A minor quibble: Reading sheet music is NOT sight reading

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Post by jimhenry »

With the approach of Synthesia 11 and the massive improvements in the presentation of traditional "sheet music" notation, I think it is important to make a distinction between reading sheet music and sight reading.

Sight reading involves reading sheet music. But it is the more particular skill of being able to play unfamiliar music based on a first reading of the sheet music. There are variations on this skill when it is tested in a formal setting, like how long you can study the music before you start playing, can you play it a second time, etc. But the basic idea is that sight reading means playing the music on sight, without prior practice or knowledge of the piece.

There has been some discussion of tools that could be included in Synthesia to develop sight reading skills. But these are not part of Synthesia 11, which is focused on conventional music notation presentation.

I think it would be helpful if people could avoid saying "sight reading" when they mean reading conventional, sheet music notation. That will make it easier to differentiate additional tools that might be added in the future to promote true sight reading.

As an aside, sight reading may be where Synthesia as a game wraps around to meet Synthesia as a music learning tool. Sight reading is a skill that is generally learned by pretty serious pianists, e.g. those that hope to be professionals. Sight reading also is pretty much like a game where you have to navigate through obstacles that change each time you play. So those who are very serious musicians and those who are very serious gamers may be facing off against each other in sight reading battles. :lol:
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
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Post by Nicholas »

For what it's worth, I agree with trying to maintain the (rather large) distinction.

And (actual) sight reading is still on the list for an 11 "point" release made shortly after 11. We're accruing a few small projects (say, the Steam release and tweaking a few of the screens that absolutely don't work on phone-sized screens for an iPhone release) that will be rapid-fire 11.1, 11.2, etc. releases. The idea is two-fold: 11 can't come soon enough after all these years, so getting it out the door before any other distractions is most important. And two: with this size of undertaking, it would be silly to imagine some rough edges won't be discovered shortly after the first release. So planned, small point releases are a great opportunity to smooth those edges out, too. During some round of sheet music fixes, we'll include a proper sight-reading mode as a new feature.
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Post by IvanL »

The gamer inside of me is itching to learn actual sight reading 8-)
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