Version 1.5 seems to work fairly well with all versions of the Java Virtual Machine. It is no-frills compared to the later versions, but it does what it should. If having problems with the later versions, consider using this one instead or the CLI version for those who don't mind a shell prompt.
For the last year and a little more there has been little activity on the software, although many improvements could be made. In October 2008 an application was made to receive a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, under the "Digital Start-Up" grants. The program seeks to offer support to software and web projects which give innovation to study in the humanities. If the grant is received, the project will undergo major revision and extensive elaboration of concepts, especially in relation to making its roots more apparent in literature and history. The NEH will make known its decision in May 2009. Until then there will not be much change in the project unless there is alternative support. ... read more
The present software provides a graphical interface for composing quasi-musical pieces by way of ephemeris data. Among its strengths are the acceptance of many tonal systems, the score-orbital notation with printing capabilites, and access to a 6000-year database. Among its weaknesses are poor documentation for the interface, buggy/quirky operation, and insepid sound support.
If there will be a future version of HOW, the following tasks would hopefully be accomplished:
1. Re-style the interface for a typical user
2. Develop more french language implementation
3. Make a documentation specific to the interface
4. Augment the compositional formula to determine rhythm as well as harmony.
Communication with the JPL Ephemeris server (Horizons) from Harmony of the World has lately become a little bit buggy, for example it appears that data for one planet is getting inadvertently duplicated in the place of another. I will try to determine the cause of the confusion as time permits in the near future. --Timaeus
I'm imagining a new version of the software, which would be quite a bit more elaborate. In preparation for this, I'm presently studying the JPL ephemeris files so that the new version can use many more data points than just one per sound. The user would in this case have the ephemeris on his machine rather than connecting to Horizons for each piece of data.
The Harmony of the World Software is available on line with version 1.01! Getting it to run should be just a few clicks. If you find the software useful, entertaining, etc...drop me a line, I'd love to hear about it.
Developers are welcome, too! There are improvements that can be made in the areas of astronomy, synthesis, GUI, networking, and sound file formatting.