This site offers graphics, interactive learning modules and quizzes with immediate feedback to help the user memorize the circle of fifths, both key relationships and accidentals for each key. Includes a page of links to related sites. A file download of recorded questions with answers lets the student practice the information when away from the computer.
Type of Material:
Flash tutorial w/ flash quizzes.
This is a concept that would probably be introduced fairly late in the first semester of undergraduate Music Theory. The comprehensive quizzes on this site could be used as placement exams. The lessons could be used in class, or given as supplemental materials to students who are having trouble with the concept. The lessons and self-grading quizzes would make it accessible for students working on their own.
Multimedia capable browser with flash plugin installed; be sure to turn off popup blocker.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
This site facilitates memorizing the circle of fifths, which will help the music student to identify key signatures, find related keys and remember the order of sharps and flats in key signatures. Using these tools, the student will be better able to recognize the fundamental relationships that music is based on. (paraphrased from site homepage)
Target Student Population:
Middle school through college.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Requires knowledge of music fundamentals like key, scale, music notation.
This site addresses a fundamental concept in Music Theory accurately, clearly and efficiently. It can be used either as part of a class or as a standalone. The material is accurate both in the lessons and in the quizzes. Very engaging and interactive site.
Some quiz questions requiring keyboard input are not clear. For example, if you are typing a c major scale, should you repeat the tonic note at the top? (the answer is yes, you must do this for credit.)
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Learning objectives are stated clearly and concisely. Concepts are reinforced progressively. The lessons are organized efficiently so a lot of material can be learned quickly. Engaging, effective tool for learning about the circle of 4ths/5ths.
No real problems here; everything is acceptable. I would clarify what is meant by clockwise vs. counterclockwise movement around the circle because some people write their circle differently.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The instructions are clear, concise and efficient. The lesson pages are uncluttered and easy to understand. The interactivity keeps the user's interest.
Sometimes I found myself waiting for material to fade it, especially if I already had the point (example- minor key relationships, where you're drawing in the relative minors). Perhaps a skip to next frame button would address this concern. Some minor technical glitches.
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