Rhythm Dictation

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

Difficulty: There are three levels of difficulty: Duple and triple meter, Compound meter, and Syncopation. The "One Bar Rhythms" activity is a good warm up for this one.

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 display the first note value. Your task is to finish notating the rhythm of the melody. Since you are not required to notate the pitches, your staff has just one line, and all the notes will appear on the same line. You also get points for putting barlines in the right places. If you need help with note values and meter, see Chapter II-IV of Exploring Theory with Practica Musica (our free iBook).

Select a note value from the note tools and then touch the staff line to enter each note. 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. The note tool will stay selected until you deselect it, or choose a different note value. 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.

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 note entered (shown at left). You can undo the last 4 notes 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 something. If you accidentally enter a note while trying to select something just use the Undo button.
• To change the value of the 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.

In level three, Syncopation, you'll need to tie notes together. 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.

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