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Posted: 02-21-19 2:17 pm
by offrhodes

this may or may not be a good idea, so I'm asking first ("Methods, books, websites to learn...")
I'm developing an Android App for training sight reading, using pre-rendered public domain scores.
The general idea is, there is a lot of ancient high-quality "training material", such as Bach. I'm trying to make it a little more accessible with modern tools. Such as checking notes, or logging progress to identify stumbling blocks and for general motivation.

It's very different from Synthesia, strictly score based and no falling notes. My marketing department :lol: suggests you can actually import the MIDI file into Synthesia and continue from there for playing in-time. My focus is on sight reading.
Speaking of which, you can do that anyway (, look for "openwtc" for the well-tempered clavier, for example).
Nicholas, what do you think?

Posted: 02-22-19 12:19 am
by Nicholas
I suppose I'm having a little bit of trouble visualizing what the app is going to do. Besides showing static images(?) is there going to be any sort of interaction? You'd mentioned "checking notes", so I'm guessing there will be.

Did you have any mock-up images yet? That might help give us an idea of what you meant. :)

Posted: 02-22-19 10:43 am
by offrhodes

This is how it looks:
a.jpg (120.19 KiB) Viewed 36201 times
There are a few screenshots on the PlayStore page, also a somewhat longer description.
In a nutshell, the idea is similar to a typing-blind trainer for piano. The concept isn't new, maybe to some extent the approach: I'm using pre-rendered scores that can cope with non-trivial music like Bach's four-voice Fugues.
A few of those are already included (check the 2nd half of a BWV8xx title), and importing more material from musescore format is a relatively straightforward process.
My goal here is not to create something novel, simply something that "works". We'll see about that...

I encourage people to try it out and let me know if they run into any issues.
It's ad-sponsored, which is a bit of a touchy subject. For now, I'm providing a code to turn them off. I may remove the option later but an "unlocked" installation should remain permanently (*) ad-free.
I hope that's fair enough.. Unlocking goes as follows:
- check that MIDI generally works (open a score, hit some keys, check that the on-screen keyboard responds).
- From an opened score (!) press back until the menu "close application" / "return to main menu" appears
- hold a C7 chord at middle C (C, E, G, Bb) for one second (0.5 .. 1.5 seconds)
- done correctly, any visible ad will disappear immediately. On restarting an "unlocked" (*) installation, ads disappear as soon as the exit menu is opened (takes two clicks, sorry, but I don't want to leave them fully untested).

For Synthesia users, I hope the app adds an attractive option to work with traditional paper-like scores and generally gives motivation to play more :)
Regardless of the app, you can get the equivalent MIDI files from (search for the BWV code) to import into Synthesia, and also a conventional PDF printout.

Posted: 02-22-19 2:37 pm
by Nicholas
I'd like to try it, but... :lol:
incompatible.png (38.65 KiB) Viewed 36197 times

Posted: 02-22-19 4:40 pm
by offrhodes
err... OK. And I think I know why... :)
Please try again, version 0v8. The Release notes should read

Lowered minimum API level (28 => 18)

Posted: 02-25-19 12:21 pm
by Nicholas
Hrm, it's still showing incompatible for some reason, even though the required Android version listed there should work with all of my devices now. I poked around a little, but haven't been able to find a reason it still says it's not compatible.

Posted: 02-25-19 5:15 pm
by offrhodes
Thanks. I suspect it's the CPU, didn't think of that.
I've had issues with 32 bit at high zoomlevel - probably juggling too many bitmap square meters at once - so I enabled only 64 bit CPUs for the time being.

Posted: 02-25-19 6:28 pm
by Nicholas
Yep, 64-bit only would do it. I don't have any 8.0 or 64-bit test devices.

Posted: 02-27-19 4:44 pm
by offrhodes

I added now 32 bit support, so there is a good chance that it can be installed on the majority of devices.
There is a stability issue when scrolling fast at high zoomlevel, but I hope this doesn't affect regular use.

Posted: 02-28-19 1:05 pm
by Nicholas
It runs now! And it looks pretty good. I like the little red marks at the song positions where a mistake was made. Nice work overall!

I used a wired USB keyboard (and disallowed location permissions; nothing broke). :D

I wasn't able to remove the ads, even trying several octaves of C7 chords (in case your middle C and my 61 key keyboard's middle C didn't agree). :lol:

Otherwise, my only other nit to pick is that the scrolling on the menu can get a little out of hand. I kept waiting for it to coast to a stop, but instead it just keeps going until it hits the bottom (or top).

Posted: 02-28-19 4:30 pm
by offrhodes
The ads start to annoy me, if for a different reason. I took them out in 0.10.
Yes, I might put in some "friction" for the scrolling. I guess that's what people expect.

Posted: 10-22-19 3:07 am
by outleto
I've been using a couple of apps for improving my sight-reading and ear training skills when I can't be at a piano. I downloaded the Functional Ear Trainer on Apknite, it is the one you want to for ear training. It’s a free app. I have been using it for a year now. Besides that, I highly recommend the Music Tutor.

Posted: 11-17-19 8:16 am
by jimhenry
Thank you for pointing out Functional Ear Training. The articles on Alain Benbassat's Functional Ear Training web site,, are worth reading too.

Posted: 01-24-20 8:56 am
by truedaystar
on Android, I use Perfect Ear Trainer for sight-reading practice, and it has lots of other features too. On the PC i use Both give you lots of practice.. and I need a lot of practice. I'm comfortable reading notes, but i'm still not FAST at it, and chords are not automatic to my fingers yet. I don't get to practice as much as i would like playing due to family obligations but i'll get there someday. Synthesia is the best once you turn off the falling notes, but those do help with timing sometimes too. I would love to see lyrics added to it.

I'm also looking forward to being able to record in free play. I love to see something where you can have backing tracks added, but I know that is really a tall order and the files would have to be custom made to tie into the sheet music.

Posted: 01-24-20 11:39 am
by Nicholas
truedaystar wrote: 01-24-20 8:56 amI love to see something where you can have backing tracks added...
The plan is to have it be a (super simple) six track recorder, like the quintessential recording features built into the "Personal Keyboard" type of digital pianos from Yamaha and Casio over the last 30 years. So you should be able to record backing tracks, using whichever MIDI instruments you like. :D