Websites and Apps for Composing
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Websites and Apps
Here you will find an alphabetical list of the websites and apps that support composition in teaching and learning music. There is a short review summary for each tool, as well as a link direct to the website itself.
Ableton’s Live software represents a fantastic solution for composition and live mixing of music. To support developing digital composition skills, Ableton have created an online course that walks systematically through the various representations for drum machines, loop players, piano roll tools and sequencers. Educators can drop into individual pages to demonstrate or provide for learners to explore, or work through progressively.
In the same vain as Ableton’s ‘Learning Music’ free website course for creating music through online sequencers, this second course focusses entirely on synthesizers or synths for short. It allows manipulation of amplitude pitch, and then a gradually increasing range of filters, plug ins and digital elements such as brightness, movement or samples. As the earlier course, this is a great hands-on grounding in digital music making.
BeepBox is great browser-based musical sketching tool for creating and sharing instrumental music. The url can be copied to share or return to your unique composition. You can build multiple repeating patterns of rhythm and melody, similar to piano roll layouts, and jump between them to play or move round in your ideas.
One of the best known online suites to explore music making, CML offers a fantastic range of tools to both create with each specific element of music, but also to try making changes and explore scientific models for some elements. Virtual pianos, drum kits, and piano roll tools amongst others can be manipulated by multiple players and shared both to and from the student and teacher.
Groove Pizza is part of the NYU music experiments project, and provides a fairly unique way to explore rhythm and patterns. As well as a traditional table based drum loop maker, Groove Pizza also creates a cyclical view that can be edited and viewed whilst paying. As well as editing the usual elements of tempo, meter and volume, you can also edit the amount of swing the rhythm uses, in a really visual way. This may be the best tool currently to represent and show learners swing in music.
Incredibox takes a fairly unusual approach to web based sequencing, by allowing students to choose icons as t-shirts for each animated character that initiate the vocal loop that that character sings. A range of vocal parts can be combined, with beats, effects, melodies and other voice sounds, a range of performances can be continually rearranged by muting and swapping t-shirts as they sing. A range of styles can be chosen; from hip hop and pop to Japanese or Indian music. The site gamifies the experience by offering new sounds and genre choices the more you play, as well as random mode. Incredibox is a lot of fun and very accessible.
Great browser based pattern generating game. On the Isle of Tune you build road networks which you then punctuate with trees, houses, streetlights and other items, which when passed by a vehicle create a musical pitch. By exploring the intervals and overlapping patterns you can create with multiple vehicles and objects, pleasing musical phrases and patterns can be created. Recent creations can be saved and reloaded, as well as shared to others via a unique link.