Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it

Monday, July 26, 2010

Music Technology & ChordATune

The aim of the ChordATune system is to give a clear understanding of harmonization to novice pianists, and to create accompaniments that are musically correct. Since there can be more than one accompaniment for a given melody, ChordATune allows variations of accompaniments according to the emotional factor of the composer and the genre of music.

ChordATune has the functionality of creating new melodies using a manuscript notation or using a virtual piano, and also to browse melodies in MIDI format to be inserted into the system as input. The ability to set the emotional factor to any level of happiness or sadness lets the user generate different types of harmonies to the same melody based on different emotions ranging from happy to sad. Furthermore users can change the harmony by changing the genre, drum beat and its tempo. Once the harmony is generated it can be displayed in different genres and styles according to the manuscript notation. Furthermore, ChordATune possesses the capability to provide guitar chords in fret sheets for a given melody; this helps novice guitarists to learn chords and fingerings for new melodies. Once the accompaniments are generated they can be played as audio files. The generated accompaniments can be saved as MIDI files or manuscript notation.

ChordATune better explained according to Kolb’s (Ref) experiential learning theory model.

ChordATune, An e-learning tool for kids (and their grown-ups) ....

ChordATune is a cool interesting tool introduced to ease the task of harmonization for novice piano players and song writers. However, it further provides functionalities to learn western music theories and concepts and also gives users a chance to experiment music.

Kolb’s (Ref) experiential learning theory model that is based on a four-stage learning cycle as: Concrete Experience (CE), Reflective Observation (RO), Abstract Conceptualization (AC) and Active Experimentation (AE), and the four type definition of learning styles: Diverging (CE/RO), Assimilating (AC/RO), Converging (AC/AE) and Accommodating (CE/AE) have been considered when developing the learning tool ChordATune. Further, cognitive constructivism emphasizes two key principles for teaching and learning: namely that learning is an interactive process, and that learning should be whole, authentic and real was taken into consideration to facilitate the best solution for learners. One of the main aims of this project is to make learning harmonization an interactive process where the learner is presented with the tool to experience varieties of harmonization for the same melody through changing the emotional factor, key and time signature. The direct experience of changing the harmonization and the ability to check out a variety of solutions allows better learning; it is made interactive and entertaining rather than an isolated learning activity.

These theories also assists educators to understand that meaning is constructed as learners interact in meaningful ways with the world around them. In concatenating this factor with the ChordATune proposed solution, the isolated skill and drill process through exercises are converted to a learner interactive process where the learner is engaged in meaningful activities in setting required parameters for the harmonization process. It also allows the learner to be authentic in the activity that makes the process interesting and meaningful, making the end result learner centered and encouraging.

One of the main goals of this research is to involve the user with the emotional factor when creating harmony, thereby letting the user experiment with different styles and varieties of chord progression when displaying the harmonized melody. This helps novice pianists to develop their creativity in song writing and music creation.

Learning FunctionalitiesCEAEACRO
Creating Songs
Virtual Piano XXX
Manuscript Editor XX
Generating Harmony
Major/Minor Clustering
(Effect of emotions)
Effect of genre XX
Effect of tempoXX
Effect of drum beatsXX
Use of manuscript notationXX
Use of guitar tabular formatXX

Another goal of this project is for music learners to understand the notational format of music writing. ChordATune provides a virtual piano enabling the users to create their melodies using a piano, and it provides the manuscript notation for that newly created melody. Furthermore, ChordATune demonstrates how chord progressions are arranged and how it can be displayed in guitar tabular format enabling music learners to concentrate on music theoretically as well as practically.