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Stanford University Piano Roll Archive SUPRA

Using this Site

Listening to the Rolls

A selection of the rolls from the archive can be displayed from a search or from one of the browse pages. Some of the rolls contain test perforations before the actual music of the roll begins. This is noted in the cataloging for the roll. Many of the rolls have additional perforations following the performance. These notes follow the rewind signal printed on the roll and are not heard when played on a player piano. The reason for these additional perforations is not known and have been retained in all versions of the digital files. The rolls are presented here in their entirety.

  • To hear one of the rolls, click on the title or thumbnail image. The image will be displayed in the viewer with a brief description. A link to the persistent universal resource locator (PURL) is at the lower left of the viewer.
  • Click on the PURL. This will take you to the same image of the roll with a full description in the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR).
  • Click on the download arrow in the lower left corner of the viewer.
  • Select the radio button for Download m4a (mp4).
  • Click on the download button. The music will begin to play in the browser window.
  • To download the file, click on the three vertical dots at the end of the play bar in the center of the screen.

Downloading the Roll Files

Five digital files are available for download: high- and low-resolution JPEG files, the green channel from the full-color TIFF file, an M4A audio file, and an X-WAV MIDI file containing full expression for reproducing rolls. The JPEG files can be used for visual inspection of the entire length of a roll. The green channel is a monochromatic image file that is much smaller than the original full-color master TIFF file. It is intended for those who wish to create their own MIDI files for the roll. The M4A file is for listening to the roll as described in the instructions above. The X-WAV file is a MIDI file that can be used to play on a MIDI device or MIDI piano.

  • To download a file, click on the title or thumbnail image. The image will be displayed in the viewer with a brief description. A link to the PURL is at the lower left of the viewer.
  • Click on the PURL. This will take you to the same image of the roll with a full description in the SDR.
  • Click on the download arrow in the lower left corner of the viewer.
  • Select the radio button for the type of file you wish to download.
  • Click on the download button.

Viewing the Rolls

The rolls are presented in the Mirador viewer that has many features that allow for detailed viewing of the roll images. Some of these features are described below.

Resizing the Image

  • After a search, click on the title or thumbnail image for a roll. The roll appears as a long thin strip in the viewer.
  • In the lower right corner, the plus button will enlarge the image and the minus button will decrease the image size. The roller on most computer mice will allow smaller increments of adjustment to provide an image that can fill the viewer.
  • The up and down arrows will move the image accordingly, and the house icon returns you the original view.
  • The viewer itself can be enlarged to fill the entire screen using the arrows in the extreme upper right-hand corner of the viewer.

Image Adjustment

The viewer allows for image rotation; brightness, contrast, and color saturation; grayscale; color inversion; and a reset image command. These operations can be performed by using the icons revealed by clicking on the horizontal bars in the upper left of the viewer underneath the comment balloon icons. Click on the horizontal bars, select the operation you wish to perform, and click on the icon until the desired result is achieved.

Brightness

N.B. A special note is needed regarding the brightness of the JPEG roll images. The rolls are slightly darker in the images than they appear in most lighting situations. This was done to achieve sufficient contrast between the white holes and the color of the paper to render accurate MIDI files. To produce an image approximately the same as most of the original rolls, increase the brightness by about 20 percent.

  • To bring the brightness of the image closer to the actual color of the original roll, locate the black and white color bar preceding the leader of each roll.
  • Click on the horizontal bars in the upper left-hand corner of the viewer.
  • Select the brightness icon and increase the brightness of the image until the white square on the color bar exactly matches the white background. For most images, this will be around 120 percent.

Comparing Images

Two or more images can be compared in the same window.

  • To compare two images, you will need to have two browser windows open on the screen.
  • Open each browser to the SUPRA exhibit.
  • Conduct a search to locate one of the rolls that you wish to compare in each browser, and click on the title or thumbnail image of the desired roll in each browser.
  • In the first browser, locate and click on the four window icon in the extreme upper left corner of the viewer. This gives the option of adding a slot to the right, left, top, or bottom of the viewer.
  • Select and click on the desired option.
  • On the second browser, locate the multi-color iiif icon below the lower right corner of the viewer.
  • Place your cursor on the iiif icon, drag, and drop it on the empty slot in the first browser.
  • You can now enlarge the first browser to fill the entire screen and perform any of the image operations of the Mirador viewer.
  • To compare more than two images, click on the four window Icon in the extreme upper left corner of the viewer of the first browser, select, and click on the desired option.
  • On the second browser, locate the image of the roll you would like for comparison, drag, and drop the iiif icon as previously described.