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New app listens to your melodies, then writes them out in notation


May 8, 2013

ScoreCleaner Notes turns melodies into notation at the touch of a button

ScoreCleaner Notes turns melodies into notation at the touch of a button

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Researchers at the KTH Institute of Technology in Sweden have developed a smartphone application that converts simple melodies into notation. The app, which is available now worldwide, provides a simple and effective tool for getting that melody out of your head and into written, shareable form.

The most compelling thing about ScoreCleaner Notes is its simplicity. Users can play a melody into their smartphone's microphone and moments later its key, tempo, time signature and the musical notation itself will pop up on the screen. Ask just about any musician and they'll tell you that this is a tool that they would most definitely welcome.

The app's simplicity is combined with a high level of accessibility, giving it the potential for use in a wide range of environments, from bedrooms and studios to classrooms. Users don't need to know how to play an instrument to use the app, and don't even need to know how to read or write music, but can simply hum or sing the melody into the microphone. Once recorded, the melody can be played back as both a MIDI piano sound or the original recording.

Once a recording has been made, the resulting notation can be shared via email or social media, making it a powerful tool for musical collaboration. Users can also sign up for a free ScoreCleaner Cloud account which offers unlimited cloud storage for melodies, and automatically syncs with the desktop version of the software.

There are some limitations to the app, most prominent of which is its restriction to monophonic melodies (one note at a time), meaning that harmonies are out of the question. The accuracy of the software also remains to be seen and the analysis of the recordings is performed in the cloud, meaning that you'll need a decent internet connection to take advantage of the app.

The tech behind the app is based on KTH research into how people interpret music, and the sound analysis function was developed with the help of Anders Friberg, a docent in the Department of Speech, Music and Hearing. The team believes that instant notation is superior to the use of voice memo recorders due to the universal nature of musical notation.

DoReMIR Music Research, the company behind ScoreCleaner Notes, also makes a computer program version of the app, known as ScoreCleaner Notes Desktop. It works in a similar way to the iPhone app, but provides the option to plug in a midi synthesizer for more complex compositions.

ScoreCleaner Notes is available worldwide for the iPhone. Check out the video below to see the app in action.

Source: KTH Royal Institute of Technology

About the Author
Chris Wood Chris specializes in mobile technology for Gizmag, but also likes to dabble in the latest gaming gadgets. He has a degree in Politics and Ancient History from the University of Exeter, and lives in Gloucestershire, UK. In his spare time you might find him playing music, following a variety of sports or binge watching Game of Thrones. All articles by Chris Wood

For android user, you can use this app to detect chord or polyphonic music. Https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appspot.musictranscription


A superb idea, even magical. Copyright people everywhere will be tearing their hair out with this one but in the end, all music belongs to all of us and this just made it all that more accessible.


I agree it's a brilliant idea. I believe it is misleading to say "the analysis of the recordings is performed in the cloud". Far more accurate to say on the vendor's servers. But indeed a clever way to stop people reverse engineering and copying their propriety software.


Helooooooo, there are a lot of us Android users out here. Can anyone here me, please release this for android too


Must have for ANDROID PLEASE!

Jason Brown

Just downloaded. Does not work well at all. Check reviews on iTunes. One time out of ten you get something that is a reasonable facsimile of what went in, the rest of the time it will take major liberties with the melody. Hopefully future releases will actually work. Too bad. Nice idea.


Shazzam and the like must be lusting after this tech - hum it play it music discover is finally here!

David Redpath

The melody is the easy part.

Alan Wells

Does anyone know about a device that listen to your music and writes down as scorecleaner does, or better?

Scorecleaner is good , but it has problems analyzing certain music. Besides, it doesn't recognize chords.

Luigi Risi

Seems if you want to add harmonies you could record the melody then listen to a playback on headphones while singing the harmony part into this app ('which I'm hoping is also available for my iPod touch and iPad . I'm a professional musician and know that overdubbing in the studio is how this is done. You could create multiple harmonies in this way. (Maybe the hip hop/rapper types will finally try making real music with this app instead of the monotonous, no melody, "the mic is my instrument" way so many of them do these days...)

Janet Bratter
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