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Bach's Goldberg Variations, MIDI to image to sound

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Published on Nov 11, 2012

At Music Hack Day MIT, the HarmonicScore team took a MIDI of the aria from Bach's Goldberg Variations and created a note roll, then added in the harmonics for each note.

I thought their output looked a lot like a spectrogram, so I wanted to listen to it. Since you do a Fourier transform to turn audio into a spectrogram, I did an inverse Fourier transform on their output image to get an audio version. To our pleasant surprise, we heard the original Bach music, albeit with quantization errors that gave it a lo-fi chiptune feel.

So as a result, we've now ended up with a different way of listening to MIDI data! The total path of this transformation is MIDI to image to sound.

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