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Interactive Music Skill Checks

Rating: 4 stars
Used in Course: Not used in course
Submitted by: Debi Dusseault (Faculty), Feb 20, 2002
Comment: This site is basically a series of java applet tests for the user to practice
fundamental music theory and aural skills. It will be useful for non-musicians
in music appreciation courses as well as for music majors in beginning music
theory courses. The tests are divided into two sections: theory and aural
skills and deal with the topics of pitch, rhythm, scales, chords, intervals,
voice leading, melody and a "drop the needle" style analysis section that uses
classical and jazz styles.

Technical Remarks:

The general format is a presentation of 10 questions in a java applet.
Generally an interactive staff and keyboard appears with buttons to use for
submission of answers and other technical buttons to use for the questions, such
as adding a sharp or choosing the note value that you wish to use. For the
most part I found the format easy to understand and to use, especially in the
theory column of tests. Immediate aural feedback is used to indicate if your
answer was correct or not.

I believe that this site will be extremely useful for students to practice their
skills, but some of the aural tests are difficult to submit answers. I found
difficulty with the Tap the Rhythm tests because of the requirement of barring
the note values. The procedures were difficult to understand and the barring
tool did not work at all and the erase feature did not work consistently. It
seems that the questions are given randomly instead of in a progressive order
and the student is not given the chance to try the exercise again after
submitting the answer. I feel that if these issues are addressed and corrected,
this would be an excellent site to use in basic music courses in high school
and college.