of posts that are related, or if you want to read one comment that's a response to a previous one, you want the older ones at the top.

Plus, it's just - comics are meant to be read top to bottom like normal things are. Even if you were clipping out a conversation that happened on Twitter, you'd reverse the order for normal reading. So it's something that's probably understood to be probably inaccurate, but in an obvious way.

In an app rather than a webpage, it's also a lot easier to just display as many recent posts as fit on the screen with the newest at the bottom, and allow unlimited scrolling upwards. Twitter's app would probably arrange stuff that way if the website hadn't been first and defined its layout.
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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby RogueCynic » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:20 am UTC

Has anyone considered the possibility Brian is listening to a chord? The chord "A" is EAEAC#E, very similar to what he is listening to.
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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby StClair » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:37 am UTC

My feelings about Twitter, let me show you them.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby sfmans » Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:36 am UTC

Whizbang wrote:It is probably some other app installed on the device that then pushes posts onto Facebook, rather than Facebook pulling that information from the device.


If you sign onto SoundCloud using your Facebook authentication it will 'offer' you the opportunity to post what you're listening to on your timeline.

A [real life as well as FB] friend has this feature turned on and he really has got awful taste in music ...

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby Vir4030 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:29 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:In other news, Musipedia also lets you search by the actual sequence of notes, and it came up with the Friends theme by the Rembrandts; the melody matches the first part of the first line, corresponding to the words "Well no-one told me life was gonna be", although it has to be in A major, not the original key of F major.


You sir, are a genius. My first thought was also that this was a rickroll, but this is brilliant. That didn't take long!

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby Andries » Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:52 pm UTC

So you are convinced it's Friends, even though it's not the same notes?

I am baffled.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby Envelope Generator » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:47 pm UTC

At least this clip of the theme song is in A major, just like in the strip, though I can't know it's not pitch-shifted. Didn't someone say that Musipedia transposes melodies so that the first note is C? That's the dominant of F major (as E is the dominant of A major) which would explain Musipedia saying F major.
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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby Andries » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:25 am UTC

No Musipedia finds the song according to the correct notes.

It does find matches for the note sequence, but that's from somewhere in the middle of some piece of classical music, which apparently is not a satisfactory match for the 'Friends" school.

You can make it come out as "Friends" by searching for a "melodic contour" - which will find the song in any key.

That's how they get to their preferred result:' - by finding another song with the same melodic contour - but not the notes in the example.

Quod erat very far from demonstrandum, I think.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby orthogon » Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:24 am UTC

I don't particularly see myself as a "Friender", but the fact is that so far all recordings and notated versions of the tune that anyone has found are indeed in A, thus matching the notes in the comic exactly, except for the version on Musipedia. I'm not saying that proves anything about whether Randall had that tune in mind, but it does refute the idea that the notes would be in the wrong key. You're quite right of course that it could be from the middle of a tune; after all the updates are clearly disappearing off the top of the screen, and this would give a much wider search space.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby Andries » Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:34 am UTC

The question is whether we want there to be an Easter Egg.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby orthogon » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:26 am UTC

Andries wrote:[...]You can make it come out as "Friends" by searching for a "melodic contour" - which will find the song in any key.

That's how they get to their preferred result:' - by finding another song with the same melodic contour - but not the notes in the example.

The "melodic contour" search uses Parson's code and hence discards the magnitude of the intervals; what I actually did is to search for the notes in the comic (using the "Flash Piano" interface, taking a guess about the octaves, and giving zero weight to the rhythm). The search is apparently quite smart: it found the Friends theme even though in its database it was in F, and even though I'd pitched the last "A" up an octave instead of down.

Andries wrote:The question is whether we want there to be an Easter Egg.

As somebody hinted upthread: these are the xkcd fora. We are honour-bound to scrutinize every pixel of every comic for the slightest hidden meaning. Welcome!
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby sfmans » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:17 pm UTC

ctdonath wrote:Next, this must become a thing: someone write an app which continually listens, identifies the dominant ambient-sound note, and tweets it in real time.
Bonus points for tweeting chords & duration.


I play flute, and have just done a very rough calculation that I regularly generate > 300 notes a minute (more on reels and jigs, less on waltzes).

Put a microphone in front of the instrument, run that through some pitch recognition code, and every time the note is detected to have changed tweet the previous note and the time difference.

Even easier for MIDI instruments, because the note and duration data can be extracted directly from the MIDI data flow.

MIDI would work for chords as well. The real-time analysis of chords, and polyphony generally, delivered 'acoustically' (e.g. via sound waves, rather than as a stream of MIDI data), however; a whole different ball game. Acoustic pitch recognition works pretty well with single-line instruments, but even two notes at the same time is beyond anything I'm aware of and the complexity level increases n-fold with each additional simultaneous tone. I don't know enough about how CDs and MP3 are encoded, but I'm guessing that for our current purposes that would be the same as 'acoustic' delivery because the data is not directly mappable to pitches in the way we want.

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby Andries » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:46 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:As somebody hinted upthread: these are the xkcd fora. We are honour-bound to scrutinize every pixel of every comic for the slightest hidden meaning. Welcome!


So this is kind of apophenics anonymous?

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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby orthogon » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:06 pm UTC

Andries wrote:
orthogon wrote:As somebody hinted upthread: these are the xkcd fora. We are honour-bound to scrutinize every pixel of every comic for the slightest hidden meaning. Welcome!


So this is kind of apophenics anonymous?

Brilliant: I'm delighted to find out that there's a word for it. Have an Internet!

ETA:
sfmans wrote:I play flute, and have just done a very rough calculation that I regularly generate > 300 notes a minute (more on reels and jigs, less on waltzes).

I've often thought about this, playing in small jazz groups. In many ways the rhythm section work harder, since they have to play for the whole song, whereas the front line (e.g. sax players like me) get a long rest in each song whilst the other instruments take their solos. On the other hand, we probably play more notes per minute, but even then it all depends whether you count a piano chord as one note or count all its constituents separately. I can imagine long arguments at the Musicians' Union meetings. (Irish Trad is something I know virtually nothing about - do you keep up your 300npm for the whole song or do you get a "breather"?)
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

Oraiste

Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby Oraiste » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:49 pm UTC

Andries wrote:But only a few people can accurately play a particular note form memory without a reference tone. That's perfect pitch.

My sister has perfect pitch. She once used it to fake deafness in a routine hearing test at school, and then again to get consistent results in all the follow-up tests. Not one of the doctors realised she was faking it because they didn't believe a 5 year-old girl was capable of trolling them.

Of course, being 5, she didn't understand that successfully faking deafness meant she would get treated for deafness. Her goal had been to get her hands on a hearing aid (she thought they were magic volume boxes) but the doctors decided surgery would be a better option. Luckily she dropped the charade before things got that far.

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Klear
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Re: 1482: "#NowPlaying"

Postby Klear » Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:14 am UTC

Oraiste wrote:My sister has perfect pitch. She once used it to fake deafness in a routine hearing test at school, and then again to get consistent results in all the follow-up tests. Not one of the doctors realised she was faking it because they didn't believe a 5 year-old girl was capable of trolling them.

Of course, being 5, she didn't understand that successfully faking deafness meant she would get treated for deafness. Her goal had been to get her hands on a hearing aid (she thought they were magic volume boxes) but the doctors decided surgery would be a better option. Luckily she dropped the charade before things got that far.


That's a wonderful story.


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