Rachel : Code + Chords
Code + Chords
Code + Chords is a music visualization software developed by a team of Undergraduates from the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. The software takes in an audio input and creates a visual output that can respond to the audios pitch and amplitude. Code + Chords aims to help people with a variety of skill sets engage with other disciplines.
Playful Learning Lab
Saint Paul, MN
Code + Chords is an open source, real-time music visualization software. Led by a group of undergraduate students with backgrounds in computer science, engineering, and music, we have developed an open source coding library for creating real-time visual displays based on vocal inputs.

Code + Chord’s real time visual displays are based on multiple vocal inputs or MIDI piano keyboard input using Java, the Processing language, and PortAudio API. Using the Processing library, a sketchbook software for graphic design, powerful visuals can be made. This in conjunction with audio taken in from a microphone or MIDI piano keyboard can create visuals for music visualization that is capable of adding more depth to music.
Side Story
We created Code + Chords so that learners of all ages and experiences can use computer processing in a way that isn’t traditionally taught in computer science classrooms. Using Code + Chords, you can create an interactive experience for your personal music visualization projects, or as a way to add some color to your next vocal event, such as a choir concert or acapella performance. Download our .jar file to interact with our premade visuals, or use our open source processing library to create your own visual – the choice is yours! By empowering people to use code in a creative and collaborative way, we can engage with the humanity of learning and imagine new possibilities through interactive coding.

Code + Chords was developed at the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. The Playful Learning Lab’s mission is to develop new ways of incorporating joy, whimsy, and play into education. One of the ways we believe you can do that is by finding new playmates to explore with, something that Code + Chords has wholly embraced over the years. The Code + Chords group has collaborated with performers like the ensemble Cantus and the University of St. Thomas’s female acapella group, Cadenza, to product creative show treatments. Additionally, we have hosted computer science workshops for children at St. Paul Public Libraries and elementary schools in the Twin Cities area. The Code + Chords software was also featured in an episode of TPT’s SciGirls, which will premiere Fall of 2019.

Now you know all about us! But we know nothing about you – do you have questions about our software? Want to share your visual experience with us or show us a performance you did using Code + Chords? Reach out to us at hello@codeandchords.org to share any questions, comments or concerns, we can’t wait to hear from you!
Rachel : Coder
The maker Rachel
Minnesota
Connect with Rachel
How you can help me:
We created Code + Chords so that learners of all ages and experiences can use computer processing in a way that isn’t traditionally taught in computer science classrooms. Using Code + Chords, you can create an interactive experience for your personal music visualization projects, or as a way to add some color to your next vocal event, such as a choir concert or acapella performance. Download our .jar file to interact with our premade visuals, or use our open source processing library to create your own visual – the choice is yours! By empowering people to use code in a creative and collaborative way, we can engage with the humanity of learning and imagine new possibilities through interactive coding.

The Code + Chords group has collaborated with performers like the ensemble Cantus and the University of St. Thomas’s female acapella group, Cadenza, to product creative show treatments. Additionally, we have hosted computer science workshops for children at St. Paul Public Libraries and elementary schools in the Twin Cities area. The Code + Chords software was also featured in an episode of TPT’s SciGirls, which will premiere Fall of 2021.