Reading sheet music can be a bit of a drag. All those staves and notes and stuff—much better to have technology do the heavy lifting for you, so you can free up your time to watch videos of cats getting blowdried and babies doing kung-fu.
Researchers at Tokyo Metropolitan University, headed up by Professor Tetsuaki Baba, have created a device that reads and plays sheet music in real-time. It’s called the Gocen and it works by scanning the staves, then the notes and their position so it can determine which are the high notes and which the low. It can also read what instrument is meant to be used and change the computer to play the correct one accordingly.
While you can compose music using just a computer and not have any need to scan it, the researchers see this as a composition support system, allowing people to write out the musical notations by hand so a computer can read it and play it—and it’ll make it easier for children and lazy adults to learn musical notation too.