Melodic Dictation

Purpose: Aids the process of learning to write music that you hear or imagine. This is the third step in learning to write melody by ear, following the Rhythm Dictation and Pitch Dictation activities. Here you are responsible for writing both the pitches and the rhythm of the provided melody.

Difficulty: Moderately difficult to difficult; some melodies will be harder than others. Difficulty is easied somewhat by being able to hear your version and compare it with the original as many times as you like before checking your answer.

How it works:

More complete instructions for entering notes and editing are found in the About Musica Touch instructions. You can also refer to the composition activities for more detailed instructions (instructions are available to view whether or not you own those activities) We've provided a brief summary here.

Musica Touch will play a short melody for you and provide the starting pitch shown both on the staff and the keyboard. Your task is to complete the melody, providing both the pitches and the rhythm.

Choose a note value from the tools palette and then touch in the staff or touch a piano key to enter notes. Whenever the note tool is selected you'll see a blinking green insertion point in the music. This shows you where the next note will be entered. You can move the insertion point by touching a different place in the staff. Whenever a note tool is selected it will be drawn in black and it will appear in the upper left corner of your screen. To deselect the tool just touch it again or touch somewhere far outside the staff.

Use the "Play" button to hear the example as many times as needed. Before you ask Musica to check your answer you can use the "Hear yours" button to compare your answer with the example. When you check your answer, the melody will display in the staff above yours along with any error marks.

There are several ways to make changes to your answer:

• Use the Undo button, the left facing arrow at the right of your screen, to quickly delete the last pitch entered (shown below). You can undo the last 4 pitches entered. You can also delete a selected note or notes by swiping left with your finger. Select a note by touching it or draw a selection rectangle around a group of notes. Make sure the note tool is not currently selected before you touch in the staff to select an entered pitch. If you accidentally enter a note while trying to select something just use the Undo button.

• Change the pitch of a selected note or notes with the Up Down arrow tool found at the bottom of your screen. You can also drag the note up or down in the staff to change its pitch. It may help to enlarge the music - touch in the music window with two fingers and spread them apart to enlarge; pinch them together to reduce.

•If you need to add a sharp or flat to a note, touch the accidentals tool button (shown below) to display the choices of sharps and flats. Select a note by touching it, then choose a sharp or flat symbol to add it to the selected note.

• To change just the value of a note, select it by touching and then touch the desired note value in the note tools palette. The selected note will change to the chosen value.

Adding Bar Lines, Ties and Beams

Bar lines are added just like any note symbol. Touch the bar line tool (shown above) and then touch in the staff where you want it to appear.

Select the notes you want to tie together by touching them or drawing a selection rectangle around them and then touch the tie button shown above. To untie the notes, select them and touch the untie button found right below the tie button.

Beaming is done the same way as tying. Select the notes that are to be beamed together and then touch the beam button shown above. Beaming is not scored, but you may want to perfect your work by adding beams. You can also use the "auto beam" button to have Musica beam notes for you.

You can change the tempo by touching the metronome button at the right side of the screen. Instrument and volume changes are made by touching the blue information buttons at the left of each staff and on the keyboard.

You may wish to turn the sound off for the keyboard or the staff or both so that you don't hear the pitches as they are entered. Having the sound on is a big help when you're just beginning, but as you advance you may want to test your ability to write down the melody without the pitches sounding.

Musica Touch™ © 2014 Ars Nova Software. This page may be freely copied.