We live in a culture where music is made to be consumed, not analyzed or appreciated. We’re often swept up with emotion when listening to our favorite songs, but we rarely stop to look at why music makes us feel a certain way. In US schools, budget cuts and a feverish rush for all things STEM has resulted in a system where children don’t learn about music- only how to consume it like the rest of us.
Google’s new WebVR project, Step Inside Music, aims to change that. It puts users into a virtual space where they can see and hear the individual components of a track. Look ahead, and you might see a sphere that lights up and emits waves whenever the vocalist sings. To your right, you might find an orb corresponding to the drums track; your left might correspond to a bass track you can barely hear. The individual components can be turned on or off at will, allowing the user to puzzle out the song’s construction for themselves.
As a WebVR experience, Step Inside Music should be device-agnostic. However, when we tried it with our GearVR headset, the page wouldn’t respond and left us staring at a menu of the six available tracks. Maybe you’ll have better luck. How does it work on your headset?