Technology transforms electronic gadgets into mobile music devices (Photo: akihiko.japan @Flickr)Cutting edge ear training technology today transforms your laptop, iPhone, iPad, and other electronic gadgets into mobile music devices. Anyone who wants to improve their pitch, rhythm, voice, and ears need only download an app or push a button.

The latest music technology tools help singers, instrumentalists, music educators, and music lovers improve pitch, rhythm, vocal quality, and timbre in a variety of innovative ways.  Recent technological innovations in the field of music robotics and music technology for both the visually and hearing impaired have broken new ground in music education tech tools. Exciting music apps and music education software tools integrate the latest touch technology to make ear training fun for beginning musicians and students.

What ear training technology is available today? What does the ear training technology of the future look like? Let’s take a look into our music tech crystal ball and check out the latest in ear training tools!

RoboMusic and I-Blocks

The Centre for Playware in Denmark has developed music robotic building blocks which train young children how to compose music and recognize different musical styles and instruments by ear[1]. The “I-Blocks” (intelligent blocks) communicate with other blocks and use a 3D accelerometer to detect gravity. Color coded to indicate instrument type and filled with a large library of musical segments, the I-Blocks in the RoboMusicKids system create new exciting compositions as the children manipulate the blocks.

RoboMusic allows children to create exciting compositions as they manipulate the robotic building blocks

RoboMusic allows children to create exciting compositions as they manipulate the robotic buikding blocks

Practica Musica

For many music educators looking for a comprehensive music program suitable for elementary and secondary education, Practica Musica “Your Personal Music Tutor” offers a wide range of ear training and music theory tools. These music education tools allow students to interact with  a simple “practice” window while allowing music educators to track each student’s progress. Practica Musica is used in universities and schools throughout the world.

Practica Musica Ear Training Exercises

Practica Musica is interactive ear training and theory software for a Mac or Windows PC

Sing & See Software

With the catchy slogan “See your voice, Hear the Results”, Sing & See software gives you a visual graph using complex algorithms that plot your pitch. Sing a note or song and watch the graph. In seconds you can see your pitch on a virtual keyboard. Use this graph to adjust your pitch – and sing in tune in minutes!

Adjust your pitch and sing in tune with "Sing & See"

Adjust your pitch and sing in tune with "Sing & See"

You can see some example movies here.

“The Music Key” Software

The Music Key music education software works as a plug-in with Apple’s popular program Logic. Incorporating lessons on music theory, pitch, improvisation, and keyboard skills, Music Key uses Logic’s software as a platform to teach lessons to students from the elementary to university levels.

The Music Key learning software

The Music Key adds theory and ear training exercises to the Logic software suite

We have also developed our own ear training toolsWe’d be remiss if we didn’t sneak in a mention of a couple of the new ear training tools we’ve been working on here at Easy Ear Training too!

RelativePitch for the iPhone

Designed for the average music lover or musician who wants to improve, RelativePitch provides an easy and fun way to learn musical intervals on the go. Download the app to your iPhone or iPod and engage in fourteen simple lessons which train your ear to distinguish between music intervals. Want to test out Relative Pitch? Then check out RelativePitchLite, a fun simpler version of RelativePitch for beginners.
Introducing Intervals helps you learn just by listening to music

Introducing Intervals

If you enjoy great music you will love the new Unravelling Music series. The first album, Introducing Intervals, uses an eclectic mix of enjoyable tracks to naturally train your ears to recognize simple musical elements like thirds, audio effects like reverb, and minor chords.

With music technology evolving at a dizzying rate, musical interfaces in ear training will continue adapting rapidly to match our increasingly high-tech lives. The latest trends in sophisticated ear training tools involve more interactivity and convenience, with some artificial intelligence and personalisation.

Share your latest music tech finds in the Comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

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  1. Rudolph, T. (2005). Music-Theory and Ear-Training Tools. Music Education Technology, 3(1), 28. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
  2. Nielson, J., Niels, B., & Jessen, C. (2008). RoboMusicKids – Music Education with Robotic Building Blocks. DenmarkCentre for Playware.