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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:10 pm 
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What's the best app for learning how to read music?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:28 am 
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IMO that would be a musical instrument. Any musical instrument. Probably the best way of learning to read is to read aloud, and playing what you see written has to help you learn to read music. It is a feedback effect. It will be slow at first but it gets faster. I know that's not what you are asking, but I stand by it.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:06 am 
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ah, yer one o'dem traditionalists ain't ya?


get the dots for a nursery song you know and have at it...
stick with things that you remember for a while


If you get good at it you will be able to look at the sheet and hear the sucker

well, no... haven't used it much the last two score plus years

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:16 am 
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Here is a website that has game downloads for recognising notes. You may find it useful.
Playing an instrument is better, but if you are stuck with a computer and time on your hands this might help.

http://aheadwithmusic.com/index.php

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:20 am 
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Here is another site that may help you with musical notation.

http://www.musictheory.net/

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:20 am 
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Innocent Bystander wrote:
Here is another site that may help you with musical notation.

http://www.musictheory.net/


This is a great website. Thanks for the link!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:21 am 
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Denny wrote:
... If you get good at it you will be able to look at the sheet and hear the sucker ...
I would like to be able to do that, but most apps seem to do theory and recognising intervals type stuff. With an instrument I find it tough to break the link between lines on the staff and fingers.

I am making some progress simply by spending a few minutes a day browsing through this http://www.pipers.ie/IMCO/ (needs the Sibelius browser plug-in) and trying to anticipate what happens next from what I have heard and from watching the 'bouncing ball' curser. It won't help the understanding of repeat signs though - they often don't work ! And a lot of the twiddlier stuff sounds awful in the MIDI.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:15 am 
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david_h wrote:
Denny wrote:
... If you get good at it you will be able to look at the sheet and hear the sucker ...
I would like to be able to do that, but most apps seem to do theory and recognising intervals type stuff. With an instrument I find it tough to break the link between lines on the staff and fingers.

I think that was it. It is all about recognizing intervals!

I started with reading staff. It was a year later when I wanted to be able to play something that I didn't have the dots for that I started working 'em out by year.

It was seven years later, theory class, I had to plunk on the piano to work out four part harmony that I started being able to keep more than one part going in my head.

Ah, driftin'...

Your brain has not developed the ability to equate the dots to the pitches and thus the distance to the interval.

Once you have that it is a small step to sight transposing. You work out the key signature change and the first notes.

All this is much easier when you're young :D

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:46 am 
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Denny wrote:
Your brain has not developed the ability to equate the dots to the pitches and thus the distance to the interval.
True, but the way it is getting there seems to be more to do with repeated experience of a pattern on the score and a set of sounds rather than knowing intervals as such. A dot here to a dot there sounding like this. Conscious thought is along the lines of knowing where do-re-mi etc are. Or does that count as intervals ?

I think my 'issue' is that with an app as intermediary I have to tell it what I think so that it can use whether I am right or wrong to decide how to help me. Following the bouncing ball is like a teacher running a finger along the line when learning to read text except that the midi output tells me if I was right or not and I don't need a mechanism for telling 'teacher'. And there is the practice at reading ahead, like we do with text.

Denny wrote:
All this is much easier when you're young
Yes, but we are were we are and with 50 years between 'sing after me' with Miss Smith at the piano and learning to play whistle by ear I won't give up just yet.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:30 pm 
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you've changed yer post since this wouldn't go...
I attempted this hours ago wrote:
I don't see a need to be able to name the interval. (not that it isn't a good thing)

If you know a tune you should be able to play it in most any key, given a chromatic instrument...
Chromatic being a bit problematic around here... :D


Yeah, it's all grand once ya get past conscious thought and on to reflexes...

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:01 pm 
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Is chromatic for when I start on the wrong note on the whistle then realise three bars in that it's not going to work ?

Sorry about the changed post (I did delete and re-do to refresh the time stamp). I went out with the dog, played some tunes, re-read the post and said something different.

I guess I am looking for something more like one of those touch typing training apps where the letters come tumbling down the screen, and you have to hit the right one to score, rather than a dictionary and a book on grammar. Book learning I can do well enough to get by.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:45 pm 
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david_h wrote:
I guess I am looking for something more like one of those touch typing training apps where the letters come tumbling down the screen, and you have to hit the right one to score

Might be 'fun' for a while (NB there have been 'Space Invaders' type games for music where you have to shoot down the right notes), but ultimately probably of limited value because, as Denny's suggesting, it's not so much individual notes as shapes you need to be reading in the end. A bit like words, where you read 'Jack and Jill' rather than 'J-a-c-k-a-n-d-J-i-l-l' (so you're not working through this post letter by letter, are you?), but looking for (instead of familiar words and constructs) patterns of ascent and descent, steps and leaps, recognisable scales, chord shapes, stock phrases and so on. And that's when music reading starts to become 'as easy as ABC'... on which note I've now got pupils at school working from staff notation more by shape than 'Every Good Boy Deserves Food', 'All Cows Eat Grass', 'FACE rhymes with space' and all that, as well as composing with Sibelius (so following your Scorch files with real-time cursor and sound is good!) even though they're not fluent readers.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:06 am 
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Peter. Thanks. The typing app was only an analogy, the main points being that it was training reflexes and using how the user was doing to guide what happens next. And its not too far from Denny's "Your brain has not developed the ability to equate the dots to the pitches"

I mentioned the Scorch playback because so far it is the best thing I have found for heading towards Denny's earlier "If you get good at it you will be able to look at the sheet and hear the sucker" and also what you said about 'shapes'. For the rhythm side of things it is working for me very well, melody more slowly.

I guess what I would look for is an app that showed a measure or so of score, asked the user to imagine what it sounded like, played the sound and then only needed to know whether the user got it right or not to chose the next 'task'. Or, better, asked the user to sing or play it into a microphone. Most computer aided training I have come across is more like a test with a score at the end.

The web sites pointed to earlier in the thread were mainly what one would get in a book combined with a test. I know enough of the theory to slowly notate what I have learned by ear and do better with a choral score in front of me than without. A question - for the kids who learn to sight read well how much of it is a result of understanding what the marks on the page mean and how much is it due to a young brain doing a lot of guided practical work ?

So any suggestions along the lines of the Scorch playback but better ?


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