Pitch Dictation

Purpose: Aids the process of learning to write music that you hear or imagine. This activity is a counterpart to Rhythm Dictation, and both are preparation for Melodic Dictation, in which you are responsible for both pitch and rhythm.

Difficulty: Moderate. You need only find the pitches, while the rhythm values are automatic. There are three levels to choose from: Naturals with no key signatures, Key signatures, and Accidentals with key signatures.

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 its rhythm pattern will appear above the staff. Your job is to enter the correct pitches. Your starting pitch is marked on the piano keyboard with a blue dot. Use the "Play" button to hear the example as many times as needed.

Touch the note tool and then touch the correct piano key or touch in the staff to enter each pitch. 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. There's only one note value offered, the quarter note, because Musica Touch will provide the correct note values as you enter the pitches.

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.

Before you ask Musica to check your answer you can use the "Hear yours" button to compare your answer with the example.

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 at left). 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.

• The Pitch arrows tool found at the bottom of your screen will raise or lower the pitch of a selected note or notes one line or space at a time. 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 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.

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.