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Details of Companion Website

Introduction to the web site

This companion web site contains relevant extracts from the recordings that are discussed in detail in the book. There are audio recordings for Chapters 3-6, 8, and 12, in addition to a video clip for Chapter 10. They are referenced as Media Examples and cued in the text by a speaker symbol. All audio materials are provided as mp3 files and can be played on the Companion Web Site using the built-in player; alternatively you can download a zip file containing all the examples for each chapter from the relevant chapter page, or a zip file containing all the examples for the book from this page. Once unzipped, the mp3 files can be played using whatever media player is installed on your system.

Audio materials for Chapters 3-5 are also accompanied by Sonic Visualiser session files (.sv). These are to be used with the playback and visualisation program Sonic Visualiser, which is available for all major platforms and operating systems and freely available on the web. While the mp3 files may be played directly using any audio playback program, Sonic Visualiser allows more flexible navigation of the recordings. In particular, the associated session files include bar numbers, making it easy to go to any particular point in the recording and hence follow the argument in the text. The session files for Chapter 3 also include tempo graphs which move as the music plays. Brief instructions for downloading and installing Sonic Visualiser, and for playing the sound and associated session files, are provided below.

In addition the web site includes colour versions of Figures 6.5-13, which are more informative than the black and white versions provided in the text. These are cued in the text by an arrow symbol.

Sonic Visualiser

The home page for Sonic Visualiser is http://www.sonicvisualiser.org/, where you will find downloads for Windows, OSX, and Linux platforms. No plugins are required to play the media examples in this book.

Once you have installed Sonic Visualiser, download either the zip file for the chapter you are reading or the zip file for the whole book, and unzip it to any chosen location; you might, for instance, create a folder for it on your desktop. You can play each media example by opening the session file (clicking on it if you have associated .sv files with Sonic Visualiser, or opening it from within Sonic Visualiser). Sonic Visualiser will automatically locate the corresponding sound file, which has the same name as the session file, only with the extension .mp3.

Use of Sonic Visualiser to play back media examples is simple and intuitive, with the familiar play, pause, and stop controls (space bar to start and stop). The sound wave and associated visual elements, including bar numbers, scroll against a playback point in the middle of the screen. To move forwards or backwards, drag the box at the bottom of the screen (which shows a miniature version of the waveform for the entire clip), aligning the desired bar number (at the top of the screen) with the playback point. You can remove the control area to the right of the screen, which is not required for playback, by unchecking Show Property Boxes under the View menu.

Sonic Visualiser is a much more powerful program than the above might suggest, offering among other things a range of spectrographic and other visualisations, the ability to create tempo, duration, and dynamic graphs, and a facility to synchronise multiple recordings of the same work. Details of these and other facilities may be found in 'A musicologist's guide to Sonic Visualiser', which I co-authored with Daniel Leech-Wilkinson ( http://www.charm.rhul.ac.uk/analysing/p9_0_1.html); before using it you will need to download and instal a number of plugins, together with a zip file containing sound files and associated session files (for further details see 'Getting started with Sonic Visualiser'). More general documentation on Sonic Visualiser is accessible at http://www.sonicvisualiser.org/documentation.html.

Sonic Visualiser was developed by the Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary, University of London, with partial funding from the AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (CHARM).

Click here to download the zip file.

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