Spiral Music Visualization using Teensy or Python

Here’s a project I finished a couple of years ago, but never got around to posting.

It’s a way to visualize music differently to the standard notation. The notes are wrapped in a spiral fashion, with one rotation per octave. (e.g. all ‘C’ notes are at 12 O’clock)

There are a lot of benefits to seeing the music this way:

  • You can see an entire orchestra “Cooperating” to make a chord, without having to read 6 sets of sheet music at the same time.
  • It makes it extremely easy to see transpositions (they’re just rotations)
  • Melodic inversion is just a mirror flip
  • Notes played stay visible for a time as a ‘histogram’. This makes it easy to see the Key signature
  • Different instruments (midi channels) are different colours. Can see contributions of each instrument to the whole

Here’s the github repo for the hardware version:


Hardware of the spiral visualizer – Uses Teensy 3.6 for everything and acts as both MIDI input & output devices.
(Ignore the letters on my keyboard. It was a joke from a previous project)

And just recently I decided to make a software only version, so I didn’t have to drag out the hardware each time. Here’s the github repo:


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7 Responses to Spiral Music Visualization using Teensy or Python

  1. cc says:

    Neat! There’s a VST that does something similar, though it doesn’t show octaves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf0B5CX8tZ8

    (It has recently been made free to download.)

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. ThunderOwl says:

    Thank You for this! Anyone maybe know a project that would do same, but real-time FFT / FHT per notes? Think “Color Organ” (Spectrum Analyzer), but narrow-banded, per note frequency, and then putting all “octaved” notes to one light channel? Please, post here, if you know such! ­čÖé
    Thank You!


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