A good ear is the key to all musicianship. One of the most basic skills for any musician is the ability to correctly identify intervals, something that is typically practiced in class or with a private tutor. It is an affordable, no-nonsense application that can help you improve your skills with a structured curriculum and fully customizable practice sessions. Completing a training session in EarMan takes about 1-2 minutes, only a fraction of a typical tutored lesson. All sessions are graded immediately and results are made available in the results section.
- Structured Training Program with 105 Sessions
- Fully Configurable Quick Sessions
- High Quality Samples
- Music Notation
- Choice of Clefs
- Silent Mode (for Practicing Intervals Visually)
- Interval Songs as Mnemonic Aid
- Clean and Concise Interface
- Incorporation of Complementary Intervals
- Selectable Playback Range and Direction
- Automatic Grading of Sessions
- Subliminal Hint Technology
- Dropbox Sync Support
- Detailed Reports
- Academic discounts available
- Localized into Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish
How it Works
A typical session in EarMan is very similar to what would happen in a tutored session. Depending on the session parameters there will be a set of answer buttons on the screen, i.e. "minor second" and "major second" at the beginning of a session focussing on seconds. Once the start button is clicked in the sidebar or menu, an interval will be sounded out and displayed in music notation. Clicking the correct answer button allows the program to proceed to the next test interval which is reflected by the counter in the top left corner of the screen. In case of a wrong answer a large "X" is displayed on the answer button and the interval is played again. During the middle of either session type, Quick Session or Curriculum, octaves/unisons are introduced to widen the palette a bit. The last 20% of each session also add complementary intervals. Once a session is completed, the results are shown and added to the database. If a Curriculum session was completed with a grade of 80% or higher, the Curriculum stage will move on to the next set, i.e. from thirds to fourths.
Quick Sessions offer a way for “spot learning”. Interval set, range and playback direction are configured on the fly. These sessions are available at any time and can used to practice just in between or to prepare for the next Curriculum session. Range and playback direction as well as the number of tested intervals per Quick Sessions are set in the Quick Session preferences screen. Interval sets for the Quick Session configuration screen are selected when the Quick Session button is tapped in the main screen. Quick Sessions will introduce octaves/unisons in the middle of a session and complementary intervals towards the end.
EarMan's Curriculum is a structured lesson plan of 105 sessions that begins with one interval set in a narrow range. Curriculum sessions don't have a configuration screen. Instead an info screen is shown when the Curriculum button is tapped in the application's main screen. The top row indicates the interval set to be tested, the second row the maximum range the interval is being played back in and finally the playback direction. Once a Curriculum session is completed with a grade of 80% or higher the next interval set is introduced, eventually the range is widened and the playback mode advanced.
The session screens for Quick Sessions and Curriculum sessions differ only in color. Quick Sessions have a purple background and Curriculum sessions a green one. A session is started and stopped with the Play button in the sidebar or menu command. Once a session is under way the answer buttons to the right side of the screen are used to identify an interval that was played. At the end of a session a tablet will be shown indicating the results of the test and in the case of a curriculum session whether the test was failed or passed. These results are then added to EarMan's database.
Test results are shown on a tablet after each session. Additionally there is the results screen that can be viewed by selecting the third button from the top in EarMan's main application screen. Here is a list of all sessions that were completed with all relevant information, like recognition percentage, interval set, range, etc. The view can be adjusted to either show Curriculum sessions, Quick Sessions or all. Resetting this list will automatically also reset the Curriculum to the beginning.
Research has shown that an association between intervals and graphic shapes can be beneficial when studying ear training. EarMan takes an approach that goes a small step further. During sessions interval specific shapes are animated in a blooming fashion, but typically at very low opacity. Even if hardly noticable to the eye, the brain will still make the association and thus strengthen the ability to "just name" an interval. This feature is enabled by default and can be adjusted in Preferences or switched off altogether if so desired. Best results are achieved with this feature enabled and set at low opacity.
EarMan to Go
EarMan with Dropbox support is also available for the iPhone
. Dropbox support allows for effortless synchronization of curriculum status and session progress between platforms.
Much thought went into the design of this application. Ear training is a skill that needs to be practiced to stay relevant. EarMan's clean and concise interface, undeterred focus, logically laid out curriculum and advanced features make it an excellent companion for any musician.