November 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm

In a Parallel Universe, Ear-Training Arcade Games Might Be Really Popular

earache ear training app iosHey kids, nevermind that Halo 18: Ms. Pacman Returns videogame your friends are chattering about — it’s time to play an ear-training videogame!

Seriously, somebody built a game that asks the player to guess the intervals between two pitches. It’s called Earache (free, iOS), due to creator Ralph Seamen‘s prediction that his app will give you one.

The app plays two piano notes then asks you two guess the interval between them. If you hold down the play button, you can hear the notes individually, or if you just tap it, they play together. I have decent relational pitch (although unfortunately, dad’s perfect pitch didn’t get passed down), so I found it pretty easy, although I did miss the occasional one.

Helpfully, for people are still learning the difference between a major sixth and a perfect fourth, the app plays your guess so you can hear the difference between that and the interval you’re trying to name. It keeps a running tally of your correct and incorrect guesses, with no limit that we ever ran into. No ads are included, even though the app is free, so this must have been a labor of love.

The app can also teach you intervals, in another mode — tap one and you’ll see it displayed on a musical staff, along with a mnemonic device (we were a little disappointed not to see the one we learned for a major sixth: the first two notes in the “NBC” song.) Options include “moveable Do” (in the Solfege sense), and four levels of difficulty (we couldn’t tell the difference).

If you’d rather use a few spare moments to improve your relational pitch rather than checking your Facebook yet again, we can safely recommend Earache, which actually didn’t give us one at all.

(via palmsounds, discchord)