Music Note Attribute Blocks
(plus one tiny addition to the note block, I swear it's really simple)
(also, sorry for the large wall of text, I thought about this one hard)
Note blocks at the moment may be pretty diverse seeing as there are 4 instruments and 24 increments of pitch per-instrument available to play, but at the moment, they are just not advanced enough for those true music fans who want more complicated songs. There are more things to music than just pitch, and this block would add two extra musical variables to Minecraft's Note Block system.
This block, if added to minecraft, would add Volume and Hold Length to a Note Block placed directly on top of it. The block will also conduct redstone charge to the Note Block (and blocks adjacent, to save space, maybe it should act like a straight wire but with the ability to power the block directly above it?) similarly to the way the Dispenser can power things adjacent to itself, however the wire can go to either the Note Block itself OR the Attribute Block, and the note will still play (this way no weird wiring has to be made for the block to play).
Since the Attribute Block will be directly under the note block, the system must change so that when a Note Block is played, the game checks the Attribute block AND the block under it to change the Volume/Holdlength and Instrument to play respectively. (THIS method of building songs will still work properly thanks to the ability of the Attribute Block to power the note above it, but it will take up 1 or 2 more blocks of vertical space, otherwise your songs should still be easy to "compose" .... not so sure about THIS method, but I'm sure it couldn't be too hard to figure out though)
As for storing the block data within your map, the Data Value for the Attribute Block will go from 00 to 15 (0 to F HEX) as follows:
00 (0x0): Vol 1, Lth 1 (Default when placed) 01 (0x1): Vol 2, Lth 1 02 (0x2): Vol 3, Lth 1 03 (0x3): Vol 4, Lth 1 (Same as a normal Note Block, Full Volume, Shortest Length) 04 (0x4): Vol 1, Lth 2 05 (0x5): Vol 2, Lth 2 06 (0x6): Vol 3, Lth 2 07 (0x7): Vol 4, Lth 2 08 (0x8): Vol 1, Lth 3 09 (0x9): Vol 2, Lth 3 10 (0xA): Vol 3, Lth 3 11 (0xB): Vol 4, Lth 3 12 (0xC): Vol 1, Lth 4 13 (0xD): Vol 2, Lth 4 14 (0xE): Vol 3, Lth 4 15 (0xF): Vol 4, Lth 4
Since 16 is a nice even number, the block should just always face a certain direction instead of toward the player when placed, unless another variable can be added to the block for orientation or the hex can be expanded for this block.
What the Values actually do
The volume value of the block Determines what percent of a normal Note Block the volume should be. Meaning 1 is 25%, 2 is 50%, 3 is 75%, and 4 is 100% the volume of a normal Note Block. As for the Hold Length, it may not be what one expects. It is not the delay between the current note block and the next, but it is the amount of time that note is held after it is triggered, and other notes can then continue in the cycle as the note remains held. A good interval would need to be figured out, but after that is decided, the intervals would probably be: 1 is a Quarter Note, 2 is a Half Note, 3 is a Whole Note, and 4 is an entire measure (16 redstone repeaters at their shortest interval I'm guessing? I dunno, something like that). The Hold Length variable would add a depth to songs that just couldn't be achieved before with Note Blocks.
Look and Crafting
(A mockup of an Attribute Block)
The look of an Attribute Block would probably look a lot like a Note Block, except for the two Sliders on the front of the block that show its state (Hopefully this system will work, I wouldn't know how else to do it). An Alternative I was thinking about would be some sort of smoother wood texture and a redstone-esque design on the top to show it can provide power to the block on top of it (But I wasn't feeling creative enough to try and make that).
Crafting an Attribute Block is almost the same as crafting a Note Block, except the Redstone in the center of the wood planks must be replaced with a Redstone Torch, as seen in this picture:
To work an Attribute Block, simply right click on it, the left slider will move up one increment with every press, Raising the Volume. After the top of the bar is passed, the right bar will move up one increment and the volume will start at 1 again, and so on. If the player holds Shift when Right-clicking on the block, the right slider will move up one instead of the left, and after passing the top will increment the left bar one value, resetting the right bar at 1 in the process.
A change in the Note Block usage should also be in order. When the player holds Shift and Right-clicks on a Note block, it will go down in Pitch one, as opposed to up in pitch one with a normal right click. This small change will help if a player accidentally passes the note they wanted. Without this change, mistakes cause another cycle through the entire note range.
This block will be a very useful addition to Minecraft, and would add extra customization to Music Making in the game. It is my hope that Notch and the other developers at Mojang like this idea and decide to add it to their wonderful game :DORE:.