March 19, 2010: In January, 2008, I was making yet another attempt to understand music theory, when someone from the Pixel Corps introduced me to The Teaching Company, where I found a lecture series by Robert Greenberg called, Understanding the Fundamentals of Music. He used excerpts from classical music to illustrate concepts, and I was hooked. I had never had any idea what was going on in this genre, but with his explanations, I came to relish the wonderful complexity of it.

I got several more of his series, and the one’s on Beethoven hooked me even further. Like many people, I enjoy his music more than any other composer, at least so far—there’s a lot of classical music I’ve never listened to.

I decided to do a 3D animation of the introduction to the second movement because I love the base line, but I wanted to include some piano, and this introduction was orchestra only. The same sequence repeats near the end of the movement, and acts as a transition to the third movement, but with piano; however the orchestration is different: the base line is plucked, and doesn’t stand out as much as it does in the beginning, where it’s bowed. So I decided to take the orchestration from the beginning, and the piano from the end, but in both cases, this passage is transitional. To make it a standalone piece, I needed to have it resolve instead of transition, so a little re-writing was involved. The first few bars of the piano, after the title, are slightly modified from a passage in the first movement.

The music for the titles came just as it was from its position introducing the repeat at the end.

I bought a book of all the scores of Beethoven’s piano concertos, and entered the notes in the piano roll editor in Logic Pro with the pencil tool. Logic’s built-in orchestra samples are not that great, but I discovered the IK Multimedia Philharmonik Miroslav Orchestra and Choir Workstation, and their samples are amazing—well worth the extra bucks.

The animation was all done in Maxon’s Cinema 4D and composited in Final Cut Pro with very little tweaking.

You can right-click to download the file in Safari (I'm not sure about other browsers), and play it full screen in QuickTime.