As more and more of us embrace the use of mobile devices, developers are responding by creating applications (“apps”) that support our musical needs, from music theory and arrangement to education, accessories such as metronomes, and musical identification software.
The following represents a by no means exhaustive survey of apps designed for iTouch, iPhone, and iPad that may be of interest to harpers. Apps available for other platforms (such as Android and Kindle Fire) are noted in the descriptions below. There are many apps available for specific musical instruments, but these are not included unless the content of the app can be used regardless of instrument.
All apps should work on iPhone, iTouch, and iPad, although apps that are designed primarily for the smaller iPhone/iTouch may suffer some visual distortion on the larger iPad screens; e.g., the resolution will not be as fine. Apps that have FREE versions are noted; otherwise expect to pay a fee. Free versions often include upgrades to paid versions with more features. The titles of the apps will link to app in the Apps Store, otherwise the app can be looked up by name in iTunes. Where available, links to the developers’ website are also provided; note that app logos are copyrighted and trademarked by their respective companies. Finally, descriptions of the apps are provided to show the properties or purpose of the app and do not reflect the wiki's personal experience, endorsement, or opinion.
Select a category from the list below, or just browse! And, if any of your favorites have been missed, please add it to the list!
Learning and Theory Edit
Instructional apps aimed at teaching or learning music theory (such as chords, circle of fifths, scales, harmonies, sight-reading, etc.) Some apps include timed exercises for skill development.
- Circle of Fun | FREE | This app is a colored and animated representation of the Circle of Fifths. By touching tiles on the circle, major and minor chords are illustrated.
- Circle Theory | Circle Theory is a graphical Circle of Fifths identifying relationships between notes, key signatures, intervals, and transposition between keys. By default, the app operates in Ionian Mode. An iPad VGA adapter can be used to view the circles on a screen or projector as a teaching aid. Visit the Developer’s website.
- iHarmony | iHarmony is a collection of over 1500 musical scales, harmonies, and chords, available in English, Italian, German, or French notation. Visit the developer’s website.
- iImprov-Chord/Scale Compendium | Available for Android & Kindle Fire | iImprove is a collection of apps designed with the jazz improviser in mind, but which are of value to any musician interested in learning more about both jazz fundamentals and music theory. The Chord/Scale Compendium is a scale to chord reference that organizes chords into Major, Minor, and Dominant families. Chords can be altered as well as played through an audio interface. Visit the developer’s website.
- Learn to Write Music | This application is a touch-screen method of musical notation that also includes blank scores. Visit the developer’s website.
- Maestro Touch | FREE | Maestro Touch is a touch-and-tap music notation app that provides a graphical interface designed to make writing and composing easier. Visit the developer’s website.
- Music Notes & Key Signature Flashcards | This app tests identification of notes and major and minor key signatures via a flashcard type interface.
- Music Reading Essentials | Music Reading Essentials is a tool for learning to sight-read and practice/identify music theory elements such as signs, rhythms, symbols, intervals, notes, etc. Four sets of increasingly difficult flash cards are included for both testing and study. Visit the developer’s website.
- Music Resources | Primarily of interest to teachers, Music Resources provides flashcards for music theory as well as PDF worksheets that can be printed for study and practice such as blank staff paper, blank tablature, chord charts, intervals, transcription, scales, practice exercises, musical terms, keys, and musical notes. Visit the developer’s website.
- Music Theory Basics | A set of five modules to learn and test basic music skills, including notes, keys, intervals, chords, and rhythms. Each of the components can be downloaded as a separate app. Visit the developer’s website.
- Music Theory Pro | Developed by Dr. Joel Clifft, a music professor at the University of Southern California, this app allows users to practice identifying notes, key signatures, intervals, and chords. Additional features include multimedia concept explanations, ear training, and tempo quizzes. Visit the developer’s website.
- Music Tool | Music Tool features a number of scales and the ability to select key, scale type, chords, and mode. Notes and chords can be listened to by tapping the screen. Visit the developer’s website.
- Music Tutor (Sight Reading) | FREE | Available for Android | This app provides practice in sight-reading skills for notes on both bass and treble clefs, through timed exercises of user selected duration. Visit the developer’s website.
- Notebrainer | FREE | Like other flashcard type apps, Notebrainer is a timed quiz interface testing knowledge of musical notes. Users can choose to select treble, bass, or both for practice purposes. Visit the developer’s website.
- Note-A-Lator | Note-A-Lator includes a variety of customizable quizzes to test note, key signature, scales, modes, rhythm, chord, and interval identification. Quizzes can be printed out for class or individual instruction. Visit the developer’s website.
- Quinterval | Quinterval is an illustrated circle of fifths showing major and minor keys and intervals. Keys can be selected by tapping the screen or using the graphical knob. Visit the developer’s website.
- Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer | Through the use of touch-screen tapping, this app presents more than 200 exercises to improve rhythm sight-reading skills including rests, ties, syncopation, duplets, triplets, and quadruplets. An ear training function is also included. Visit the developer’s website.
- Scales Lexicon | Over 100 different scales are notated and played. Scales can be played with a choice of 13 different rhythm patters, octave ranges, loops, forward/backward, and repetitions. Includes major and minor scales, modes, jazz, Hindustani thaats, world and messiaen modes. Visit the developer’s website.
- Suggester | FREE | This app can be used to help create chord progressions and musical phrases by listening to chords and experimenting with chord progressions. Visit the developer’s website.
- Tenuto | Tenuto includes 13 customizable exercises (staff, keyboard, fretboard, and ear training) and five calculators (accidentals, intervals, chords, analysis, and matrix). Visit the developer’s website.
- Theory Lessons | Theory Lessons presents 39 animated music theory lessons including staffs, clefs, ledger lines, notes, key signatures, chords, triads, tones, circle progressions, accidentals, scale degrees, voicing chords, and more. Visit the developer’s website.
- Wolfram Music Theory | Wolfram Course Assistants are designed for students to use in a variety of popular courses. The Music Theory Course Assistant provides a reference for notes, intervals, scales, cords, and musical terms. Wolfram has requested that we let readers know, in conjunction with this description, that their logo is copyrighted and reproduction without permission is a violation of that copyright. Visit the developer’s website.
Music Reading and Notation Edit
Apps to read, notate, and create sheet music.
- Deep Dish Gig Book | DeepDish GigBook is a database to organize, sort, and view one’s musical library in the form of scores, songbooks, lyrics, and charts. Metadata and notes can be assigned to scores, along with handwritten stage directions and compatibility with PDF files. Visit the developer’s website.
- forScore | forScore allows for the storage of thousands of scores combined with controls for turning pages, editing, adding text and musical notations to pages, sharing, and printing. Visit the developer’s website. Visit Janet Lanier’s site for helpful video tutorials on how to use forScore for iPad. Hardware accessories such as PageFlip and AirTurn are available for page turning with the foot.
- iWrite Music | FREE | iWriteMusic does exactly what it’s name implies: allows the user to create sheet music through a touchscreen interface. Video tutorials are available to aid in learning how to use the software. Visit the developer’s website.
- Music Notes Sheet Music Viewer | FREE | Available for Android & Kindle Fire | *Requires a Musicnotes.com account | Musicnotes.com offers sheet music in three different file types: Musicnotes Files, Guitar Guru Sessions and Sibelius Scorch. Songs purchased in Guitar Guru format will import the associated tablature notation into the Musicnotes iPad app. Visit the developer’s website.
- Mobile Sheets Android Music Sheet Reader | FREE | Available for Android | MobileSheets is one of the first android based sheet music reader applications available on the market and provides features that all musicians can appreciate – annotations, a built-in metronome, music playback, the ability to jump between pages with a single tap, wireless pedal support, and bookmarking. Visit the developer’s website.
- Notion | Notion is a music composition app, with a notation editor, full audio mixer with built-in effects, and playback tool. MusicXML and MIDI files can be imported for editing and playback. Visit the developer’s website.
- Old Music | Old Music presents old forms of musical notation, including Neumes, Byzantine notation, and Mensural notation. Visit the developer’s website.
- PDF Sheet Music Reader | Like other sheet music readers, this app allows the user to import PDF scores and music from your computer onto your iPad or iPhone. It also includes a metronome, set list creation, and options for sheet music annotation. Visit the developer’s website.
- Scorcerer | Scorerer imports a variety of sheet music formats (JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, PDF, FH) to build a mobile sheet music collection. A free “Scorcerer Companion” can be used on a Mac or Windows desktop computer to import sheet music. Visit the developer’s website.
- Tab Toolkit | Tab Toolkit is a viewer for tabs and music notation that also includes an audio playback feature. Songs can be grouped by name and artist, similar to organization in iTunes. Visit the developer’s website.
- TEFPad | This app is a TablEdit file editor for tablature files with the .tef extension. TablEdit, ASCII, ABC, MIDI, MusicXML, GuitarPro, PowerTab, and TabRite files can be imported and notated. Visit the developer’s website.
- Tunepal | Tunepal is a search engine with access to over 17,000 Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Breton, American, and Canadian traditional tunes. The app also has the ability to record and extract 12 seconds of any tune played on a traditional melody instrument. Visit the developer’s website.
Metronomes and Rhythm Trainers Edit
Metronomes, slow-downers (apps that slow down songs to allow for practice), and rhythm trainers.
- Anytune | FREE | Anytune™ is a rhythm trainer that can be used to slow down the tempo, adjust the pitch, and repeat loops of selected tracks. Slowing down makes it easier to play along with, and learn, a song. Tracks can be imported into the app for practice purposes. Visit the developer’s website.
- Amazing Slowdowner | Amazing Slowdowner slows down music without changing the pitch. A desktop version for Windows and Mac computers is also available. Visit the developer’s website.
- Beat | FREE | Beats is a metronome with 35 different time signatures, a strobe light effect, and 17 different click sounds. Visit the developer’s website.
- Clockwork – Metronome & Click Track | In addition to being a metronome, Clockwork includes a track and song editor that allows for customization of tempo variations, time signatures, accents, and other features. Songs can be organized into lists for playback, arranging, and editing. Visit the developer’s website.
- JamPlayer | JamPlayer is a time and pitch audio player, allowing the user to slow down and play songs from the iTunes library without a change in pitch. Pitch can be adjusted without affecting the tempo. Visit the developer’s website.
- Metronome Plus | Metronome Plus has a digital pendulum animation, tempo range from 30-300, common meters, subdivisions, accents, and a drop down menu to change settings with a single touch. Visit the developer’s website.
- Tempo | Available for Android | Tempo features 35 time signatures, compound and complex meters, six rhythm patterns, LED pulsing flash feedback, 13 sound sets, voice counting, tempo ranges from 10 to 800 and a pitch pipe for playback of the 12 chromatic pitches. Visit the developer’s website.
- Tempo SlowMo | FREE | Tempo SlowMo allows the user to import music from the iTunes library, then slow it down. The ability to mark starting and ending points as well as loops is provided. Visit the developer’s website.
- Timing Trainer | FREE | Timing Trainer is a rhythm trainer that allows for chose of tempo and measure, loop settings, and creation of individual profiles using eight-, quarter-, half-, and whole notes. Visit the developer’s website.
- Voice Metronome | FREE | This metronome uses the human voice (in American and British English, French, Italian, German, Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, and Korean) along with the option for a woodblock sound to count. Meters and tempos can be adjusted along with volume controls for first and other beats.
Tuners and Mics Edit
Chromatic tuners and microphone apps. Note: most microphone apps require a separate cable and/or amplified speaker to project the sound out from your device.
- ClearTune Chromatic Tuner | ClearTune is a chromatic tuner and pitch pipe using the built-in microphone on the iPhone or iPad. External microphones can also be used. Visit the developer’s website.
- Da Tuner | FREE | For Android | DaTuner (Lite) is an all-purpose, precise and responsive chromatic tuner app for android with a simple interface. Visit the developer’s website.
- Electronic Tuner | Electonic Tuner allows for visual chromatic tuning as well as the generation of a reference tone for any note to tune by ear. Visit the developer’s website.
- Mic Out | Mic Out turns the iPad, iPhone, or iTouch into a microphone. It comes in two flavors: wired (with the use of cables, your device functions as a microphone on stage instead of a standard XLR Microphone) or wireless (enables the device to use an Apple TV device for wireless playback). Visit the developer’s website.
- Microphone Pro | Microphone Pro turns your iOS device into a microphone with a multi-function on/off button and volume control. As with other mic apps, plug powered speakers, a mixing console, home stereo, etc. into the output jack and the app will pick up sound using your device’s built-in microphone. Visit the developer’s website.
- iStrobosoft | Peterson, the creators of strobe tuners, have developed this app based on a mechanical strobe tuner. The microphone built in to the iPhone or iPad can be used or an external microphone attached for greater tuning accuracy. An optional adaptor cable for direct line-in access as well as mini capsule microphone can be purchased from Peterson. Visit the developer’s website.
- Tuner (Chromatic) | FREE | Tuner is a straightforward chromatic tuner that plays reference notes. Visit the developer’s website.
- Whistle Tuner | For those who can whistle to pitch, this chromatic tuner will detect and show pitches generated by whistling. Visit the developer’s website.
Practice Aids Edit
Practice journals and assistants.
- Garageband | GarageBand turns your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch into a collection of Touch Instruments and a full-featured recording studio — so you can make music anywhere you go. Use Multi-Touch gestures to play pianos, organs, guitars, drums, and basses. They sound and play like their counterparts, but let you do things you could never do on a real instrument.
- Liszt Practice Assistant | FREE | Allows the user to select daily exercises such as scales, arpeggios, and other pieces, and organize practice time. A metronome is included. Visit the developer’s website.
- Musician’s Practice Journal | FREE | This app allows the musician to create a journal of pieces that are being practiced and track progress, practice time, and playing speed. Visit the developer’s website.
- Vocal Warm Up | For vocal performers, Vocal Warm Up includes exercises to prepare the voice before singing. Visit the developer’s website.
Social networking to share music with others.
- Chromatik | FREE | *Requires membership in the Chromatik social network Chromatik is a social network app allowing for uploading, recording, annotating, and sharing music with other members. This app allows members to use their mobile device for on-the-go sharing. Visit the developer’s website.
- Sound Cloud | FREE | *Requires a SoundCloud or Facebook account. SoundCloud is a social network for those interested in music and audio. Visit the developer’s website.
Games & Kids Edit
Fun apps that are fun for kids to play with music.
- Innocent Harp | For Andriod | Join a symphony, compose a lullaby, soothe a savage mob, munch some pretty birds, unleash your inner moshi, or just help someone relax. These are just some of the situations you might find yourself in while playing the Harp of Innocence.
Note about this article. Some of this content has been copy-pasted from Peggy Coates' website dorveille.com The website has disappeared, but the content remains on the internet archives. Attempts have been made to get in touch with the original author, but have been unfruitful. Should Peggy come across this content, please get in touch with @harpwiki!