The behaviour of The Max Maestro is controlled with a midi controller device, which means you can run The Max Maestro live in real time to test musical ideas with a group of performers. However, for the three compositions reported here the midi was first recorded into a music sequencer program and then played back into The Max Maestro to finally be recorded into a single videofile using QuickTime and a screen video capture function. The additional music part was embedded in the single videofile containing the animated music notation of The Max Maestro.

New Artistic Possibilities with

The Max Maestro - An Animated Music Notation System

for Non-Professional Performers

4. The Max Maestro

4.2 Graphic Interface

The Max Maestro –animated music notation system was created in the visual programming environment MAX/MSP/JITTER [33]. It is an application with a graphic interface, which could be run as a patch within the MAX/MSP/JITTER program, but also as a stand-alone application. The graphic interface of The Max Maestro resembles the graphic design of a videogame. Graphic balls are animated to give the musical instructions to the performers. Musical instructions include when to trigger a sound and at which dynamics, pitch and duration. The instructions given when to trigger a sound are very accurate, while the instructions for dynamics, pitch and duration are approximate within a limited frame. The graphic interface was more inspired by intuitive music video games such as Sing Star [34] or Guitar Hero [35] than traditional or extended/experimental music notation systems; mainly because of the fact that the target group of non-professional performers, including schoolchildren and everyday people of today, are generally more familiar with videogames than musical notated scores and as Rui Rolo puts it: [… fun games increase learners motivation and foster collaboration, crucial issues in music practice.] [36].


The development process of The Max Maestro is a work in progress and in this exposition two different versions of The Max Maestro are highlighted, since they were used in the performances reported here. The differences between the two relate to the amount of individual parts and more extended modulation instructions in version 1, since the sound source used is capable of adjusting pitch and duration.




 Conducts non-professional performers divided in 4-8 individual parts using their voices as musical expression. WATCH VIDEOCLIP FOR INFO!



Conducts non-professional performers divided in 24 individual parts using percussive sounds as musical expression. WATCH VIDEOCLIP FOR INFO!

[33.]    MAX/MSP/JITTER, (1999) <>


[34.]    Sing Star (2004), <>


[35.]    Guitar Hero (2005), <>


[36.]    Rolo, R. (2011). Singstar - Applying to Music Education. In T. Bastiaens & M. Ebner (Eds.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology 2011 (pp. 3192-3201). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).