The Making of SingAccord
Years of research and development went into developing the notation for SingAccord. Take a glimmer one step at a time as to how I managed to put it all together.
Part 1: How I knew people weren't singing
Most people in a church service believe that most other people are singing along during worship. But there was a critical moment when I began to notice just how few were typically participating.
Part 2: My Musical Background
With my musical background, you might have expected that I would have tried an approach involving traditional music notation.
Part 3: The 5 Stages of Grief
Loosing Traditional Music Notation meant I had to work through the 5 stages of grief. And my "friend" asked one question which popped that bubble.
Part 4: What is User Experience?
"User eXperience" may not be a familiar phrase for folks not involved in software design. But in the last 20 years it's become a critical field of research for any product.
Part 5: A detailed dispassionate look at the UX of TMN
If I put on my dispassionate aerospace engineering goggles and took a detailed look at Traditional Music Notation. So let's take a few minutes and be honest about the fundamental elements of TMN that make it unfixable.
Part 6: The Core of Music
What's the core of music? If we know 80% of users will only use 20% of the features, then where do we stop? What do we focus on?
Part 7: THe Opportunity of new Technology
Traditional Music Notation is a written language.. (whoa) and written languages are a technology (double whoa). Each technology is invented in the context of other technologies. With 400 years since the invention of TMN, what advances can we make in new music notations.
Part 8: The Neuroscience of Worship
Which parts of the brain are necessary to worship? Which parts of the brain are not needed? Which parts of the brain can we use to understand music notation, and how can we communicate with that portion of the brain?
Part 9: Human Visual Perception
It turns out the retinas of our eyes have brain cells which perform complex pattern compression before sending the data to the brain. So some shapes can't even be seen by human perception. How will that inform the design of a music notation?
Part 10: Enabling Visual Artistry
Graphic artists can do amazing work to set the mood of worship. A new music notation should not only be compatible with background artwork, it should be adjustable by the artist to actually feel at home. And that adjustability should be as easy as possible.
Part 11: Why it could never be a game
It's been suggested that I could get more users and more revenue if I modified my music notation to be a karaoke game. But I want to solve the problem of people participating in musical worship. And solving that leads to very different solutions from creating a game.
Part 12: Other failed techniques in musical worship leadership
Over the last few years, I've been investigating the techniques worship leaders have been using to try to increase participation in musical worship. So here are some of them, and a detailed look in to why they fail, even with the best of intentions.
Part 13: Why the success of Guitar tabs can't inform a vocal notation
Many hundreds of music notations have been proposed. Here I'll take a look at the most successful, from shape notes to guitar tabs and the most popular alternative: nothing. While guitar tabs prove that even a partial solution can be commercially successful, their technique for success is one which could never be used for a vocal notation.