App Review – Ear Training – InTune
This week’s app review takes a quick look at a new ear training app, InTune.
Developed by cellist and professor of music Daniel Kazez, InTune tests and improves the ability to hear differences in intonation.
InTune is very simple, it’s simply a game that plays out with the ability to share your score (just when you thought social media had reached its limits ). The game plays two pitches in sequence and you choose whether the second pitch is higher or lower than the first. After a correct answer, the next set of pitches is closer together and accordingly more difficult to differentiate. After getting three wrong, a score is given as a percentage of a half step.
You can play again and again. In a university research study, Kazez discovered that students’ hearing improved the more often they played — at triple the rate of those who did not. Naturally, it does get quite challenging, particularly below 2% of a half step.
It’s a great little app and surprisingly compelling – it just shows how easy it is to get people hooked on game play. There are two things we can think of that we’d like to see added to it. Firstly, the app uses machine tones. It would be great if there were a choice of instrument sounds to work with. Firstly because it would sound nicer (my husband said the first time I tried the app out “TURN IT OFF!!”) and secondly because it would be a closer approximation of the tuning challenges musicians face daily. Secondly, we’d love to see a simple graphic showing the meaning of the scores - in other words, how good is one’s pitch differentiation if one scores 5% or 12% or 1.3% or less?
InTune is suitable for all ages and is great value at £0.69. If you’re looking to test or improve your intonation, or to work on your ear training, we recommend it.