DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A SOFTWARE FOR THE TRAINING AND REAL-TIME ASSESSMENT OF MUSICAL INTONATION AT MUSIC EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS

M. Perez-Gil1, J. Tejada1, R. Morant1, A. Perez-Gonzalez de Martos2

1Universidad de Valencia (SPAIN)
2Universidad Politecnica de Valencia (SPAIN)
The development of musical intonation is one of the most difficult and complex tasks of music training. Learning tonal pitch patterns is usually done by imitative processes, that is, first by listening to a model composed of pitched sounds and then by performing it. After doing this, pitch sounds are named by means of some syllabic system like the Guidonian or by means of an arbitrary single syllable. Few advances have been made in this area, aside from use of audio supported guides and some computer programs. Some software, such as Ear Master School and Auralia, uses a microphone whose audio information input is analyzed by an algorithm that searches sound frequencies. These programs, however, lack the necessary analytical resolution of algorithms or do not have adequate filters of ambient sounds, resulting in a high error rate in the assessment of student responses. The ongoing research discussed here describes the design and implementation of CANTUS, a software program in HTML5 designed for both learning and real-time assessment of intonation, with and without graphical representations. The aim of this software is to serve as a tool for teachers evaluating and diagnosing issues related to the intonation of tonal patterns by students at conservatories and other music education institutions.
CANTUS incorporates the latest research on the use of immediate feedback, both real-time and delayed. The tonal patterns included are composed of up to eight sounds and are designed according to different theories of music learning. There are five working units according to the mode employed: Major, Dorian, Aeolian, mixolydian, and minor with raised seventh. Also included are patterns with sounds out of the tonality. Execution speed is programmable and includes pitch but not rhythms. Cantus program allows the teacher both to record patterns and to embed them into the program. The evaluation system makes tracking progress possible by means of individual statistics and can also perform an assessment of the ability to read music without sonic imitation. The results can be stored in various media (cloud, email) or printed as pdf. Cantus can be used on all computer platforms.