The other night I discovered some sheet music that you can plug right into your computer. It seems a great advance from the old midi days – remember Jingle Bells or Billy Joel’s Just The Way You Are through midi and how lousy that sounded? Well maybe not. But electronic ‘sheet’ music has certainly come a long way since those bad old days.

I was mesmerized after plugging this score into my PC while trying out different ‘voices.’ I settled on this voice and tempo (66 bpm) because I was looking for that “Clockwork Orange” sound popularized – actually pioneered – by the outstanding recording artist Wendy Carlos (Carlos also did Switched-On Bach, for those who can remember).

I hope you enjoy this. I’m not sure Beethoven would have been (was?) thrilled with the idea. But he was a great innovator in his day. And I imagine if he was hovering around watching me do this, he would have at least witnessed my sincere intent.

A simply great tune. A work of genius. The “Moonlight Sonata” is quite restrained in comparison to what Beethoven can do with a solo keyboard. But it remains one of the most popular compositions for piano, right into the 21st century.

It just goes to show that being effective is not always about flash, speed and a zillion intertwined notes. No, it’s about melody, balance, and musical symmetry, for lack of a better term.

Moreover, there’s one element that any great composer must convey. And it’s perhaps something no machine can really achieve by itself.

In a word… emotion.

And that’s where the “Moonlight” really tops out, IMO… even with a computer-generated audio track!

The notes in the video are from here –