Apparently it is Music In Our Schools month in some parts of the world and Google wanted to let people of all ages explore how music works.
It provides 12 different modules that make music in different ways. Rhythm is a very simple drum machine and there is one monkey with two drums and another with a triangle. You click to place drum beats and triangle at the bottom of the screen and the monkeys play as you experiment with rhythms.
Chords presents around 24 piano keys centred around middle C and a Major/Minor switch. Click a piano key and the appropriate chord is played so you can see the keys and hear the sound. Arpeggios plays chords, but the notes play one after the other instead of all at once, rising and then falling.A colour wheel with chord names enables you to select different arpeggios.
Strings enables you to pluck different length strings and hear the result. Voice Spinner turns on the computer’s microphone to enable you to record several seconds of audio, such as you singing. It can then be played forwards or backwards at any speed by dragging a slider.
Oscillators lets you play and listen to different types of waveform – square, sawtooth, triangle, and sine. Then there is Sound Waves, Spectrogram, Kadinsky, Melody Maker and others.
If you already know a bit about music then Music Lab will not teach you anything new, but it is a good introduction for complete beginners and especially children. It shows how music can be created with the computer and simple software, and how sounds and rhythms can be manipulated.
You’ll need to visit the website using Chrome of course, and other browsers may or may not work. (Chrome-based ones are likely to be OK.)
Put a bookmark on your kids computer desktop for Chrome Music Lab and show them how to use it.