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Philip Glass is one of the few “serious” composers that you may have heard of. You haven’t? Well, consider this your introduction. Mr. Glass is the founding father of a musical movement called “minimalism”. His music is some of the most listenable of modern compostions, which generally sound like they were designed to offend the ear rather than please it. Some of his most famous works include the score to the film Koyaaniskatsi, the performance piece 1000 Airplanes on the Roof, and the opera Einstein on the Beach.
IBM has developed an experimental search engine which “enables deep navigation of the music of Philip Glass”. One can listen to generous excerpts from over sixty compositions, which are ranked according to such categories as “joy”, “sorrow”, and “density”. Although it seems a little balky at actually playing the music, the user interface is creative, slick, and just plain all-around cool. Unfortunately, it only works with Internet Explorer (4.5+) running on Windows 98, ME, 2000, or Apple OS 9, or OS X. Be sure to have the latest Java Runtime Environment installed.