This page contains pointers to educational software of interest to music teachers and students. The main focus is freely available software on the net that will help students master the basics of music--note reading, music theory, ear training, and music history. The page also has a list of instructional material available on the internet (text files and hypertext), a list of online sheet music and a selection of web sites related to music education.
Quicklinks to the information on the Music Instruction Software Page
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Note that many listings have two links for the same program. Each link is to a different site, so if one link doesn't work, try the other.
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EarTest version 1.2 is an ear training program. It is loosely based on the method described in the David L. Burge Perfect Pitch ear training course that you may have seen advertised in music magazines. EarTest plays a note, you must respond by playing the same note on a MIDI keyboard. It has several levels, from very easy to incredibly difficult. If you don't believe in learning perfect pitch, you can use it to hone your relative pitch (you begin by learning the notes of the C major scale, so you can just think of do-re-mi and forget the perfect pitch stuff if you like). Version 1.2 fixes some bugs in EarTest, allows questions to be answered via mouse (your MIDI device need not have a keyboard now), provides limited compatibility with Windows enhanced mode, and will work with many more MIDI cards and configurations than version 1.0. Version 1.1 required a mathcoprocessor, and Version 1.2 removes this restriction. EarTest requires an MPU-401 compatible MIDI card hooked to a MIDI device. (DOS freeware.)
[NEW] EarTest is now available as an online, interactive game. It works under Netscape 3.0 and Internet Explorer 3.0 (and maybe others). Check EarTestonline out! You can also download EarTestonline (zipped file). You can either install it on a web site of your own, or just run it from your local hard drive. Local hard drive installation actually works quite nicely, and it works with a wider variety of midi devices than EarTest for DOS does.
KeyNote Music Drills for Windows95/NT is designed to help music students learn to identify the notes of the bass clef, treble clef, and grand staff, and to locate their positions on the keyboard or guitar fingerboard. KeyNote Music Drills also has drills for the alto and tenor clefs. (Shareware for Windows 95 or Windows NT. Will not work under Windows 3.x.)
Some information is available on Music Ace, a new music instruction program that has received some good reviews. Music Ace has really fun animated graphics and musical games that really draw the students into the musical skills they are learning. This is a great program for kids--and adults can play it, too, when nobody's looking . . .
A page about Neon Notes is available. Neon Notes is system of teaching piano based on a new notation system which can be learned with a few minutes of instruction. The page includes a freeware program that demonstrates the Neon Notes concept.
Winoye is a cool ear training program for windows. The program plays melodic intervals, harmonic intervals, short melodies, and two- and three-note chords, which you must play back by pointing to keys on a keyboard it displays. Winoye requires a MIDI interface or a sound card. (Windows shareware.)
The Music Box (demo version) is a unique ear training program that helps music teachers and students improve their ability to identify intervals and triads, take melodic dictation and even sight sing. It generates melodies for sight singing and melodic dictation, allowing you to concentrate on specific intervals if you want. It is the perfect software for those who are taking undergraduate music fundamentals courses, or just for anyone who wants to improve their ear. The demo version has a few functions disabled, but the shareware fee is very reasonable--around $20. (Shareware, Windows 3.1 or Win95, file size 148K)
The Easy Piano Tutor will show you how to play your favorite songs step-by-step on a 3D piano. Import MIDI file tracks, or enter your favorite sheet music using the powerful EZPNO Editor. Test your sight-reading skills with a MIDI keyboard as the Easy Piano Tutor tracks your progress and keeps score. Enter song lyrics for karaoke-style sing-alongs. Sound card or midi interface optional. (Dos shareware; Windows version available to registered users.)
Virtuax v1.0 is a guitar reference and instruction utility designed to assist advancing guitarists with their practicing. This demo includes a configurable and playable on-screen virtual guitar, a digital metronome, and a tuner. Virtuax also displays chords, scales, and arpeggio patterns using color-coded and numbered fingerings to facilitate easy learning. All charts can be played at various tempos for play-along practice. Includes a Windows based installer and complete help file. (Windows shareware. File size is around 700,000 bytes.)
NoFret is a guitar chord instruction program complete with special help sections to help you tune your guitar and read chord charts. Barre and open chord forms are presented for A,B,C,D,E,F, and G chords in minor, minor 7th, 7th, major, major 7th, 6th, 9th, and 13th forms. Sound support is included for SoundBlaster users so the user can hear how each chord sounds when played correctly. (DOS shareware.)
Softech Multimedia has recently released a new version of their Piano Professor for Windows. Piano Professor has a variety of activities to help in learning music (note learning, ear training, chords, key signatures). Softech Multimedia's WWW Page has information about the Piano Professor; you can also download the program directly from the page. The new version has many improvements--the MIDI interface or sound card is now optional and the interface is somewhat faster, among other things. (Windows shareware.)
PC Piano Tutor also has a variety of activities (note learning, ear training, rhythmic dictation, reading intervals, steps and skips). It doesn't require MIDI--sounds are played through the PC's built in speaker and the student must respond through the normal PC keyboard (MIDI support is promised in the registered version). (DOS shareware.) (This link may be difficult to access--keep trying.)
Musicware Piano (demo version) is a full blown piano teaching program. I believe Musicware Piano is intended to be used alone, without a teacher at all (it certainly could be used that way), but it would be a nice complement to regular piano lessons as well. It looks well-designed, with lessons grouped into units and each lesson and each unit seeming to have a well-defined teaching objective. It can handle multiple students easily. This is a demo version, which means you can try a few things and see how it works, but basically it won't do anything usefule unless you register. It is large (over one megabyte, compressed). Requires soundcard with synth drivers or a MIDI keyboard and interface. (Windows demo.)
Musicware, Inc. also has a home page with information about and demos of Musicware Piano and other products for Windows and Macintosh.
MusiCalc II, by Robert Dobbins at the University of Idaho, calculates and displays chords and scales in all keys, major and minor. It displays the roman numeral chords (I, II, III, etc.) as well as secondary dominants, borrowed chords, seventh, ninth, and eleventh chords, and so on. It also has a self-test mode, so you can see if you know all these chords in all these keys. It displays the chords in functional notation (i.e., ii, V7), staff notation, and on a piano keyboard or guitar frets. It seems to be designed as a review or self-study help for a first year college theory class. (DOS Freeware.)
Rising Software has developed an aural training program for Windows called Auralia. (Windows commercial program.)
CS is a nifty scale and chord utility for guitar.
MiBAC Music Software has released its Music Lessons software for Windows. Music Lessons is a recipient of the 1994-1995 Technology and Learning Software Award of Excellence. (Windows Demo.)
Guitar Workshop is a new guitar tutorial program. It features a great interface and on-going lesson modules being developed by professional guitarists. More information and a demo version are available. (Windows demo.)
The Talking Note Picker teaches students how notes on the keyboard correspond to the notes on the grand staff. The Talking Note Picker plays a note on the piano; the student responds by clicking the matching note on the grand staff. (File size 796K.)
The Talking Piano Teacher is a powerful and complete music note teaching program for children and adults. The Talking Piano Teacher shows how good the Macintosh can be for teaching music! (File size 370K.)
The Music Maid is a Macintosh utility which creates music exercises and worksheets. Great for music teachers! [NEW]
Imaja Software has a WWW homepage. The WWW page explains their ear training software (as well as other software they offer) and has instructions for ordering.
Computer Music: an Interactive Documentary is a CD-Rom for Mac. It is an interactive documentary that shows how computer music is made. Topics include studio recording using computers, synthesized sounds, sampling, MIDI, and digital editing. The CyberLearning homepage has downloadable demos and further information about the CD-Rom. [NEW]
Trimbelle Software has a series of five disks designed to help students master the rudiments of music. Click here for a brief explanation of them.
MiBAC Music Software has released its Music Lessons and MiBAC Jazz software for Macintosh. Their page has further information and demos you can download.
Ars Nova's page describes their software products for Macintosh, including Practica Musica 3 (music theory and ear training) and Songworks (composition).
Musicware, Inc. has a home page with information about and demos of products for Windows and Macintosh. The demo for Inner Hearing looked particularly interesting.
A link to a page about the Guitar Reference, a GEM guitar tool for the Atari ST. This page fully explains the Guitar Reference and has a link to download it.
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