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#2142875 - 09/02/13 03:31 PM My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you?
neuralfirings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 174
Hi all! I want to show you guys a site I'm working on for analyzing piano scores. Right now, I'm looking into how people would use this site. I haven't built anything yet, but I did draw up some mockups. There are a lot of features I can implement, but I have limited time outside of my job. So, I need help figuring out which features would be most useful for you, and thus get priority.

Here's the link to the visual mockups of the site:
http://musical.neuralfirings.com/2013/09/notable-scores-wireframes-and-user-survey/

Here's a link to a verbal description of what the site does: http://musical.neuralfirings.com/2013/08/wikiscores-some-thoughts/

A few questions to consider
- How useful would this site be for you? This helps me prioritize this project against my other projects. Lots of ideas, not a lot of time.
- What features would you want to implement first? It's a big project, so I'll implement a few features at a time. I would like to implement the most useful ones first of course
- Is this site something you would pay for?

The last question isn't so that I can start charging, but if people hypothetically think about paying to use a product, then I find the responses tend to be more predictive of actual usage. Even if the product is free.

And of course, ANY feedback is welcome!


Edited by neuralfirings (09/02/13 04:23 PM)

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#2142905 - 09/02/13 03:56 PM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11706
Loc: Canada
This looks very interesting.

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#2142917 - 09/02/13 04:18 PM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
Anne H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/13
Posts: 120
Loc: New Orleans
I love this idea and yes, I would pay for it. I'd love to be able to basically crowdsource other people's annotations and experience to help with my own practice. If you don't have a teacher, this kind of thing is invaluable!
_________________________
Works in Progress:
Ravel - Ma mre l'oye suite (piano solo)


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#2143143 - 09/02/13 10:35 PM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
To reiterate what I had said on AOTW, I think this would be a great idea. I'd love to see crowd-sourced annotation.

See for instance my post earlier today in FOYD re: Clair de Lune fingering on certain measures (not the arpeggios that everyone always talks about). I searched quite a while and wasn't able to find anything prior to posting. I'd love to have a tool to look to see what others had said on a given portion of a piece, and to add my own thoughts/questions as well.
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

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#2143410 - 09/03/13 11:55 AM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: aTallGuyNH]
neuralfirings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 174
I agree. Before I started working on the Ballade, I did a Google search and a Piano Forum search for what people think on the piece. But it's all disjointed. And people would say things like "in bars 9-10.. blah blah" then in bars "101-113" the theme reappears, which is nice.. but I don't want to count bars or keep looking up and down at my score each time somebody replies and refers to a new section.

The other thing that I suspect would be useful is comparing editions (I updated the mockups to include that page). I think looking at how different editions note pedal markings, slurs, fingering, even note lengths can be very helpful.

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#2143724 - 09/03/13 10:55 PM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Here's a link to the Clair de Lune discussion I mentioned in my previous post. I could see how the comments could get really crowded if every Tom, Dick, and Harry ventures an opinion on common aspects of a popular piece.
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

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#2143815 - 09/04/13 02:00 AM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
neuralfirings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 174
I saw the Claire de Lune discussion in FOYD and immediately thought of this too!

I haven't quite figured out the filtering problem yet. But there are a few ways to tackle that problem.

First is the helpfulness rating. This is Amazon's solution to all the reviews they get a products, the most helpful bubble up to the top.

Second is lists/follows--so you can add commenters you like to lists that you follow, and then you can filter by those lists:
- Lists that you curate yourself
- Lists that you get from achievement (eg certain number of upvotes from previous posts)
- Lists that you get from outside memberships (eg MTNA membership, PianoWorld members)

Third is filtering by topics/tags--ie only show posts tagged "theory" or "practice tips" for example.

It can also be a combination of all of these things. Lots of ideas!

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#2143816 - 09/04/13 02:03 AM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
neuralfirings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 174
Another example: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...0Qu.html#UNREAD

The way the project is set up right now really has to do with categorizing by bar measures, so something as detailed as fingering I still need to figure out how to do. But imagine if anybody can upload their fingering and people can vote on which ones they prefer. And you can select between the top 3 upvoted fingerings to try out yourself. That would be pretty sweet!

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#2143912 - 09/04/13 08:21 AM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
I think leaving the fingerings at the measure level would be fine as a start, it already sounds complicated and daunting enough as it is! I'm assuming that comments could be made on a single measure or associated with a group of measures.
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

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#2144343 - 09/04/13 11:42 PM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
neuralfirings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 174
The survey results seem positive for the most part. So, I'm marching forward with this project. smile

Progress so far: http://musical.neuralfirings.com/2013/09/work-in-progress-notable-scores/

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#2144354 - 09/04/13 11:54 PM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Great!

Not that I have a lot of time for this sort of thing, but presumably there would be a lot of grunt work to get scores into a format where the bars are recognized and could be utilized by your program. Any thoughts re: crowd-sourcing that work?
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

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#2144359 - 09/05/13 12:06 AM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: aTallGuyNH]
neuralfirings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 174
I smell a volunteer! laugh But yes, there will be a crowd sourced aspect to this. it'll be something like this, draw rectangle around each line. Then click on each bar on that line. Repeat.

Maybe the volunteer that clicks through the most number of bars gets Insomnia Cookies?

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#2144364 - 09/05/13 12:14 AM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Sounds good to me!
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

Top
#2144372 - 09/05/13 12:33 AM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
Bamburg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/13
Posts: 82
Wouldn't there be some copyright issues? Or is this idea only for music that's freely available?

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#2144381 - 09/05/13 12:49 AM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: Bamburg]
neuralfirings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 174
Only for music freely available. I suppose to start you could just send a link to the IMSLP page or upload certifying that you own/allow others to notate a work. Same policy as YouTube.. there are standard terms for these things.

Maybe a later version we can do private/public/unlisted uploads. That way if you want to share a work but only to a close circle of friends, you can do that. In that case, there are a lot of licenses you can choose from. I'll probably do something like YouTube where you can select a number of licenses from a drop down.

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#2144415 - 09/05/13 01:41 AM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
lizkey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/13
Posts: 30
Neural, I love the ideas presented. How do you plan to integrate your vision of being able to include hand-written annotations/versions of annotations, as you described in your "some thoughts" description? I would be all over such a feature (kind of what Music Reader allows) as part of your larger creation, because I mark up my pieces heavily at first. Then I erase and remark repeatedly until I settle on how to play. But, I'd want a feature to isolate only my annotations after I've considered the music and others' suggestions and settled on my own way. Would there be a way to choose to isolate appearance of only a certain version of annotations while reading music? And then once marked up as one prefers, a way to download that version as a pdf to view so I can just read statically from ipad to play.

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#2144437 - 09/05/13 02:51 AM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: Bamburg]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2106
Loc: Rocky Mountains
This does sound very interesting. I don't know enough to give you good feedback/criticism. I think I would use it.
Copyright has a clause for educational purposes. That doesn't mean lawyers won't try to fight you and cost you money. Like Forums have to deal with in free speech.
Still, all the really tough stuff....the classical. It's all way beyond any copyright.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2144576 - 09/05/13 11:37 AM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
Barbareola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/12
Posts: 67
Loc: Germany
I like the idea very much. I'd even pay for a service like that.

I wonder though if a cooperation with imslp would not be an even better approach.

A project like the one sounds very ambitious to me, especially if time is a very expensive resource to you. (I know the feeling.) Assuming that the implementation happens without any problems though, there is still the challenge of making the site popular so that it'll grow.

Integrating this function as a service in imslp would open the immense popularity and richness of online content to you and might even provide you with companions that will help to carry the weight of implementation and support so that it can be spread out over several shoulders.

Have you approached the people at imslp with your idea?
_________________________
Currently working on: Venetian Gondola song by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy

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#2144663 - 09/05/13 02:49 PM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: Barbareola]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Originally Posted By: Barbareola
I like the idea very much. I'd even pay for a service like that.

I wonder though if a cooperation with imslp would not be an even better approach.

A project like the one sounds very ambitious to me, especially if time is a very expensive resource to you. (I know the feeling.) Assuming that the implementation happens without any problems though, there is still the challenge of making the site popular so that it'll grow.

Integrating this function as a service in imslp would open the immense popularity and richness of online content to you and might even provide you with companions that will help to carry the weight of implementation and support so that it can be spread out over several shoulders.

Have you approached the people at imslp with your idea?

+1!!!!
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

Top
#2145115 - 09/06/13 08:02 AM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1137
Loc: Stockholms ln, Sverige
I think this is a good idea especially if it can include scans of handwritten notation by composers and their students, and also out-of-print editions like the Tellefsen Chopin editions and the Robert Schumann first editions (earlier than those edited by Clara Schumann) - best of luck with it!


M.

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#2145132 - 09/06/13 08:31 AM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
neuralfirings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 174
@lizkey & @Michael Sayers -- I like the idea of handwritten annotations. The library I'm using for displaying the PDFs (actually it's PDFs converted to JPGs displayed on the site, accessible on all devices!) also has a "free draw" tool. So I would probably use that. Versioning is a good idea. I would probably to start use the "tags" feature. Just like any blog post, you can tag it with "theory" or "fun" or "v1", then you can filter to show only "v1", "v2", etc. I put up my development list and project tracker on Trello: https://trello.com/b/ITTINGXI -- you can comment on each of the ideas there and see what the currently dev pipeline looks like!

@Barbareola & aTallGuyNH -- re: IMSLP integration: I would love to talk to the folks at IMSLP. Does anybody at Piano World have a contact there and would be willing to make an introduction? It might be too early in the process to talk to partners, but always good to get a conversation rolling ahead of time. The development process will look something like this.

Step 1. Feel out the market (survey, these threads, etc.
Step 2. Very very simple prototype (a few scores, bars manually entered into the system) -- test out if people who say they will want to use this will actually use this, how they use it, what features everybody wants, etc. Probably a closed beta (meaning not everybody can access it)
Step 3. Iteration
Step 4. Repeat Steps 2 & 3 until it gets to a "good" spot
Step 5. This is where partnerships would come in, when I have a good product -- open beta, still buggy but everybody can have access

By "good" I mean it works without bugs. There aren't any weird usability issue, the site won't crash if more than 10 people use it, it won't randomly give you an error page.

For IMSLP, I can see something like a badge working well. So for each piece they have, there's a "33 notes on this piece via Notable Scores" or something like that, then the user can click through to see the notes. Of course, I would also put something on my site "check out other editions available through IMSLP" and link to the piece's page on IMSLP. That's probably the simplest integration I can think of. Maybe start off with something like that.

Then if it becomes popular, then we can do deeper integration, like you can preview the score with annotations on IMSLP.. that'd mean I'd have to muck around with IMSLP code. Or have the IMSLP team muck around with my code. Probably both. A lot of mucking around.

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#2145136 - 09/06/13 08:37 AM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
neuralfirings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 174
Oh, that said. Any requests for scores to use as analysis in the prototype version?

I'm doing Chopin's Ballade No 1 (since I'm studying that one right now). I saw Claire de Lune on some other thread. Maybe Moonlight Sonata? There's a lot of cool stuff going on there. Maybe some piece from the WTC?

What scores do you guys want?

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#2145500 - 09/06/13 10:41 PM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
lizkey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/13
Posts: 30
Liana, I am completely on board with everything you said in your response. Sounds great. I think your suggestions for Claire de Lune and Moonlight Sonata are smart and perfect for beta testing purposes. I vote for Claire de Lune as a great first test case since so many of us on this forum have already worked/are working this into our repertoire.

Also, I'm a long time user of trello and think it's a convenient collaborative tool. Will check out your board. Very promising - love what you are envisioning. Let's keep the dialogue going. Great start, Liana!

Liz

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#2145546 - 09/07/13 01:41 AM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
I agree that CdL and Moonlight are great picks to start. Something a bit easier, like Bach Prelude in C Major BWV 846, something from Tchaikovsky's Children's Album, etc., would be good to get a broader audience for a beta.
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

Top
#2146462 - 09/08/13 04:17 PM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
neuralfirings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 174
Good news everyone!

I have a demo page up for you clever people to play with.

Check out demo here: http://www.notablescores.com -- demo is the first page of the Moonlight Sonata, mvt 1.

Click on "sign in with the demo account" underneath the invite list button.

The demo should give you a taste of the site. Let me know what you think!


Edited by neuralfirings (09/08/13 04:59 PM)

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#2146520 - 09/08/13 05:31 PM Re: My project: scores annotation site--what's useful for you? [Re: neuralfirings]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Wow! That is a fantastic start! I'm amazed that you are able to put something like this together so quickly.

I used it with Chrome on my Droid phone and it worked great. There were a couple formatting issues, but I'm thinking that's not the sort of feedback that is of value at this point. I was able to add a comment and edit successfully. I did notice that my added comment didn't show the highlighted measures the way the other ones did. Overall, it looks great!

I would put filtering by comment types as a very helpful additional feature.

I'm assuming that each user will only be able to edit his/her own notes?

Also, it was funny, even though I was playing with a demo, I was reticent to put anything on there unless I was pretty sure that it was accurate, relevant, useful, etc. It occurred to me that this could have a very different feel depending on if it is setup to encourage questions and dialog vs. trying to only include authoritative notes. The former sounds to me to be more interesting, but could easily turn into a mess of uselessness that drowns out the expert information... maybe separate "notes" from "discussion"?
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

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