Sightreading

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briandc
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Sightreading

Postby briandc » Tue May 19, 2015 5:14 pm

Hi everyone,
to practice sightreading, I was wondering if there's an app that will show (in realtime on music staff), the notes played on the keyboard. I'm not interested in notating sheet music, just something in realtime that will show on the staff what notes are being played at the moment.

Any suggestions?


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asbak
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Re: Sightreading

Postby asbak » Tue May 19, 2015 6:50 pm

Denemo perhaps

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Re: Sightreading

Postby paul » Wed May 20, 2015 9:39 am

briandc wrote:Hi everyone,
to practice sightreading, I was wondering if there's an app that will show (in realtime on music staff), the notes played on the keyboard. I'm not interested in notating sheet music, just something in realtime that will show on the staff what notes are being played at the moment.

Any suggestions?

brian


Oh yes, I would so need this! It must be there already, it's not difficult to do.
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Re: Sightreading

Postby ssj71 » Wed May 20, 2015 5:50 pm

_ssj71

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Re: Sightreading

Postby briandc » Wed May 20, 2015 8:20 pm

ssj71 wrote:maybe this will help?
http://pianobooster.sourceforge.net/


Thanks ssj71, I happened to have it installed and I looked at it again, a bit closer.. but it looks as though it's a midi file player that you play back with--not really what I had in mind.
I've looked at a lot of different apps on sourceforge, but none I've seen so far will display midi notes in rt on music staff, as an exercise. Apart from correctly interpreting the flats and sharps, it shouldn't be that difficult to make, but..

I made a request at MuseScore, since that seems to be somewhat along the same line. We'll see what they suggest..


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Aleks
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Re: Sightreading

Postby Aleks » Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:14 pm

I don't know why you would need showing the notes on a keyboard as being played, but I would say that a great tool for practicing sight reading is Impro-Visor, as it creates its own lines on the fly, and you can customize styles, grammar, intervals and all that. It might hook you on jazz, though :wink:

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Re: Sightreading

Postby briandc » Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:34 pm

Aleks wrote:I don't know why you would need showing the notes on a keyboard as being played, but I would say that a great tool for practicing sight reading is Impro-Visor, as it creates its own lines on the fly, and you can customize styles, grammar, intervals and all that. It might hook you on jazz, though :wink:


Funny you mentioned it, I do have it installed in fact, and I haven't explored it much yet, but since I enjoy studying complex harmony it's probably going to get some use in the future!

As for the sightreading tool, I still wish I could find one. Musescore has some features that are similar, but what I intended was really quite a basic app that would just show the notes on a score in realtime. To me, that would help improve sightreading because, by learning chords on the keyboard, then seeing them on the page is kind of a "backwards" approach and helps give new perspective.

Maybe someday!.. :)

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Re: Sightreading

Postby Aleks » Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:57 pm

Hm, I'm not sure I understand you this time either, but let's say you want to play your improvisations and see them instantly as a sheet music, right? That is indeed a "backwards approach", if I may say :D

I'm a terrible sight reader, and as a matter of fact, that is the main reason I installed Impro-Visor, because it is improvising melodies over given chords, and it marks the notes as they are played, so you know exactly where you are.

So, back to your case, I don't know if your approach would improve your sight reading, though. In my opinion, it would be best to download/transcribe music in MuseScore, and then read/play along with it while paying attention to the rhythm and measures (the built in metronome is a big help there), because, the point of sight reading is to being able to read music that you've never listened to before, like if you were reading a book, and I'm not sure if that approach of yours would help you in that.

If however, you want to see how some of your own music should be transcribed in sheet music, I guess you could use something like step recording, either in MuseScore (if there is such thing there, I haven't paid much attention to that, because I am a guitarist), or in Ardour - and then transcribe the lines from the piano roll in music notes in MuseScore.

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Re: Sightreading

Postby briandc » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:06 am

Aleks wrote:Hm, I'm not sure I understand you this time either, but let's say you want to play your improvisations and see them instantly as a sheet music, right? That is indeed a "backwards approach", if I may say :D

I'm a terrible sight reader, and as a matter of fact, that is the main reason I installed Impro-Visor, because it is improvising melodies over given chords, and it marks the notes as they are played, so you know exactly where you are.

So, back to your case, I don't know if your approach would improve your sight reading, though. In my opinion, it would be best to download/transcribe music in MuseScore, and then read/play along with it while paying attention to the rhythm and measures (the built in metronome is a big help there), because, the point of sight reading is to being able to read music that you've never listened to before, like if you were reading a book, and I'm not sure if that approach of yours would help you in that.

If however, you want to see how some of your own music should be transcribed in sheet music, I guess you could use something like step recording, either in MuseScore (if there is such thing there, I haven't paid much attention to that, because I am a guitarist), or in Ardour - and then transcribe the lines from the piano roll in music notes in MuseScore.


Traditionally, sightreading was: looking at the score, then finding the notes on the keyboard. My idea is to find notes on the keyboard, and then see how they appear on the score.


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Re: Sightreading

Postby Aleks » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:09 pm

OK, fair enough. Although I would still say that sight reading is reading the music like you would read a book, and playing it instantly without having to look for the notes on the keyboard ;)

I am a good reader, I know where all the notes are on the staff, their lengths and all that, and I know where all the notes are on my fretboard. But sight reading, man, that takes a lot of practice.

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Re: Sightreading

Postby Luc » Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:29 am

Aleks wrote:OK, fair enough. Although I would still say that sight reading is reading the music like you would read a book, and playing it instantly without having to look for the notes on the keyboard ;)


I'm also interested in what briandc is looking for. I don't know about you, but I learned to read and write regular words at the same time, and writing is what made me proficient in reading.

I can't just read and interpret any given visual input while I can't associate it with something in my head, and there won't be anything in my head to help me with that until I begin to produce my own content, even if it's extremely basic.

The only "passive" approach that kind of works for me is an Android app called SolfaRead. It displays the notes on the staff and we're suppposed to press the button below that corresponds to the note.

Image

That really helps me memorize, I just regret (deeply) that it cannot handle any MIDI input, so I am left with the single choice of pressing buttons instead of actually playing the piano keys, which would be a lot more useful.

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Re: Sightreading

Postby Aleks » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:36 am

Luc wrote:
I can't just read and interpret any given visual input while I can't associate it with something in my head, and there won't be anything in my head to help me with that until I begin to produce my own content, even if it's extremely basic.



I understand what you are saying and I agree, everybody is going through the same thing when it comes to reading notes in general. Well, let me put it this is way. Are you a good musician and do you know your instrument well? Do you recognize different rhythms? Can you count measures? My point is that this things are best learned when you read music and etudes that are already written by some good musician who can read music very well, and not the other way around.

I think that actually MusicScore is the software that you are looking for, for both "your way" and "my way". Also, music often isn't played mechanically, like it is written, even in the classical music, and let alone contemporary music like jazz for instance. So, in order to associate the music with the notes, the best way to do it is to read the music while you listen the actual music, at least in my opinion. There are some nice folks who package the music and the sheet music in one video and put it on you tube, like this for example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czwFtXPWEjw

But first thing you have to do, of course, is to learn how to read music, what is a quarter note, whole note, tuplets, rhythms, where are the notes both on the instrument and on the staff, how to count measures and all that. It's not a simple thing to do, and it takes a lot of time and practice.

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Re: Sightreading

Postby Luc » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:52 am

No, I think music is usually played very mechanically... when you are a complete beginner.

I don't think it's reasonable to expect that someone who don't know squat about sight reading read the music while they listen to it and make much sense out of the experience. I know all the things you mentioned, I just lack the practice, and I am sure that, in my case, just reading won't cut it. I have to read and write more or less at the same time.

If you meant MuseScore (not Music Score), I think it's very good, but a bit daunting. I will definitely have to read its manual, which I've been postponing because I've been too busy. I've been working, working and working, and sometimes I come here to lighten up a little bit. Just a little bit, cos all work and no play makes me a sad boy. :-(

Back to work now. :-(

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Re: Sightreading

Postby Aleks » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:48 am

Yeah, I totally meant MuseScore, I don't know how I managed to mistaken the name of one of my favorite apps! Well, if you are beginner in reading music, you can use MuseScore to rewrite some etudes and sheet music from paper or pdf documents, for start, and then listen to those while paying attention how the sound correlates to the written notes. Or you can write your own exercises like sequences of notes with different length, There is a cursor that tells you which note is being played, and you can slow the tempo to comfortable speed. Another good software like that is Impro-Visor, as I mentioned above.

But I have to say it again, I am a bit confused of this new way to learn to read music. If you are good at counting rhythms while you play, and you know where the notes are, well then you know how to read music, you just need, as you say, practice. But practice in reading music, not writing it, right? And then, there is another thing, when you do the so called step recording in software like MuseScore, there is always a need for final touch ups. That is because there are different ways to write note lengths, but not all are visually appealing and accepted by the standard. For example, a quarter note can be written as a quarter note, but also as two tied eight notes on the same pitch, or four sixteenth notes etc. So, the software can make such mistakes, and you will, in essence, learn the mistakes, instead of learning music.

Like Mike Stern points out very often - learning music is like learning a new language. In every aspect.

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Re: Sightreading

Postby briandc » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:51 am

Here's another way of looking at it:
reading sheet music is like Windows: you have to follow what's given to you.

Playing notes and seeing your notes written on the page is like linux: you learn by creating. :)


brian
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