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Video Game: Synthesia
Piano for Everyone

Synthesia is a rhythm game/teaching aid that converts any midi music file into a series of falling coloured bars a.l.a. Guitar Hero. Each bar corresponds to a key on a piano, and you can plug in an electric keyboard to play along on an actual instrument.

The use of falling bars enables players to apply their rhythm game experience to learning an actual instrument, and the wide availablility of midi songs on the internet means there will be little difficulty finding the song you have always wanted to play.

The core package of Synthesia is free and available for download at http://synthesiagame.com/

You can also pay for the "Learning Pack" which unlocks additional features to help learn to play, including the capability to produce sheet music from any midi file.


Synthesia contains the following tropes:

  • Allegedly Free Game: Some useful features like sheet music generation must be paid for, but you still have a huge rhythm game without it.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Specially make midis use this to show notes for left and right hands. Others use it to indicate which instrument, if several are involved, plays the note.
  • Follow the Leader: The game makes no secret of its inspiration, indeed the project was originally named Piano Hero but after pressure was brought to bear the fan suggestion "Synthesia" was chosen.
  • Level Editor: There's no limit on the songs you can use; just supply a midi file and Synthesia will show you the bars, or musical notation if you prefer.
  • Nintendo Hard / Unwinnable: Since many midis aren't made for a single piano it may be difficult or impossible to play them perfectly with a single pair of hands. You can still try them though.


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