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Contents



Online Music Theory Pedagogy Resources


General Music Theory / Ear Training Practice Sites

  • Teoria: Music Theory Web: A great overall website for melodic and rhythmic dictation (customizable) that also includes other shorter drills on intervals, chords, and scales.
  • Ricci Adams’ Musictheory.net: Solfege, interval, scale, chord ID, and music fundamentals drills. The site also offer a great iPhone app for $3.99 called Tenuto.
  • eMusicTheory: Drills for rhythmic performance and dictation; interval, scale, and chord ID.
  • SonicFit: Customizable drills in interval, chord, and scale id, melodic fragments, rhythmic fragments, harmonic bass lines, and melodic dictation.
  • ToneSavvy: Includes ear training drills in interval, chord, solfege, and scale ID; chord progressions; intervals in functional context; and melodic dictation.
  • G Major Music Theory: Click on “Contextual Listening” or “Harmonic Dictation” to find the ear training drills. Uses real recorded examples from the literature rather than abstract examples. Most content is “member only,” but there’s still a lot of free material here to practice with.
  • I Was Doing Alright: Online Ear Trainer 2.0: Call-and-response intervals and melodies. Nice options for practicing jazz improvisation. They also offer a free iPhone app for the practice room called “Play by Ear.”
  • Musical Mind: Great site for practicing scale degree function. Also includes an interval and atonal trichord trainer. (To get the drills to work, you'll probably have to add the website to your trusted list in Java security settings.)
  • Western Michigan University: Midi melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic dictation practice examples and free software downloads for rhythm and melody by David Loberg Code.
  • MusicAwareness.com
Ear Training Practice by Category
  • Practice Finding Tonic
    • Scale Degree Practice on GMajor Music Theory
      • Find the tonic and other scale degrees after hearing a musical excerpt
      • Most is “Members” only, but there’s a lot of free stuff here also.
    • The Tonic Finder on Theta Music
      • Hear a short excerpt then choose from 3 given tonic notes on a keyboard. (The first 3 levels are free)
    • Key Ear Training on Teoria.com
      • Customizable. Set a limited number of keys and a tempo, then select the key that the excerpt was in.
    • Sing that Note!(Free iPhone app)
      • This one is fun because you actually sing the tonic and it uses the mic on your phone to check your pitch and see if you’re singing the right note.

  • Scale Degree / Solfege ID
    • Note ID on MusicTheory.net (my favorite for this practice)
      • Very customizable, easy to set for solfege or pitch names, keys, range, instruments, etc. They also offer a great iPhone app called Tenuto.
    • Scale Degree ET on SonicFit
      • Customize by difficulty level, instrument, system (numbers, letters, fixed or moveable Do), key, range, and available syllables.
    • Note Ear Training on Teoria.com
      • Customizable in regard to range, selection of pitches, tempo. Offers the option for inputting answers via an online keyboard, note name, or even a midi keyboard.
    • Functional (Scale Degree) Ear Training on ToneSavvy
      • Customize by selecting desired syllables (or numbers) from both diatonic and chromatic syllables. Allows the option to change keys for each question or keep the same key. Key is established with a quick progression.
    • 1, 3, and longer note strings of notes on The Musical Mind Online
      • Exercises increase in difficulty as you work through the levels. Answer using either solfege or notes on a staff.
      • Note: To get the drills to work, you’ll probably have to add the website to your trusted list in Java security settings.

  • Interval ID (A lot of good websites and apps for this, but here’s a few I like)
    • Musical Intervals Tutor on MadelineSalocks.com
      • A nice place to start with audio files of all the intervals (ascending, descending, harmonic) along with some song suggestions to help and YouTube links to those songs. The site also offers some quizzes when you’re done.
    • Interval ID on MusicTheory.net
      • Very customizable in regard to interval options, range, instrument, compound or simple.
    • Interval ID on Teoria.com
      • Offers the option of playing intervals above a selected note or random note with the option of inputting answers via a midi keyboard.

  • Rhythmic Dictation
    • Rhythmic Dictation on Teoria.com
      • Very customizable with options to select meters; patterns that include rests, syncopation, triplets, etc; tempo; minimum note values.
    • Rhythmic Fragments on Sonic Fit
      • Short 2-bar rhythms with 3 levels of difficulty.
    • Rhythmic Dictation on eMusicTheory
      • Offers 3 levels of difficulty for short examples.
    • Web Dictation on DaveSmey.com
      • He has a few sets of simple rhythmic dictation exercises with midi files and solutions in simple, compound time with and without 16th notes.
    • ID One-Beat Rhythmic Patterns on EarTrainingMastery.com (limited free content)
      • Hear a 2-click countoff then ID which of the simple meter patterns that you heard.

  • Melodic Dictation
    • Melodic Dictation and 2-Voice Dictation on Teoria.com
      • Abstract melodies with a lot of nice customization options for practice.
    • Melodic Fragments on SonicFit
      • Options include 3–5 diatonic notes, chromatic notes, “nested” 3rds or 6ths, triadic, and others.
    • Melodic Dictation on SonicFit
      • Longer examples in 8 levels of difficulty (about 80 practice examples)
    • Melodic Dictation on TonedEar
      • Melodic (non-rhythmic) strings with good customization options: choose melodies with only 1/4/5, 1/4/5/6, or all diatonic pitches; the number of notes (2 or higher), and speed. Answers are input by selecting solfege syllables. Major mode only.
    • Contextual Melodic Dictation on GMajor Music Theory
      • Again, a lot of this content is “member only,” but there’s still a couple good practice examples. This site is nice because it uses real musical examples in context rather than abstract examples.
    • Web Dictation on DaveSmey.com
      • He has a few sets of simple melodic dictation exercises with midi files and solutions in simple, compound time along with some 2-voice examples.
    • Melodic Dictation on EarTrainingMastery.com (limited free material)
      • Nice options for guided dictation practice. Users begin by selecting the melody they want to transcribe (if you make a free account it opens a few more options). Then, you answer questions about the meter, key, mode, and starting notes and check answers. Then you transcribe the melody with the option of just hearing specific measures or beats isolated, or to even see the solution for just 1 measure before seeing the whole solution.

  • Harmonic Dictation
    • Harmonic Progressions on Teoria
      • Customize by selecting progressions with just triads, 7th chords, chromatic chords (secondary dominants, N6, or Aug6 chords), inversions/root position only, key, and tempo.
    • Harmonic Progressions on TonedEar
      • Select the chords (all diatonic triads and 7th chords) and the speed and ID the progression of RNs in a 4-chord progression that starts on tonic. Major mode only.
    • Bassline Dictation on SonicFit
      • Notate the syllables and RNs for a short chord progression.

Help with Polyrhythms

  • PolyRhythm Lite on Five over Three a site by Wolfram Winkel
    • Has a great online metronome that clicks polyrhythms at your choice of 3 speeds (slow, medium, fast). Offers rhythms of 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, or 13 against 2, 3, or 4 using different timbres. There’s also a link here for a downloadable app (Polyrhythm) for desktop or mobile devices.
  • Videos with polyrhythm visuals to practice with. These feature adjustable speeds that slowly increase over about 4.5 minutes. (Created and uploaded to YouTube Skye Løfvander).

iPhone Apps for Ear Training

  • Tenuto ($3.99):
    • This is the MusicTheory.net app. A nice easy to use interface with piles of drills in both ear training and music theory fundamentals.
  • Play by Ear (free)
    • This is the app for the I Was Doing Alright site discussed above. It’s got some great call and response options for playing back short customizable melodic strings and for practicing jazz improv.
  • Pitch Improver Lite (Free, iPhone, Android, and website interface)
    • Nice general app for practicing intervals, melodic dictation (pitch only with short note strings), and chord ID. Not nearly as customizable as Tenuto, but it's a nice free alternative for light practice.
  • Sing that Note! (free) by GMajor Music Theory
    • Hear a short excerpt and try to sing the tonic. Customizable to hear examples where tonic is the last note, the first note, in the bass, near the beginning, etc.
  • Hear that Music! (free) also by GMajor Music Theory
    • Drills in meter, scale degrees, intervals, and cadences using actual musical examples.
  • Goodear Intervals (free)
    • Interval ID practice.
  • Interval Ear Training (free)
    • Interval ID practice.
  • Earache (free)
    • Interval ID practice with ascending intervals only, but kind of a fun arcade-style interface.
  • Musicrem: Ear Dictation (free)
    • Long-term interval listening. Users choose an instrument (piano, guitar, or bass), the number of melodic notes (3–6), number of octaves (1 or 2), and rhythmic values. The listener determines the interval between the first and last note played. This is an excellent way to practice long-term listening.

Music Theory & Ear Training Games

Miscellaneous Resources

  • Songs for Interval Recognition
    • Interval Song Chart Generator: Create your own printable musical interval example chart by choosing from a number of well-known songs with links to the audio (on EarMaster.com)
    • Interval Association Chart by Virginia Commonwealth University
    • UberChord: List of 25 different songs using Tritones in Pop, Rock, Classical, TV Themes, etc. along with audio examples and descriptions for each.
    • Alchemyacappella: Printable PDF of songs and interval descriptions compiled by Ronelle & John Knowles
    • Musical-U: References to intervals in Pop songs with video links for reference.
    • Wikipedia's Interval Association Chart
    • Trainear (includes YouTube audio links)
    • ScaleChords
  • Functional Ear Trainer v2: Free software download for Windows or Mac. Program drills both diatonic and chromatic note functions using either solfege or scale degrees.
  • Open Music Theory: An open-source, interactive, online “text”book for college-level music theory courses.
  • HookTheory (TheoryTab): Offers a fantastic resource for searching pop songs based on a given chord progression with the option to add inversions.
  • IMSLP Petrucci Music Library: Large collection of public domain sheet music and recordings available as free downloads.
  • ThemeFinder: A handy tool for finding music based on a theme. Themes can be entered using pitches, intervals, scale degrees, and contour. Users can narrow results by specifying meter and key.
  • Chord Progression Workouts: Improvisation with key jazz progressions on LearnJazzStandards.com
    • Offers a list of common progressions, then provides audio files that loop those progressions each 3 times in all 12 keys (working through the circle of fifths) to play along with along with chord charts to follow along with.
  • Online Metronomes
    • Metronome Online: Basic and easy-to-use interface
    • Web Metronome: This one allows you to accent certain beats and adjust the meter with a visual display of counts.



Cognitive Science, Art, and Illusion


Albert Bregman’s Homepage for Auditory Scene Analysis

Albert Bregman was a pioneer in the field of auditory perception, credited with having developed auditory scene analysis (ASA) in his 1990 book Auditory Scene Analysis: the Perceptual Organization of Sound. Check out, in particular, the extensive collection of auditory demos on the site.

Site description: “This website presents the research of the McGill Auditory Research Laboratory and the theoretical ideas that developed from it and guided its investigations. The laboratory, under the direction of Albert S. Bregman, studied the perceptual organization of sound, from 1969 to 2006, using computers to generate the acoustic patterns that we studied. ” http://webpages.mcgill.ca/staff/Group2/abregm1/web/.

Diana Deutsch’s Homepage: Research and Auditory Illusions
Diana Deutsch is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego. She’s well-known for her extensive work on auditory illusions and paradoxes. Her website has an fantastic collection of demonstrations and explanations: http://deutsch.ucsd.edu/psychology/pages.php?i=201.
Meara O’Reilly’s Page of “Illusion Songs”
“A collection of auditory illusions found in indigenous folk practices, popular music, and scientific research.” http://www.mearaoreilly.com/index.php?/project/illusion-songs/.
Lotto Lab: “World’s First Public Perception Research Space”
Beau Lotto: “Much of our research is focused on understanding how and why we see illusions, since to understand how we see correctly, we need to understand why it seems that we sometimes see incorrectly. Illusions, therefore, are critical windows into the mind.” http://www.mearaoreilly.com/index.php?/project/illusion-songs/.

Also see Beau Lotto’s TED Talk on optical illusions: www.ted.com/talks/beau_lotto_optical_illusions_show_how_we_see?language=en.

Kitchen Theory: Gastrophysics & Multisensory Dining

A website exploring the fascinating intersection between cooking and multisensory perception. https://www.kitchen-theory.com



Free Open Source Music Software


Audacity: Audio Editor and Recording Application

Free open-source audio editing and recording application, available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. Audacity can be used for recording, playback, editing, and multitrack mixing. Available for download at http://audacity.sourceforge.net.

MuseScore: Music Notation Software

Free open-source music notation software similar to Sibelius or Finale, compatible on Mac, Windows, and Linux. MuseScore supports most types of standard notation, including jazz lead sheet, and allows for playback and part extraction. Download from the MuseScore website at http://musescore.org.