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Hyperscore in Action: Using motifs to build music

One of the core ideas in Hyperscore are “motifs” – small melodies and rhythm patterns – which form the basic building blocks from which to construct musical compositions. In this video, Tod Machover coaches a groups of children in Armenia and the U.S. as they work together to create a new piece to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the United States Embassy in Armenia. Humming tunes and drawing in Hyperscore, the kids created a variety of motifs. Here we see them start to construct a composition which eventually will be performed by the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra at the gala celebration. (For more information, read From the U.S. to Armenia, Kids Build a Musical Bridge.)

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Toy Symphony Workshop in Dublin (2002)

From the Toy Symphony project homepage

“I can play [the Hyperviolin] and it will sound like a flute or a human voice, yet using the technique of the violin that I have learnt. The possibilities are limitless…And the kids respond to it because it is current. Their imaginations are stimulated, they’re having fun, and they know they are part of something special. That excites me a lot.”  – Joshua Bell, violin virtuoso and “hyperviolinist”

On April 9, 2002, Toy Symphony received its World Premiere in Dublin with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland conducted by Gerhard Markson with guest Hyperviolin soloist Joshua Bell. Here is video footage from a workshop to which the public were invited to try out various digital toys and Hyperscore software.

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Toy Symphony project in Berlin, 2002

On February 24, 2002, Toy Symphony received a highly successful European preview with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester in Berlin under Conductor Kent Nagano with guest Hyperviolin soloist Cora Venus Lunny. Scores of children throughout Berlin participated in school events and Toy Symphony workshops – excelling as performers and composers, and the sold out Open House and Concert created great buzz in Berlin through extensive print, radio, and television coverage both before and afterwards. An exciting pre-launch for the project. (From the Toy Symphony homepage.)

Check out the videos below of the workshop where kids composed their pieces using Hyperscore, and of the concert.

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America to Armenia – Building a Musical Bridge

The opulent Armenian Opera Theater in the heart of Armenia’s capital Yerevan reverberated with some truly fresh sounds on the evening of February 25, 2012, as two of Armenia’s elite musical ensembles dug into new pieces composed entirely by children from Armenia and the United States. The concert, “A-to-A: A World in Harmony,” featured the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra and DOGMA, one of the country’s most popular rock bands. The event was co-sponsored by the LUYS Education Foundation and the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan to celebrate the embassy’s 20th anniversary.

Despite the composers’ youth – they ranged in age from 8 to 14 – their work was rich and rewarding to hear, thanks to the boost their musical imaginations received from Hyperscore, a music-creation software developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab by a team led by renowned composer Tod Machover. Hyperscore puts unprecedented composing power into the hands of people who long to express themselves musically, regardless of their formal training. More than that, Hyperscore turns out to be an exceptional tool for collaborative creativity. One of the pieces receiving its world premiere at the Yerevan event was jointly composed by children in Boston and Armenia.

Empower kids to tell their stories through music.

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