Chrome Music Lab

For Music in Our Schools Month a team at Google we wanted to help make learning about music a more accessible to everyone by using technology that’s open to everyone: the web. The experiments they have created cover many aspects central to music making - rhythm, tone and melody, all powered using the Web Audio API. To the team’s credit they’ve also brought these experiments to Firefox as well as their own browser, which shows how far the standardisation effort has come.

Eye Conductor Brings MIDI To People With Disabilities

Eye Conductor from Andreas Refsgaard uses affordable eye tracking software and a cheap webcam to translate facial gestures and eye movements to MIDI messages that can then be used to control instruments and musical applications. Andreas carried out user research in schools and housing communities to develop technology that would allow people with severe motor disabilities to make music.

Plan8 Throwerwall

Use your phone to pick up members of Plan8’s team and throw them screaming at a wall. A silly game with a very clever execution using both mobile and desktop browsers, augmented with Web Audio sounds.

Glitch: a noisy fusion of math and music

Bytebeat music has no conventional musical notation — there is no notes or chords or even instruments. All you have is a mathematical expression that is evaluated for each time frame to generate the next amplitude value of the sound wave.

Clara Rockmore’s 105th Birthday

Clara Rockmore was a famous player of Léon Theremin’s eponymous instrument. In this Google doodle you first take a series of lessons to learn how to play the instrument, and then, as Clara, perform your own piece to a rapturous audience. I love the “settings” cog which allows you to select the scale and tone of the instrument.


jsSID is a ground-up emulator for the Commodore 64 SID chip. This legendary programmable synthesiser has taken on a life of its own long after the computers in which it first appeared have faded into obsolescence. With 3 oscillators, filters, a ring modulator and envelopes it was a surprisingly powerful synth in a compact package - and with jsSID Mihaly Horvath has brought the experience of programming for it to the web platform. You’ll have to dig into the source code to make sense of it, but Mihaly has some samples of what it sounds like on the website.

WebGL and Web Audio = Fireworks

Choose a song (or just stick with the ZZ Top default!) from this jukebox and enjoy the synchronised fireworks display. Best enjoyed in “presentation mode”.