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Nota is a sweet melody to musicians

Josh Carr
10.27.09
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As a musician who's been out of the loop a bit (3 years into the degree but life throws curveballs) I was happy to find a new application for the iPhone and iPod Touch appear in my inbox. It's called Nota [iTunes Link] from Melvin Rivera and it's a great way to help you learn music and serve as a reference point for the obscure terms you may not remember.

I have to give this app praise because it's one of the few musical reference applications I've seen. The design of the application is very polished and definitely a pleasure to use.

As you can see from the image to the right, I found the quiz to be a little easy... in fact, most musicians who've actually studied music theory will. The application shows you a note on the staff and asks you to identify it. It did challenge me a little bit (my bass clef is a bit rusty as I sing tenor, play trumpet, and tinkle the ivories by ear) and I found myself having to recite the common "Every good boy deserves fudge" and "F-A-C-E." Nonetheless, I still managed to get a perfect score on the quiz my first time through. I'm glad I switched it to advanced. The easy quiz doesn't have any accidentals and only has 34 questions compared to the 82 in the advanced quiz.

Ultimately, I wouldn't buy the application for just the quiz... the pocket piano has its uses... but the application really shines in the reference section withmany definitions that all music students must know.

This application is pretty good in its current form, but I'd really love to see more challenging aspects of music theory included in the app like the Circle of 5ths, Chords, Chord Inversions, Scales (I like saying Mixolydian)... there's so much more out there that could be put into this. But for a one-man effort and understanding that he's not writing a text book, I have to say "Job well done." It's definitely worth the $2.99 he's asking especially if you're just learning music and don't know how to use your F-A-C-E.

Last note, Melvin is currently working on a Spanish-Language localization. ¡Yo tengo la musica!

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