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Bookmark Segments Look Alike

Posted: 05-04-17 1:28 pm
by IvanL
Creating Bookmarks not only helps during practice for setting loops and moving around the track, it also logically chunks the whole into smaller pieces, which makes it easier to learn mentally.

I'm now learning the Moonlight Sonata (the real deal, not the shortened version of Synthesia) and that's a relatively long piece for me at the moment. It's starting to get difficult to tell segments (i.e. the piece of music between two bookmarks) apart. It would help if they would stand out from each other, be that with color, with numbers or letters etc.

Re: Bookmark Segments Look Alike

Posted: 05-04-17 2:47 pm
by Nicholas
This makes me think of paper that has alternating colors on each row. Would something like that (bookmark icons that alternated between two different shades) help? Or did you want full control over bookmark color so that you can use the colors to provide some additional semantic meaning?

I'd be curious to see a screenshot of your timeline for that piece. I'd like to see how crowded things are. It would help the brainstorming process. :D

Re: Bookmark Segments Look Alike

Posted: 05-04-17 3:16 pm
by IvanL
I'll try to remember making one next time I'm at the piano.

I see how you already have different colors for different types of bookmarks, but maybe those can change form instead? I think having a hue progression where ~5 subsequent user placed bookmarks have the same color but different shades of it and the next 5 have a different color and change shades again etc.

OR you just enumerate the segments which get created by bookmarks, that's probably less work. Hmm, the downside is that all of the numbers would change if I then place a new bookmark in between old ones.

You know what, I'm gonna take a screenshot and then paint some suggestions on it so we can better visualize the problem.

Re: Bookmark Segments Look Alike

Posted: 05-04-17 3:39 pm
by jimhenry
Maybe putting measure numbers on bookmarks would be a comparatively easy first stab at this. But I do see value in bookmarks that reveal more of the underlying structure like repeated sections and alternate endings. Maybe MusicXML will open up some possibilities.

Re: Bookmark Segments Look Alike

Posted: 05-04-17 4:46 pm
by IvanL
Henry, that's a brilliant idea.
I thought about the measure numbers not meaning anything to me because I only ever see them when I mouse over the timeline, but if I'd see them more prominently in the bookmarks, that might change.

Re: Bookmark Segments Look Alike

Posted: 05-05-17 9:57 am
by IvanL
Alright so here is the screenshot of my actual bookmark placements and I've also added mock ups where I've colored some and tried adding bar numbers.

The problem with the bar numbers is that the marks need to be quite big to read the numbers and that won't work well if the bookmarks are very close together.
There's also really no point in displaying the same number twice, when two are in the same bar (as is the case for 8).

The coloring I did looks ugly, but you can probably make prettier color combinations.
The coloring might work better if there is an underlying gradient for the whole piece and this is how the bookmarks get their color.

The bookmarks also sometimes make patterns, so giving them extra reference points for patterns might help, e.g. minute markers on the piece.

Or maybe just let me place big markers and small markers and 3 shades each, that might already solve the problem.

I think that once MusicXML is in and I can use that to learn to sight read, I may use bookmarks less. Maybe.

Re: Bookmark Segments Look Alike

Posted: 05-26-17 9:52 pm
by Nicholas
I like the idea of marking the icons somehow. (Measure numbers are a good start, but your mock-up shows that two digits is already challenging to fit. Longer songs that went to three digits would be completely untenable.)

Allowing a single letter might work. Or some fixed handful of small visually distinct icons. (The usual set of primitive shapes used for color blindness disambiguation come to mind. A long time ago, the now-removed library flags feature used an icon set like that.) Icons a few color choices would probably go a long way. It could get a little tricky to disambiguate from the other 3 types of bookmarks which already use color to identify themselves. Hmm.

Re: Bookmark Segments Look Alike

Posted: 05-29-17 5:38 am
by kiwi
Personnally i think it's not ambigue & more clear than the number (and you can point the cursor on the timeline for to know what measure is.)

Just avoid the colors already used.

Personnally i can deal with 3 colors because we just need to alternate the colours.

And better you just need to change the shape for personnal markers and you can use all the colors you want :)

Re: Bookmark Segments Look Alike

Posted: 06-07-17 11:38 am
by IvanL
Ahoi Nicholas

I'm checking back to tell you that I now barely look at the bookmarks as I've built a map of the song in my brain automatically by practicing it (I'm close to playing the whole song by heart now!).

So the bookmarks are only important at the very beginning of learning to play a new song. So if you change anything on them, don't spend too much time! Save it for something more important (like MXML :) )

Re: Bookmark Segments Look Alike

Posted: 09-29-17 1:26 pm
by miek

Looking at IvanL's post, I was wonding if the new version of Sythesia could have measure numbers on the bars of the sheet music it self (not the bookmarks), because I think it will be useful to pin point which parts of the song that I need to practice a bit more than the rest of the song.

At the moment I play using sheet music only. When I get to a difficult part (once I notice where these parts are getting me), I use the forwards / backwards to move through to the part that I need and then set up a loop on that bit. We could identify these measures as a type of 'sub-practice' so that you can practice little bits before doing the whole song.

Synthesia is already really good :D for this - but the process is just a little bit 'manual'. -the effort spent on the loops is not recorded. Also, if synthesia could recognise that you are going slow on certain parts when practicing the melody, it could highlight that to you so that you can pay these areas more attention.

Re: Bookmark Segments Look Alike

Posted: 10-02-17 1:28 pm
by Nicholas
I'm shooting for a measure number at the top left of each line (the "8" in this image is a good example). I believe that's the usual convention.

Re: Bookmark Segments Look Alike

Posted: 10-02-17 1:54 pm
by jimhenry
Can you detect measure numbers included in MusicXML? I wouldn't be too happy if you went clomping over an already numbered score.

Re: Bookmark Segments Look Alike

Posted: 10-02-17 2:07 pm
by Nicholas
I had MIDI-converted-to-sheet in mind, with flat numbering all the way through the song.

The plan is to respect MusicXML measure numbers that take repeats into account. Looking at the standard just now,
apparently "while the [measure] number attribute is often numeric, it does not have to be..."