Harmony App – Kickstarter – How to Sing in Parts

October 24th, 2014

harmony-appThe How to Sing Harmony app is currently in development, but we need a hand with getting it launched ad-free. We are doing this Kickstarter so that you can help us make it happen! The $25 song sponsorship (with a link or dedications at the end of playback) will be first come first serve, so don’t wait to jump on that! Other rewards are also available in both directions of pledge amount.

There is a long tradition of singing hymns in four part harmony; it is quickly dying away. Our purpose with this harmony app is to make it fun and easy for people to come and learn how to sing these songs in parts again. It’s actually not a hard skill to develop and with a little effort the tradition can be revitalized before it dies away.

But we don’t want to limit this harmony app to religion. National anthems, old folk songs, and other music should be included in this project too (i.e. Jingle Bells, O Canada, etc). And we plan to do this through sponsorships.

Here are some of the features we plan to put into the harmony app:

-An app that can isolate each part (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass) so that people can easily learn a part individually.
-Traditional music notation for those who read music. Those who don’t can quickly learn.
-Each part will be mutable. The user can implement a variety of methods to master the music.
-Adjust the tempo at any time while practicing–even in the middle of a song.
-Pause, rewind, and retry a segment you just can’t get.
-Efficient programming that uses the same sounds for each song.
This will take up as little space on your phone as possible. –Option of vocal synths and/or piano sounds.
-Clean distraction-free design.
-75 songs already lined up before sponsorships.
-15 free songs (Including Amazing Grace, It Is Well with My Soul, and other popular tunes).
Unlocking all songs will be a small, one-time in app purchase.
-Available for Android and iPhone.

With this harmony app, when people get together to sing songs, whether it be Easter, Christmas, or an event where you sing a national anthem, they will all know their part and sing beautifully.

This is a link to the home page for the project. On the right sidebar is a list of the songs that have already been put onto the website. Try learning a song or two and you will see how effortlessly you yourself can learn a part using the embedded videos (even if you’re not a musician). Imagine how useful a tool like this will be as an app!

We want this to be ad free. The software we are using requires a $299 fee in order to release apps without the ads. If funded, we’ll be able to release this harmony app without ads, include the most popular songs for free, and include any other public domain songs through the $25 sponsorships.

Pledges start at just $1. Thanks so much for supporting this Kickstarter!


App Features – How to Sing Harmony – Kickstarter

October 22nd, 2014

app-featuresA new app is officially in production! It will help both musicians and non-musicians learn How to Sing Harmony. Here is a list of some of the app features we are including:

App Features:

-An app that can isolate each part (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass) so that people can easily learn a part individually.
-Traditional music notation for those who read music. Those who don’t can quickly learn.
-Each part will be mutable. The user can implement a variety of methods to master the music.
-Adjust the tempo at any time while practicing–even in the middle of a song.
-Pause, rewind, and retry a segment you just can’t get.
-Efficient programming that uses the same sounds for each song. This will take up as little space on your phone as possible.
–Option of vocal synths and/or piano sounds.
-Clean distraction-free design.
-75 songs already lined up before sponsorships.
-15 free songs (Including Amazing Grace, It Is Well with My Soul, and other popular tunes). Unlocking all songs will be a small, one-time in app purchase.
-Available for Android and iPhone.

When people get together to sing songs, whether it be Easter, Christmas, or an event where you sing a national anthem, they will all know their part and sing beautifully.

Apps cost money to make and distribute. In this case, it’s software related, and we could use your help to make sure this app features an ad-free design. Starting on Friday, we are going to be running a Kickstarter for 30 days. If all goes well, this will be ready in plenty of time for caroling season!


Thank You – 2048 Infinite for iPhone Backers

October 6th, 2014

2014-09-13 23.24.38thank-youFrom July 14 2014 to August 3 2014, we did a Kickstarter to make the iPhone version of 2048 Infinite – The Circle of fifths. We were overwhelmed by the response and we want to take the time to say thank you each and every one of these amazing people for helping us create this app.

A special thank you to our in game sponsors who created two great alternate color schemes:

I CARE IF YOU LISTEN, a Sustainist Media Publication, is a much needed digital magazine about contemporary music. Their generous contribution to 2048 Infinite – The Circle of Fifths made our iPhone app possible. They helped us design a very slick color scheme based upon their own site colors. Also, Caleb wrote this short woodwind quintet based on the circle of fifths as an extra special thank you (click for the score):

2048 germanJames E. Bailey also made a very generous contribution to the iPhone app and helped us with another color scheme. He lives in Germany, and requested that we adjust the interface to use German note names along with his brilliant color selection. For his composition, James wanted Caleb to stick to stricter atonality. So Caleb used the tone row of the circle of fifths and come up with this (click for the score):

Thank you to our other top sponsors. Caleb has written these short compositions for their generous contributions as well.

Zach Burnham requested “something that rocked.” Here is the rockous circle of fifths music that Caleb came up with:

Zach is a developer, and he rocks hard. Follow him on Twitter and be informed about his apps along with all of the apps that inspire him to make his hard rocking app.

Fatty is Caleb’s dad (he asked that we use his endearing nickname). Knowing that Fatty owns a cello and wants to learn it, Caleb wrote a beginner cello piece based on the circle of fifths. (click for the score):

Fatty is the pastor of a small church in Matteson, IL. His church’s website has numerous engaging articles addressing various spiritual topics and issues.

Zoe is a fantastic human being. People this awesome deserve to have great circle of fifths music written for them. Caleb stuck to a traditional feel for this one (click for the score):

Thank you to our in app sponsors.

Vocalist, Danielle Reich, beautifully sings a variety of jazz styles. Her stunning renditions can be heard at daniellereich.com.

Reena Esmail is an Indian American composer. She blends the Western and Hindustani (North Indian) classical music idioms to forge gorgeous sounds. Listen to her work at reenaesmail.com.

Shelley is an indie singer/songwriter who utilizes classical guitar to create simple and moving pieces. Download a whole album for free at mtgs.bandcamp.com.

Michael E. Bukraba is a talented photographer whose striking images can be freely viewed at bukraba.smugmug.com.

A special thank you to these generous sponsors who did not request a link: Johan Blomberg Weisz, Jeremy Kibbey

Thank you to all of our other sponsors. We could not have done this without all of you fine people.

Joseph de Jesus - Shoshanah Weisinger - Matthew Assad - Jeannie Mirani - Jason Vick - Rowan Corbett - Robyn Watson - Madeline Dietrich - Joel Cropsey – Matt Wagemann - Amber - Daniel Lopez - Dustin A Jackson - Penelope - Meg Dickson - Sue from San Antonio - Dayvid Van Parijs - James “blotts” H – Sam Benediktson – Dylan Steinberg - D - Jennifer Hodge - Brian Conley - Earl Gertwagen - Ingo Lyrio - Shea Hale - Diogo Vila Brevileri - Sam - Tyler Breisacher - Nina Savasta - Scott Jon Siegel - Anna - Christian DeRiemer - Josh Duncan - Caroline Chu - Alex Rosenberg - Patrik Steneryd - Zad - Shin - Richard Brownlow - David Harvey - Bob Frey - Benjamin Iannetta - aerogoat - Jonny Sabath - Zee - Cammie Stephens - Karyn Grove - Myca Arcangel - Tim Nixon - Hernando Gutierrez - Billie Cruise  - Jennifer Merkowitz - Alicia Ard - Michael Roepstorff - Abby - Ao Li – Donald Jayne – Ken Taylor – G Parker – Rook – Alban Zekthi

And thank you to our anonymous sponsors as well. If your anonymity is a mistake, let us know and we’ll put your name up here!

Here is the app you’ve all been waiting for: 2048 Infinite – The Circle of Fifths for iOS. Enjoy!


Animated Gifs – Music Theory in Motion

September 11th, 2014

We’ve recently made a stunning update to our circle of fifths page. Using animated gifs is an efficient way to teach music theory. These three moving pictures appear in the text as visual aids. The first shows the only fifths that need different accidentals. The second shows the relationship between key signatures and the circle of fifths. The third is cycling through the 12 different fifths to show what they look like.

 Animated Gifs are Efficient Teaching Tools

animated-gifs-accidentalsanimated-gifs-circle-of-fifths animated-gifs-fifths

We’re excited to make more of these animated gifs. We want to include them on the other learn pages as well as pages we still have yet to create!


Inverted Major Seven Chord Is Actually Minor

August 28th, 2014

Some chords are just like that. You change the bass, and the whole chord is completely different. An easy example is when the bass changes to the root of the relative minor (the 6th scale degree) underneath the tonic triad. Chances are that you’ve heard this tonic prolongation technique before. Maybe even used it!

(Take note that I’ve added the 7th scales degree in the example. This simply make the chords M7 and m9. Also, in the image I’ve added a C on the top of the chord when going to the m9. This is to replace the C that has been left vacant in the bass.)

The inverted major seven chord is actually a minor add 6 chord.

inverted-major-seven-chordAll you change is the bass, but all of a sudden you have a minor seven chord. While this is neat and useful, the relationships that occur when the bass plays the third scale degree reveal much more exciting possibilities. The same four notes reorchestrated can literally form a completely new chord. So new, in fact, that an inverted major seven chord should actually be analyzed as a minor chord with an added sixth.

Changing the bass to the third of the chord means that we have not added or subtracted any notes from the tonic major seven. Simply reorganized. This is more exciting because our previous example added a note to get that minor sound. That’s just a boring regular ol’ chord change!  This is different.

Here is a major seven chord:

Here is an “inverted major seven chord” (first inversion) that is actually a minor add 6 chord:

Now listen to the chords interact with one another. Hear how they are the exact same chord, but the bass position entirely changes your perception of it. Also listen for the delicious ambiguity at the end; which is it!?

M7 to m9

This shift in cognition occurs because when the bass moves to the third of the chord, a fifth is formed between the seventh and the bass. This fifth relationship is a simpler proportion than the third relationship formed with the root. This, in turn, outlines the fifth of the inverted major seven chord and our brains reinturpret the fifth as the third in a new chord. This redefines the chord as a minor chord to our ears. Now the minor triad on the top of the inverted major seven chord is perceived as the most important feature of the sonority. What was formerly the root is now simply a spicy treat added on to the new chord.