22 July 2008

It's all about the music !

Two music-related websites / tools came across my radar this week :

WIRED: Top 10 music sites

A recent blog post in WIRED magazine provides a helpful top 10 list of the best music sites available. From learning how to play a guitar through online lessons via IVideosongs to using the MP3 music search engine available at SeeqPod, the article provides a wealth of information for anyone interested in music online.

I thought that Sellaband/SlicethePie was a really unique way for fans to invest in bands they see a future in :
"Once they reach a certain level of fan investment, bands on Sellaband and SlicethePie get to use a pool of their inverstors' money ranging from $30,000 to $50,000 to record and market an album. Not only do investors get a copy of that album, but they see a return on album sales and can trade shares in bands as they would a company's stock. well as bands /artists who want to promote or launch their music online "


This one is just pure fun and games (and no one loses an eye !!!) Some songs are easier than others .... Sure, it's aimed at teens, but who cares ! LOL

LibraryStream: Musical Tag Clouds: A New Game?

Can you guess this song?Na? Yes, na. That’s a tag cloud of “Hey, Jude” by the Beatles. I was tinkering with tag clouds one evening last month and had the goofy urge to see what the song with more than one hundred nas at the end would look like as a tag cloud. I wasn’t disappointed. You simply can’t miss the na. Of course, hey and jude are pretty obvious, too.

That prompted me to think of a nerdy little game that teens (primarily) might enjoy. Suppose people created tag clouds of various popular songs and then challenged others to guess the tune from which they had sprung.

Can you guess this song?

Of course, some titles are so much a part of their songs — with the key words repeated (or in some cases, hammered) into our ears so frequently — that it’s hard to miss the cues among the tags. Take the classic rock song from the ’70s shown at right. That title is probably easy to pick out.

Can you guess this song? Or the (mostly) instrumental marching band anthem from the 1960s [left]. Its one word tag cloud is surely the simplest ever.

But we can make this game more challenging!

See if you can pick out these next two songs. You can click through to larger versions on my Flickr page if that would help. Can you guess this song?One song came from a major rock band and the other is a tune from an “American Idol” contender.

Does that give you a sense of the game? Here are two ideas I’d like to propose:

1. A game for library teens

If you have a teen group in your library, let them pick the songs (remembering, of course, that not all lyrics have PG ratings!), give them the tools*, and let them create their own tag clouds. Can you guess this song? If you want to add a scoring element, you might award 20 points for the correct song + 10 points for the singer + 10 bonus points for guessing both within 30 seconds.

Hang the tag clouds on the wall after they’re solved. The song was already musical art. Now the words are visual art!

2. A collection for all of us

I’ve created more than a dozen musical tag clouds already. You can find them in the Musical Tag Clouds set on my Flickr page. If you (or your patrons) create* more, post them to Flickr and tag them “MusicalTagClouds”. There’s also a Flickr group with the same name. Toss in a hint if you think it’s warranted. Over time, our global collection could grow incredibly large and varied. The images would be available for a solo challenge or a classroom game at the drop of a hat. How fun it will be to randomly choose among them and try to guess the songs.


* There are many tag cloud generators on the Internet. I used Wordle for all of mine because of the colorful and playful clouds it produced. If you find something better, go for it. Just have fun! Or, as the Beach Boys might say:

Can you guess this song?