Music Pedagogy Software
Here at IU, music performance is a kind of religion.
Over the last couple of years I have been working with two students,
Kyung Ae Lim and Gabi Teodoru, as well as faculty from the Jacobs School of
Music, on a pair of software projects designed to teach ideas about
different aspects of intonation.
The first project is a software tool designed for instrumentalists.
Most of the work for this
project has been done by my student Kyung Ae Lim, in collaboration
with Allen and Helga Winold, professors emeriti of the Jacobs School.
make some use of electronic tuners, but these devices have some important
limitations, such as only working for relatively slow notes, forcing the
user to digest the information as it is generated, and not relating the
information in terms of a musical context such as a score. Our project,
written by Kyung Ae Lim, seeks to overcome these weaknesses.
The project presents the instrumentalist with three different "views,"
of an excerpt, as indicated in the picture above,
in addition to allowing "random access" to the audio. We have been
especially pleased that some musicians have told us that the program
helped them to hear things they did not originally perceive. A
nice example of this is the rising pitch tendency on many notes
in the figure below, which keeps the line from achieving a sense
a paper that was written about this work
The second project is designed for conductors, particularly choral conductors,
and was done by Gabi Teodoru,
in conjunction with John Poole, emeritus faculty of the JSOM. A conductor
needs to be able to identify intonation problems when several instrumentalists
or voices are present at once. The TuningTutor presents the user with
a sequence of intonation problems, in which various kinds of inaccuracies
must be identified and corrected. The program allows for a huge range
of difficulty, ranging from simple identification of intonation problems for
single notes, up to many-note unusually-voiced chords. Of course, there
is no single standard for correctness in intonation, so the program allows
a variety of yardsticks to be used, including equal temperament and
Download the program here.