Speel Het Hard 2019

Flemish TV channel Canvas organized a new edition of their competition for amateur musicians Speel het hard in late 2018. There was less time to prepare a piece now, but I took the opportunity to tackle Rachmaninoffs 1st concerto. Combined with my new job at Smals leading to less practicing opportunities, I wasn’t really ready on time for the finalist selection early 2019. Still, it’s been a great opportunity to keep on playing. Here too, the project page which includes my practice videos is still online.

Speel Het Hard 2017

In 2017, Flemish TV channel Canvas organized a competition for amateur musicians: Speel het hard . The mission was to practice a challenging piece for your instrument, getting it to concert hall ready perfection within a timespan of roughly 6 months. A series of videoblogs had to be made to document the process. I took the opportunity to take up piano practice a bit more, and give jazz a try with Kapustin’s 2nd sonata. While I didn’t make it to the final selection, it was great to get my technical abilities back up to the level I had 10 years earlier. The project page, including my practice videos, is still online.

Classical Music HackDay Salzburg 2017

On the Classical Music Hackday at the Karajan institute in Salzburg I worked, after having dropped some other ideas, on a frontend (webapp) for my library musq: an XQuery library for semantic MusicXML querying. The app itself only ran locally and I’ve never put it online, but YouTube has a video presentation.

Classical Music HackDay Boston 2016

In Boston, October 22-24, 2016, I worked together with Helmut Herglotz on a search engine for music by instrumentation. Music instrumentation metadata is barely standardized, even today you’ll never get good results anywhere. I mostly worked on getting data in a useful format and Helmut put a frontend in Django together, the resulting presentation can be seen on YouTube.

MusicHackDay London 2013

For the hackday in London in 2013 I used several APIs and Python libraries to chop up a music fragment in pieces, extract the melody, and change its pitch according to a predefined scheme. The resulting MidiModulator is published on Github, where I’ve also put a few links to the first (rather funny!) results.

MusicHackDay London 2011

Hackdays don’t always lead to a working result. In London on 3-4 december 2010 I tried my hands at polyphonic audio transcription, by chaining different software libraries that each solved part of the problem. Unfortunately, each also had a significant error margin, cumulatively leading to no sensible output at the end. A list of projects of that weekend can still be found online, though detail pages have disappeared. If I rediscover something in my archives I may expand on this post later.

MusicHackDay SF 2010

The result of MusicHackDay San Francisco, May 15-16 2010: a proof-of-concept plugin for MuseScore that returns a list of available recordings for an opened music score, as given by . More details here.

MuseScore for Mac

In 2008 I was pretty fond of MuseScore (pre-1.0), which existed mainly on Linux and Windows. I had just switched to Mac to develop other cross-platform software, so I wanted MuseScore on OSX as well. Most of the underlying libraries were cross-platform, and the OSX subsystem is pretty similar to Linux, so it should not be too difficult… I could show a prototype version in December 2008.

It turned out the peculiarities of compiling C++ on mac, and some really dodgy issues with the font and typesetting system, were very hard to solve. With the help of the other MuseScore developers and one particularly useful bugfix in the Canorus project (they had the same font problem), in April 2009 I published the first alpha version of MuseScore on OSX (10.4 or 10.5).

I moved on to other projects and have not contributed to the MuseScore codebase since, but still regularly meet up with the core developers at events like FOSDEM.