FIELD OF THE INVENTION
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to music delivery systems and more particularly to a the provision of a virtually unlimited supply of musical works via the Internet for downloading to a synchronized music CD.
It will be appreciated that those seeking to make music have been provided in the past with karaoke systems in which music lyrics are provided in a so-called bouncing ball display, along with the actual music that is audibly reproduced. The individual is induced to sing along with the music as it is reproduced so as to provide a pleasing experience for the individual.
Additionally, lighted music keyboards from Yamaha, Casio and others have provided a graphical display of a bar of music along with a display of fingering necessary to provide the music on a keyboard. The fingering indicia and the notes on the bar, when displayed in conjunction with the lyrics, cause various keys on the keyboard to be illuminated.
These musical systems incorporating music synthesizers and the like are provided with pre-programmed musical works, including music and lyrics, which does not provide the individual with a wide range of musical works or repertoire. As is the case with the present Yamaha units, one can learn to play or provide a karaoke experience with only a selected small number of musical works due to the limited storage of the keyboard or synthesizer.
Casio, on the other hand, provides the drive for their lighted keyboard synthesizer from a so-called smart card. However, the problem with smart cards is that they are limited to 80 K-bytes, which severely limits the amount of information that can be stored.
It is noted that neither the internal memory storage of a synthesizer nor the capability of a smart card is sufficient to provide for multiple songs, much less his ability to download a synchronized CD/DVD from the Internet. Moreover, such equipment does not provide any kind of video production.
- SUMMARY OF INVENTION
The result is that there is only a limited library of musical works adapted for lighted keyboards that can be used as teaching or prompting tools based on the current technology employed within music synthesizers.
In order to accommodate the need for an almost unlimited amount of musical works adapted to lighted keyboard synthesizers, in the subject invention musical works are captured and are reformatted to a portable memory device such as a memory stick, music CD or DVD that includes information relating to synchronizing the lighted keyboard with the program material. In one embodiment of the subject invention, the producer of the synthesized music records the actual song recording or track on the portable memory device. The memory device is also provided with the lyrics in terms of a sing-along format synchronized to the song recording. The producer also encodes the memory device with information to be able to generate a traveling or scrolling score display. Note, in one embodiment, the display for presenting the score displays the notes, along with fingering. The traveling or scrolling score uploaded to the display is likewise synchronized with the actual song recording and the sing-along lyrics.
Finally, the synchronized music portable memory device is provided with coding that will drive the lighting of the keyboard of the synthesizer, also synchronized to the actual song recording, the lyrics and the scrolling score display, so that when the memory device is inserted into the music synthesizer and/or music reproduction system, the individual can either sing and play along with the song as it is depicted on the scrolling score, or the individual can be taught how to play the song based on the lighted keyboard.
When CDs or DVDs are used, what is advantageous for the subject system is the fact that an individual can burn his or her CDs or DVDs locally from his or her computer, with the synchronized music CD or DVD having been produced off-line and supplied over the Internet.
What this means is that a wide variety of musical works can be produced at one location and formatted into a synchronized memory stick, CD or DVD format by a music provider or distributor, with the music and synchronized cues or prompts being distributed over the Internet so that the individual seeking to have this musical experience is induced to download the information to a stick or to burn the CD or DVD using the individual's CD or DVD burner, whereupon the portable memory device may be inserted into the music synthesizer.
The result is that individuals can be provided with enhanced karaoke experience that involves more than simply a sing-along, but can rather be provided additionally with a lighted keyboard to enable the person not only to sing along but also to play along. Moreover, because of the density of the information that can be provided to a memory stick, CD or DVD, one can also display the musical work in synchronism with the audio for whatever audio-visual entertainment purposes may be desired.
For instance, the particular work may include a music video, which is projected onto a large screen, along with a bouncing ball lyrics drive, while at the same time actuating the lighting system for the illuminated keyboard, whether or not a display of the musical score is used. Thus, the synchronized work on the portable memory device can be used to provide all of the prompting functions.
Key, however, to the provision of the synchronized music portable memory device is the fact that there is a lighted key drive coding system that causes the keys to be illuminated as the work is performed. The illumination of the keys alone may be enough to cue the individual to play the correct notes on the keyboard, whereas the display of the traveling sheet or score may further aid the individual in playing the correct notes.
If the individual seated at the keyboard is to sing, then the display at the keyboard may be adapted to provide for the bouncing ball lyric display described above. Also the actual song recording may be reproduced at the site at the user's election.
While the subject invention will be described in connection with CDs or DVDs, it is understood that any portable memory device of sufficient capacity can be used.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In summary, a synchronized music delivery system utilizes a portable memory device including compact discs (CDs), digital video discs (DVDs) and memory sticks in combination with an electronic music synthesizer having a lighted keyboard. A synchronized musical work, including music, lyrics and specialized coding, is recorded onto the portable memory device, in one embodiment by downloading the information from the Internet to the portable memory device; and in another embodiment in a stand-alone version involving pre-recording the portable memory device. The synchronized music portable memory device in one embodiment is provided with the actual song recording, sing-along words and indicia, scrollable score coding incorporating notes on a musical score and fingering, and a lighted key drive, all information being synchronized with the work. The synchronized memory device is inserted into a suitable slot in an electronic music synthesizer having a lighted keyboard and song reproduction equipment such that a virtually unlimited number of musical works can be readily delivered in one embodiment to a CD ROM/DVD burner over the Internet, whereby not only can a karaoke-like audio-visual experience be provided, but also a synchronized lighted keyboard is provided to enable an individual not only to sing along, but to play along with the work.
These and other features of the subject invention will be better understood in connection with a Detailed Description, in conjunction with the Drawings, of which:
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic illustration of the subject system in which a synchronized music CD or DVD is burned from a download to his computer, with the synchronized music CD or DVD being inserted into an appropriate slot in a lighted keyboard music synthesizer;
FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic illustration of the display of the lighted keyboard synthesizer of FIG. 1, illustrating the lyrics on the top portion of the display being cued by a bouncing ball technique, with the particular note to be played displayed directly underneath the particular word in the lyric, and optionally with fingering for the finger to play the keyboard also being synchronized with the musical work and lyrics;
FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic illustration of a lighted keyboard for use in the electronic music synthesizer of FIG. 1, illustrating the lighting of a key corresponding to Middle C;
FIG. 4A is a diagrammatic illustration of an individual seated at the keyboard of FIG. 1, in which a score is displayed and in which keyboard keys are illuminated indicating the playing of a chord such as C Major;
FIG. 4B is a diagrammatic illustration of a number of musicians accompanying the individual using the synchronized music CD/DVD-driven synthesizer of FIG. 1; and,
FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic illustration of a flow chart illustrating the production of a musical work, the production of a synthesized music CD/DVD, the readout of the synchronized music CD/DVD to the Internet where it is downloaded by a computer, with the computer being used to burn a CD or DVD that is inserted into a suitable slot in the music synthesizer and/or song reproduction system, and with the synchronized music CD/DVD providing a synchronized song recording, lyrics and indicia, scrolling score display coding, and lighted keyboard drive coding.
Referring now to FIG. 1, a lighted keyboard synthesizer 10 is provided with a lighted key 12 that indicates to an individual which key to depress in order to provide a particular sound or tone. Synthesizer 10 is provided with a display 14, positioned in front of the individual playing the keyboard, which provides the individual with a display of the lyrics to be performed, a score, and alternatively a fingering diagram to indicate to the individual what finger or fingers he or she is to use in order to play the musical work.
Rather than having an internally stored program that is of limited capacity, an almost unlimited number of songs or musical compositions or works may be loaded into synthesizer 10 through the use of a synchronized music CD/DVD 16 that is either store-bought or burned on a CD ROM or DVD burner that is part of a computer 20 coupled to the Internet 22.
Because of the storage capacity of either the compact discs or the DVD discs, it is possible to store multiple works.
In one embodiment and referring to FIG. 2, display 14 may display lyrics 24 in a scrolling display. It may provide bouncing ball indicia 26 to indicate to the individual during the playing of the particular work the words 28 to be sung.
Underneath the scrolling lyrics is a score 30, which has on it at least one note 32 that is depicted immediately below the word in the song corresponding to the particular note to be played. The note to be played causes a key to be lighted, such as illustrated in FIG. 3 by key 32 of keyboard 34. In this manner not only is a karaoke function available with the display of the lyrics and a scrolling score display, but also the note to be played is presented to teach an individual how to play a particular song or to cue the individual for the particular song involved so that his rendition of the song, either verbally or by playing the keyboard or both, may be enhanced or may correspond more closely to the work itself.
As illustrated, a person's left hand 36 and a person's right hand 38 may be displayed on display 14 along with the finger 40 that is to be used.
All of the information is carried by the synchronized music CD/DVD so that all of the above functions may be synchronized together when the CD or DVD is played.
Referring now to FIG. 4A, an individual 41 seated at a lighted keyboard 42 is provided with a display 44 of a score 46, with the individual prompted to play a chord. The chord is indicated by indicia 48, and the lighting of the appropriate keys.
Referring now to FIG. 4B, when individual 40 is in front of his or her keyboard and seeks to play with a band generally having musicians 60 and 62, the individual's play can be improved by virtue of prompting provided by the lighted keyboard. The repertoire of the band is enhanced by virtue of the fact of the virtually unlimited number of works that can be downloaded to the individual's computer, which makes practicing a wide variety of songs easy and use of the lighted keyboard during a performance can actually enhance the performance.
Referring now to FIG. 5, in one embodiment an artist or artists 70 produce a musical work 72, which is converted by a synchronized music CD/DVD producer 74 into various tracks of synchronized music information. The producer then offers the synchronized music CD or DVD over the Internet 76, which is coupled to an individual's computer 78.
When the individual seeks to perform a large number of songs, he or she burns a CD or DVD 80, which is inserted into a music synthesizer/karaoke machine 82 that provides, for instance, the lighted keys mentioned above as well as a bouncing ball lyric display. The CD may also drive an audio reproduction system 84, which outputs audio corresponding to the particular song, as well as, optionally, a video that is likewise synchronized to the work.
What will be see is that, whether providing a CD or a DVD, the information encoded on the device is capable of driving the lighted keyboard of the synthesizer, the lyric and score display while at the same time driving audio and visual outputs to facilitate karaoke. Also, a music-minus-one function may be accomplished in which that which is produced audibly or visually is the work minus the performer, with the audio and/or visual provided by the individual being blended with that which is produced by the other artists so that the artist is inserted into the band or orchestra.
What is therefor provided by the subject system is a synthesized music CD/DVD distribution system in which an extremely large library of songs can be properly encoded with synchronized tracks for driving the lighted keyboard and/or display of the synthesizer. This therefore transcends the limited abilities of those synthesizers which are pre-programmed or which use smart card techniques. Moreover, if every music CD or DVD is provided with the appropriate tracks or information, then individuals performing such works along with the music will be provided with an invaluable teaching aid or prompting tool.
While the above invention has been described in terms of downloading synchronized music memory sticks, CDs or DVDs from the Internet, it is within the scope of this invention for the music producer to manufacture the synchronized music memory sticks, CDs or DVDs themselves. For CDs and DVDs the distribution system would be similar to that by which normal music CDs or DVDs are distributed, with the advantage being that they can be inserted into an appropriate lighted keyboard-based synthesizer so that not only can the individual sing along with the music but also use the keyboard to perform the music. This gives additional functionality to the rather limited offerings of the present synthesizers and keyboards to provide the individual with a virtually limitless supply of karaoke-type and music-minus-one-type works to be practiced and performed.
While the present invention has been described in connection with the preferred embodiments of the various figures, it is to be understood that other similar embodiments may be used or modifications or additions may be made to the described embodiment for performing the same function of the present invention without deviating therefrom. Therefore, the present invention should not be limited to any single embodiment, but rather construed in breadth and scope in accordance with the recitation of the appended claims.