Fall Review

All the cool kids are doing reviews of the past year, so I figured that I should do some kind of a review too. Of course, lots of un-cool people are also doing reviews, but we all know that I'm one of the cool ones.

At the beginning of Nov, I started accompanying a musical on the cello. I wouldn't normally play a musical -- there's too many performances, so I'm generally bored with the music by opening night, let alone by the end! -- but it had been two years since I'd done any semi-serious music, so I thought it would be a good exercise. I'm happy to report that I've still "got it going on". Yes, the first two weeks hurt a bit -- playing the cello takes a lot more muscle than violin -- but I was still able to keep track of everybody in the ensemble, and could often pinpoint mistakes before the music director could.

I wanted to get all my old compositions in a publishable state, but that didn't happen. This wasn't entirely my fault -- I was waiting for lilypond 2.12 to be released -- but I could have done more prep work so that it would have been faster to finalize them. Oh well; at least that will give me something relaxing to work on in Singapore.

In other news, I've been accepted to the University of Glasgow for the PhD. I still need to work out the funding; the tuition is over 12,000 pounds per year. But apparently in the UK one has to get accepted by the university before one applies for scholarships, so this means I'm one step closer.

I'm not really certain what to do about MEWER now. I'm hesitant to start advertizing it, because if there's any problems I can't fix them while I'm in Singapore. On the other hand, it's probably good enough to help some people, so it'd be a shame not to mention it to them.

Finally, I'm becoming the next release manager of lilypond, and starting up a Grand Organization Project for lilypond. The Grand Documentation Project was a great success, so I'm hoping to do the same thing on a larger scale.

Posted at 2008-12-31 16:47 | Permanent link | Comments

MEWER 0.9

The next version MEWER is online. The difficulty level has been calibrated[1], and I've added a third variant of MEWER. This new variant includes an audible metronome! However, the metronome is quite unreliable. If it works on your computer, great; if not, don't say I didn't warn you. Try it here: MEWER 0.9.

I still think MEWER is now feature-complete for 1.0 -- I'm not planning on adding any more features; merely fixing any bugs people find.

[1] My preferred calibration method was to have four glasses of wine and then play the game on "easy". I figured that I'd keep on reducing the difficulty level until I could finish the game while drunk; that would probably be an appropriate level for students with one year of musical training.

But then I remembered that I don't drink alcohol, so I had to abandon my "drunken rhythm game" test. Instead, I started watching some bad anime, and played the game with my attention split between the anime and the game. I finished "easy" with no difficulty. Calibration for the "hard" difficulty level was performed by playing the game without any distractions.

This isn't an ideal scientific calibration, of course -- I should really be doing some kind of double-blind study on dozens of music students of various ability levels -- but I can't do that kind of experiment until MEWER is much more widely used.

Posted at 2008-12-19 15:22 | Permanent link | Comments

MEWER 0.8

The next version MEWER is online. This adds a "skip to level" option (if you want to practice triplets, or just see what the harder levels are like), and misc minor UI improvements. Try it here: MEWER 0.8.

I think MEWER is now feature-complete for 1.0 -- I'm not planning on adding any more features; merely fixing any bugs people find.

Posted at 2008-12-08 7:35 | Permanent link | Comments

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