To walk and play music: gizmo edition
December 2, 2018 9:54 AM   Subscribe

I have agreed to participate in a church even that requires playing a Christmas carol on my flute while walking. I can do this, but I'm wondering if it's possible to get a high tech assist.

It's about playing without the music in front of me; I'm not good at memorizing music. I was in marching bands long ago, and used various kinds of apparatus to hold the music, but I had the sudden thought, hey, I need Google Glass. But really, GG, if it would work at all, would be overkill. Still, I started wondering if the tech world had given birth to any sort of eyeglass-supported viewer which would serve the purpose. I wouldn't need a complete page of conventionally scored music, something much more compact would serve.

I'm not really worried about memorizing "O Come, All Ye Faithful" in week, and I doubt I have time to obtain and master a fancy device, but I did wonder what the state of the art is here. All ideas welcome.
posted by SemiSalt to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Agreed that would be a fun application of Google Glass, and probably not one they anticipated (I'm imagining the Marching Band Of The Future! all equipped with smart eyewear, and no that's not a great Google advertizement) but I'm not at core a high-tech person, so I've got nothing. However, in terms of non-state-of-the-art problem-solving, how about putting an image on your phone screen, and then using a workout-band type device to attach it to your left forearm, where you can look down at it as necessary? Or a smart watch if you have one?
posted by aimedwander at 11:14 AM on December 2, 2018

Here is a device to attach your phone to a standard lyre. So I guess you could get a wrist-mounted lyre, and connect the eFlip to it. I've never played the flute and haven't used a wrist-mounted lyre, but my concern is that the whole apparatus might be a bit too heavy to be practical...
posted by tybstar at 1:20 PM on December 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

I feel like you have more options if you’re willing to read piano roll-style sequencer visualization. In that scenario, you could use apps for iOS or Android to scroll the roll at the right tempo, and strap the smartphone into hit field of view, likely on a forearm, hat, or something slightly crazy like a harmonica holder, maybe using one of those grippy phone/camera tripods too.

Come to think of it, I would love to see someone marching and playing whilst reading music off a smartphone mounted to a harmonica holder.
posted by SaltySalticid at 4:44 PM on December 2, 2018

Thanks for the ideas. aimedwander: following your idea, I could just pin a small piece of paper in the best spot, probably somewhere near the elbow. tybstar: I agree a smart phone would be pretty heavy. Salty: Certainly something more compact than a 5 line staff would be good, but I'm not sure I catch on to reading piano roll in a hurry.

From what I could find, Vufine is the cleanest example of what I had in mind: a pure smartphone viewer. Probably the cheapest solution out there at $150, but very clunky.

There are lots of glasses that take pictures and video but which don't have a display. Obviously, they won't do.

Then there are glasses meant for flying drones or for artificial reality. These definitely have the hardware, but it's often not clear from the advertising whether the software would work without undo tweaking. One that would work in the Epson Moverio BT-300 series. These run pretty much any Android app which would include one to display a .jpeg of the music. Costly at about $700, requires some tech chops, and weird-looking.

Fun to think about, but I'd say the tech isn't there yet. But the memorization is coming along fine, so no problems.
posted by SemiSalt at 11:55 AM on December 3, 2018

Oh yes, if it's only one Christmas carol then a printout is the answer. The phone starts being the solution when there are many pages of music or many different songs and you can switch between them with a discreet tap instead of having a notebook full. Or when you're taking requests and need to google it on the fly. The glasses, I suppose that's when you need to be subtle about it - more like "how to cheat on tests" kind of technology than "how to access and display info on the fly"

In any case, congrats on the memorization and I hope you have fun at your performance!
posted by aimedwander at 3:15 PM on December 6, 2018

For the record, the event was Sunday, and I played for two shows without a wrong note. There was one unanticipated complication: they put a spotlight on me that was so bright it blinded me to the point couldn't see where i was walking. It's just as well I wasn't relying on seeing the music.

Thanks again for the comments.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:46 AM on December 11, 2018

« Older Games for Two   |   Please help me demystify this spreadsheet Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments