Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wii music

I happened to spot an add for Wii music while watching TV online the other day. It brought to mind our class discussion of Guitar Hero and Rock Band. This would seem to be the Wii version of these games. Based on the video clips they have on their website, it would seem to be pretty elaborate. They have something like 60 instrument options ranging from piano and violin to electric guitar, cowbell, and beatbox. One play mode seems to allow groups to play together, creating their own "arrangements" of pieces like Ode to Joy.

I'm rather curious about how all this works, actually. I can see how the gestures for instruments such as drums or violin could be a fairly close approximation of reality. But what about piano or trumpet? How do you "play" these instruments realistically with a Wiimote? In the arrangments, how much control does the player have over things like dynamics, pitches, and tempo?

I will grant that it seems like a fun concept, and given the opportunity, I'd probably enjoy playing it a bit. But part of me feels rather strongly that if Wiimusic is what friends and families turn to when they want to create music, we're loosing out on a lot of the richness of music making. The sound quality in their ads was pretty awful- at the very least, I wish they'd made recordings of actual instruments instead of what sounds like a bad midi file. Much as I hate sounding like some old woman yearning for the "good old days," I kind of wish we could go back to a time when playing music together was a common leisure activity.

No comments: