Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata (animated score, 1st mvt.) piano solo





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Published on Mar 20, 2009

The first movement of Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata, showing Stephen Malinowski's hands playing and graphical and conventional scores.

Q: I appreciate the animated graphical scores you make; how can I support your work?
A: Thank you! The easiest way to support my work is by contributing via Patreon:
If you'd like to help in more specific way, consider this:

Q: Can I get free sheet music for this piece?
A: Yes, you can download the score shown in the video from here:

Q: What do the colors in the bar-graph score mean?
A: The colors indicate the "pitch class" of the notes; that is, every C# is a certain color (blue), every E is a certain color (olive green), etc. The piece is in the key of C# minor, so there's lots of blue and green, especially at the beginning and end. The choice of colors is based on the "circle of fifths," which you can read about here:
This method of coloring notes is described more here:
Because this form of coloring reflects tonality, the places where the piece moves into another key are easily visible; here's a picture of the whole piece:
BTW, the colors are more distinct in the high-quality version of the video.

Q: Who is playing? Who are you? How long have you been playing the piano?
A: See this:

Q: I want to learn to play the piano; what advice can you give me?
A: I've put some suggestions here:

Q: What did this sheet music look like back in Beethoven's time?
A: Here is a facsimile of the first edition, printed in 1802.

Q: What do the light/dark areas in the bar-graph score show?
A: They show the effect of the damper pedal.

Q: What do the x's in the score mean?
A: Those are double-sharps. A sharp goes up one semitone (F to F-sharp) and a double sharp goes up two semitones (F to F-double-sharp, same key on the piano as G).

Q: Is there a way I could make the bar-graph scores myself?
A: The Music Animation Machine MIDI file player will generate this display; you can get the (Windows) software here:
There are lots of places on the web where you can get MIDI files; I usually go to the Classical Archives site first:

Q: You said "it's well documented that different synesthetes have different associations." Where is this documented? I read on Wikipedia that "synesthetes, as a group, share significant preferences for the color of each letter."
A: It's true that there are some patterns in the associations synesthetes make between colors and letters (or numerals, pitches, etc.), but the Wikipedia article is misleading in suggesting that there's anything approaching a unanimity of opinion. On this page, I'm collecting some references and pointers to research so that you can draw your own conclusions based on the data:

Q: Could you please do a MAM video of _________?
A: Please read this:

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