Online Demos

Last modified: Oct 26, 2019 @ 2:00 pm

Below you will find two demos: Composition by Conversation and Interactive Music. The demos will work best if you have:

  • Chrome on either Windows 10 or Mac OS X 10.12+ (High Sierra or later).
  • A stable wifi connection (most important for Interactive Music).
  • Adblockers and similar plugins disabled (disable & then refresh on the demo’s pages).

The Microsoft Edge browser and iOS devices both have known compatibility problems with both demos.


Demo #1: Composition by Conversation

Use a chat interface or spoken language to create and edit short melodies with the computer.

Demo URL:
Supplemental file (PDF): Music notation reference

Type “help” to get information on commands you can use. You can use the “history” command to go back to a previous state. Be aware that spelling is important (there is no spell-checker) and capitalization matters for pitch letters (use “C” rather than “c”).

Compatibility warning: iOS and users and those using other browsers (like Edge) can run this demo but won’t be able to hear the playback. On iOS, electing notes and using the chat feature will still work to edit the score. With Edge, only the chat feature works to edit the score.

Bug warning: there are currently several known issues that can lead to uninformative error messages. One involves capitalization of verbs; “insert” may work while “Insert” might not. There are also some known issues with operations that execute incorrectly and/or corrupt the underlying score representation, which manifests as strange note durations and sometimes a shuffling of the note order.


Demo #2: Interactive Music (Jazz)

Take turns playing music with the computer in bossa nova style! The computer will give a response echoing elements of what you played. Your notes will sound like piano, and the computer’s response will be as Marimba. The computer will also give you a bass line and some harmony to play along with.

Demo URL:

Compatibility warning: this demo will not work on either iOS devices, Safari, or from the Microsoft  Edge browser. Please make sure any plugins for blocking ads or disabling auto-play are disabled for the demo page.

Input options: computer keyboard or MIDI controller (USB or Bluetooth). Many smartphones can be used as touch screen MIDI controllers – see instructions on this further own.

Computer keyboard input: with a QWERTY computer keyboard, you can play one octave of pitches using the keys indicated below, which is similar to the layout of a traditional piano keyboard. Other keyboard layouts are not supported at this time. Since the demo is currently limited to C-major, if you want to stay within the key you can simply play the yellow keys marked below (the row of A through K). Playing the other highlighted keys will add chromaticism/dissonance.

How to use your phone as a MIDI piano keyboard

If you have Android+Windows 10 or iOS+OS X then you can use your phone as a touch-screen MIDI controller with a virtual piano keyboard.

Android phone with Windows 10:

  • Download and install the MIDI Keyboard app from the Google Play store. Don’t open it yet.
  • Connect phone to computer via USB cable.
  • Swipe down from the top all the way to view notifications and other options. Near the bottom, you should have an option that says something like “Charging this device via USB.” Tap this for more options and select “MIDI” from the list.
  • Open the MIDI Keyboard app, tap “output,” and select the one with a name like “Android USB Peripheral Port” (usually the only other option is “none”).
  • Load the demo web page on your laptop (or refresh it if already open) and select “MIDI device” from the drop-down menu on the left. Click the play button and tap keys on the virtual piano keyboard on your phone to play notes.

iOS device with OS X (Mac computer or laptop)

  • On your OS X computer, install the Bluetooth MIDI Connect app. Make sure it is running before you continue, and make sure bluetooth connectivity is enabled as well.
  • On your iOS device, install the midimttr app and the MIDIKeys app. Make sure bluetooth is enabled.
  • Open the MIDIKeys app. Tap the MIDI port (circle with 5 pins) and select “virtual port” instead of “omni,” then tap “go back to playing.” Minimize the app.
  • Open the midimittr app. Tap the settings gear in the upper right and make sure it has bluetooth enabled.
  • Return to the midimittr app and tap “MIDI Ports.” Under Sources, enable MIDIKeys. Under Destinations, enable the name corresponding to your computer.
  • Quickly, on your computer, tap the Bluetooth MIDI icon in the top of the screen and select “connect Bluetooth MIDI device.” Click “connect” by your iOS device’s name.
  • On your iOS device, switch back to MIDI keys.
  • On your computer, open or reload the web page with the demo and select “MIDI device” from the drop-down menu on the left. Click the play button and tap keys on the virtual piano keyboard on your iOS device to play notes.

Unfortunately, Android often isn’t compatible as a MIDI controller for OS X as the “MIDI” option may not show up on the phone when it is connected by USB to the computer. Wireless MIDI options on Android have very high latency and are not recommended.

Similarly, iOS devices can be difficult to use as a MIDI controller for Windows. While some programs exist to support MIDI over Bluetooth and USB, Bluetooth MIDI on Windows typically has high latency and programs for MIDI-over-USB have compatibility problems and/or can be somewhat complicated to set up.