Privacy Policy for Huawei AppGallery

Xemsoft Limited built the Sheet Music Scanner app as a Commercial app. This SERVICE is provided by Xemsoft Limited and is intended for use as is.

This page is used to inform visitors regarding our policies with the collection, use, and disclosure of Personal Information if anyone decided to use our Service.

If you choose to use our Service, then you agree to the collection and use of information in relation to this policy. The Personal Information that we collect is used for providing and improving the Service. We will not use or share your information with anyone except as described in this Privacy Policy.

Information Collection and Use

For a better experience, while using our Service, we may require you to provide us with certain personally identifiable information. The information that we request will only be used for providing customer support.

Links to Other Sites

This Service may contain links to other sites. If you click on a third-party link, you will be directed to that site. Note that these external sites are not operated by us. Therefore, we strongly advise you to review the Privacy Policy of these websites. We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies, or practices of any third-party sites or services.

Children’s Privacy

We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from children. We encourage all children to never submit any personally identifiable information through the Application and/or Services. We encourage parents and legal guardians to monitor their children’s Internet usage and to help enforce this Policy by instructing their children never to provide personally identifiable information through the Application and/or Services without their permission. If you have reason to believe that a child has provided personally identifiable information to us through the Application and/or Services, please contact us. You must also be at least 16 years of age to consent to the processing of your personally identifiable information in your country (in some countries we may allow your parent or guardian to do so on your behalf).

Changes to This Privacy Policy

We may update our Privacy Policy from time to time. Thus, you are advised to review this page periodically for any changes. We will notify you of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page.

This policy is effective as of 2022-02-25

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本政策自 2022 年 2 月 25 日起生效


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7 Tips for Making Your Sheet Music More Readable

Everyone has had an experience of playing a poorly written piece of music. Sometimes a bad performance can be put down to rubbish notation. To eliminate confusion with any pieces you write, we’ve discovered seven tips to making your sheet music more readable.

Always Use the Invisible Bar Line

If you’re a keen music writer then you may have already heard of the concept called the Invisible Bar Line. This line usually happens halfway through a measure. It’s typically used by writers to show every beat in the music’s measure. Adding in this line can make a piece of music much easier for the musician to read. Remember that you can tie the notes that sit on either side of the line together as well.

Use Phrasing and Articulation

The term phrasing is the number of measures which is present in each line of music. In most pieces you will be able to get away with using four, sometimes more if there isn’t a lot of intricate rhythms. Most musicians will be much more comfortable viewing and reading music if there are three to four measures per line.

It’s always a clear sign of an amateur composer when there is a lack of information. An ensemble will need a lot of specific instructions for the musician so that they can play your piece consistently. Playing a piece without any sort of guidance can lead to disaster. Adding in different things like staccato dots, accents and other musical markings makes your composition a lot easier for the musician to interpret.

Use Your Dynamics

Similar to using your musical articulation, having little to no dynamics in a piece can really confuse anyone attempting to play it. Conductors and performers will always interpret your dynamics and music in their own way. However, it’s still vitally important to give them some sort of direction. Otherwise the music will sound lacklustre and bland.

If you choose not to use any sort of dynamics, then a performer won’t understand how to express the right feelings in your music. Even a simple piece of music still needs instructions for things like volume. Typically, in music writing you will want to write any sort of dynamics underneath the staff. The only exception to this rule is when writing for vocals, when you want to avoid any clash with lyrics.

Keep Spaces Even

One of the most difficult part of writing music is the spacing. You have to find the perfect balance between keeping the notes far apart so that they’re legible, but close enough so you don’t run out of space. Also take into account that articulations, markings and accidentals will also need to take up space. You’ll find that real estate is hard to come by once you start writing sheet music.

A great starting point is to make sure you divide the staffs into four measures for each line. This should be familiar to you because we discussed it in point two. This gives you the perfect starting block where you can write notes and any dynamics on the lines so that they’re legible. Use more space after longer notes and then shorten the spaces for short notes. Spacing should be kept as proportional as possible throughout your music.

Use a Straightedge for Handwriting

Handwriting sheet music is quite uncommon but not everyone has fancy software on their computer for their compositions. You want to make everything you write as neat as possible. You should be spending time practicing your writing so that your lettering is precise. Any text that is written haphazardly will usually be ignored by a musician. Everything has to be legible, even if you are writing by hand so make sure your articulations, slurs and note heads are practiced.

One of the most tell-tale signs that a piece of music has been written badly can be seen in the stem directions. This is where using a straightedge will save the day. The stem of a note must be completely and perfectly vertical. There can’t be any sort of wavering in this straightness.

Keep It as Simple as Possible

It’s sometimes hard to not overcomplicate you pieces but remember that the most obvious route is usually the right way to go. Sheet music doesn’t have to be overcomplicated. It should look easy to play, even if it isn’t. If a musician looks at your music and becomes confused, then it can lead to poor performances. Take a look at your piece and remove any unnecessary markings that could be written differently to make the music flow.

Writing music is all about using your common sense. A lot of sheet music out there could have been made so much simpler if the composer had just used their head. This skill becomes even more imperative as you move into the final copies of your music.

Always Edit

Until a piece of music has been played or published then it’s still considered to be a work in progress. Never be afraid to go back in and rework different sections so that they flow. Pencil markings are a big no-no in your final copy. This is because you are writing an original composition, so you want to give a musician the cleanest copy possible, even if it means you must print out twenty different copies for one small chord change.

If you don’t know how to write something as part of your composition, don’t ever guess. There are so many resources out there online and in various music books that will cover all of the rules for writing music, no matter what the style. If you’re not writing by hand by using the computer instead then you can read the software manual and learn the programming properly. Never be afraid to reach out to other people. There are so many people out there who are willing and happy to help new writers compose their pieces properly.

Writing a brand new composition can be daunting and will take a lot of effort and time on your part. Make the most of all the advice and tips you can lay your hands on so you can write the best piece possible for the musician. Do you have any other tips on how to create a great score? Let us know if there’s any problems you always experience with your notation and make sure to share our advice with others.

To easily scan and digitize your printed sheet music to work with it further in editors like Finale, Sibelius, Notion, MuseScore, etc., you may want to consider Sheet Music Scanner. Take a photo of printed sheet music, upload, and get to work. You can import from PDF, export to audio, MusicMXL, and MIDI, listen to the music, and switch instruments for different sounds.

Beginner’s Guide to Technology for Composing Music

The practice of learning to compose music is never finished. It’s a subject that people study throughout their entire lives. Even if you have a doctorate in music theory, even if you are the conductor of an orchestra…there’s always more to learn.  

But that doesn’t mean that you have to be an expert to take part. If you sit at home, picking out melodies on your guitar – that’s composition. If you use empty sheet music paper to craft a simple song – that’s composition. Today, anyone can start practicing composition, thanks to a myriad of tools and apps. You don’t have to be Mozart.

Here is some of my favourite software for composing music. These tools can get you started, whether you’re a novice or an expert.

Online Music Studios

If you’re going the digital route, you don’t even need to be able to read music to start composing songs. There are plenty of digital audio workstations and online music studios that help you lay down beats, loop tracks, and adjust into different keys and tempos.

Soundtrap is one option with an easy-to-use interface. It’s available in Windows, Chromebook, Mac, Linux, iPad and iPhone, and Android. If you’re just starting out, you can experiment with loops, synthesizers, different instrument sounds, and collaborations. You can also try Studio One from Presonus. It’s a bit more complicated than some of its counterparts, but it is also more comprehensive, and is favored by bedroom producers and casual sound artists. Their ‘drag-and-drop’ feature is a nice way to streamline your song tempo or experiment with an arrangement. Logic Pro X is Apple’s answer to those who want to upgrade from its simpler music studio option, GarageBand. Logic Pro serves as a complete music production facility, with many plug-in and sound options.

Music Theory

If you’re composing music, you may have quite an extensive background in theory. However, if you’re going to test your foundational understanding, there are plenty of tools to help you.

iReal Pro lets you choose from 47 different accompaniment styles, like bossa nova, gypsy jazz, bluegrass and swing. It’s a solid tool for understanding how compositions are built, and includes chord charts and diagrams. Even if you’re an expert, it can help you brush up. Tenuto is also a usable app for both beginner and experienced musicians, with 20 customised exercises to help you practice your understanding of theory. It’s available for all iOS devices.

Adam Neely’s videos on YouTube are constantly delving into helpful musical tips and explanations. You can also refer to this cheat sheet on chord construction and naming; it may be old but it is still helpful.

Music Notation Software

If you have a basic understanding of how to read music, you’re welcome into the world of music notation software. You may have a romantic image of a composer sitting by the candlelight, sounding out symphonies with a quill pen. These days, things tend to be much more convenient!

Music teachers tend to recommend Noteflight for early composers. You can try a demo version or buy the real thing. Noteflight allows you to get right into the staff and start laying down a composition on digital paper. You can experiment with playback and compare your composition played by different instruments. It’s simple and easy to understand.

You’ll also likely have heard about two mainstays in the industry: Sibelius and Finale. They both let you notate, arrange, and print your sheet music. While Finale has been around slightly longer and may have a larger user base, Sibelius is seen by some as edging out the competition on innovation. The choice is entirely up to you, as they are priced very similarly.


Whether it’s music playback or sound editing you’re after, there are many tools that will help you hear your composition and adjust the sound to your liking. These plugins and add-ons are useful as accompaniments that will help you with listening and editing.

To listen to your composition with a hassle-free app, try Sheet Music Scanner. The app can playback almost any musical PDF or photo that is uploaded onto your device. It can also convert the PDF or photo into a MusicXML or MIDI file, making it a useful add-on to your composition tools. There’s also Recycle, for sampled grooves. You can open an audio file as a loop, then add tempo and beat information, and add creative effects to some or all of your selected sound. Audiobus is a clean and simple app for connecting compatible music apps together, like GarageBand, dj apps, drum machines, and synthesizers.

Another app you may want to consider is Sheet Music Scanner. Take a photo of printed sheet music, upload, and get to work. You can import from PDF, export to audio, MusicMXL, and MIDI, listen to the music, and switch instruments for different sounds.

The Dictionary of Musical Symbols

Music has its own language. If you aren’t fluent, you might be wondering where to start. As a beginner musician, you don’t necessarily need to know every hemiola and glissando.

But, you will come across some common symbols again and again. Understanding them will make your life easier. Here is a concise breakdown of the musical symbols you should get to know.

Staff, Clefs, and Time Signatures

The staff is the basis of all music composition. We can use it as the foundation to discuss what else you will see within a piece of written music.

Symbol Definition
Staff / Stave: The staff are the lines where music and symbols are placed. There are five lines and four spaces, and they serve to orientate the notes.
Bar / Measure: The staff is broken into measures, which are separated by these bars. A measure is also called a ‘bar’.
Bold doublebar line: This doublebar represents the end of a movement or a piece.
Bracket: The bracket connects lines of music that play in tandem. For example, you’ll see this split in piano music, where the top line will be the right hand playing in G-Clef and the bottom will be the left hand in F-Clef.
G / Treble Clef: Where the symbol spirals, this denotes the G-pitch above Middle-C. This clef is used in most modern vocal music. In piano music, it is usually played by the right hand. Guitar music is also generally written in Treble Clef.
F/ Bass Clef: The line between the two dots denotes the F-note below Middle-C. This clef represents bass and baritone voices in choral music.
C/ Alto / Viola Clef: he Where the two curved lines come together to grip the line, that line denotes Middle-C. This clef is used for viola music. When centered on the fourth line of the staff, it can be used for bassoon, trombone or cello music.
Time Signature: The numbers at the beginning of a piece that indicate the rhythm of the music. The bottom number (in this case 4) represents the note value of one beat (in this case, a quarter note or crotchet). The top number (in this case 3) represents how many of these notes appear in each measure. This time signature is known as ‘three-quarter time’.
Common Time: The most common time signature is 4/4 time, or ‘common time.’ It can also be represented as a C.
Cut Time: Another common time signature – 2/2 time or ‘cut time.’ It is also represented as a C with a vertical line through it.


A note is placed in a certain location on the staff to indicate which note it is. However, you can also tell how long to play that note, based on the way it looks.

Note Definition
Whole Note / Semibreve: This note represents one entire measure. For example, four beats in 4/4 time signature. Other notes are usually fractions of this note. It never has a stem.
(image licensed under CC-SA 3) Half Note / Minim: The note represents one half of the whole note. It’s two beats in 4/4 time, or half of the measure. This note can be depicted with the stem pointing downward on the left side.
(image licensed under CC-SA 3) Quarter Note / Crotchet: One quarter of a whole note. One beat in 4/4 time. Musicians may refer to this as “one beat”, but it’s only one beat when the time signature is 4/4. This note can be depicted with the stem pointing downward on the left side.
Eighth Note / Quaver: Half of the value of a quarter note. Notes of this value and shorter are beamed together when there are two or more in a row. This note can also be depicted with the stem pointing downward on the left side.
(image licensed under CC-SA 3) Sixteenth Note / Semiquaver: Half of the value of an eighth note. Drawn with the stem to the right of the head when below the middle line of the staff. When above the middle line, depicted with the stem on the left side of the note, pointing down.
Beamed Notes: These notes connect eighth notes and notes of shorter value. They reflect rhythmic groupings of notes.
Dotted Notes: When you see a dot next to a note, increase the duration of that note by half of its original value. For example, a dotted quarter note becomes a quarter note plus an eighth note.
Chord:  A chord is written whenever you are playing more than one note simultaneously. A chord can contain any number of notes.


Silence is just as important as sound in music. Rests indicate the amount of time you will pause when you’re going through a composition.

Rest Definition
Whole Rest: This rest represents one entire measure. It’s four beats in 4/4 time signature, and corresponds to the whole note.
Half Rest: This symbol indicates you will rest for the amount of time equal to half of the whole note. It looks similar to the whole note, but notice that it rests above the line, as opposed to below it, as the whole rest does.
(image licensed under CC-SA 3) Quarter Rest: A rest that’s equivalent to the crotchet, or quarter note.
Eighth Rest: A rest that’s equivalent to an eighth or note or quaver. For notes of this length and shorter, the rest has the same number of branches as the note has flags.
Sixteenth Rest: A rest that’s equal to a sixteenth note. Note how it has two branches, just like the note itself has two flags.


Accidentals indicate a modification in pitch. If you see an accidental in a measure, it stays applicable within that measure, unless otherwise indicated.

Accidental Definition
Flat: A flat lowers the pitch of the note by one halfstep or semitone.
(image licensed under CC-SA 3) Sharp: A sharp makes the pitch of the note higher by one halfstep or semitone.  
(image licensed under CC-SA 3) Natural: A natural cancels out a previous accidental, modifying the pitch back to its original note.
(image licensed under CC-SA 3) Double Flat: A double flat lowers a note’s pitch by two semitones, or one whole step.
(image licensed under CC-SA 3) Double Sharp: A double sharp raises a note’s pitch by two semitones, or one whole step.


Dynamics depict volume or emotion and intensity of the composition or section of the composition.

Dynamic Definition
Pianissimo: Very soft and quiet.
Piano: Soft and quiet.
Mezzo piano: Moderately soft and quiet.
Mezzo forte: Moderately loud.
Forte: Loud and strong.
Fortissimo: Very loud and strong.
Sforzando: Abrupt, accented, forceful.
Crescendo: A gradual increase in volume, over the span of the notes where it is written.
Decrescendo: A gradual decrease in volume, over the span of the notes where it is written.

For more information, check out the Dolmetsch chart of musical symbols, which is considered to be one of the online authorities on musical symbols. Another option is the Oxford Music Online, which has long been an authority used by musicians across the world. It explores musical composition, history, theory and composers in more than 12,500 entries.

Also, to put this new knowledge into practice, check out Sheet Music Scanner. It can read sheet music and play to back to you – it’s as simple as uploading a PDF or taking a picture with your phone.

The Music Blog Roundup: Music Tech, Education, Piano, Guitar, and More

These days, you don’t have to sift through volumes of books to round out your musical studies. Whether it’s beginner musician tips, music education for children, music equipment, music tech, or actual lessons and collaboration you’re after, there’s a blog for it.  

In fact, most music organizations, teachers, and professionals have an online presence. So how do you find the most credible and helpful resources? I’ve waded through the internet to research some of the best music education and technology blogs, based on what you’re looking for. Here’s what I found:

General Music Blogs

  • The Rest Is Noise – Alex Ross is a music critic for The New Yorker. He includes brief snippets on books he recommends, musicians he likes, nice recordings, and music news. He has written a couple of books and is currently writing a third.
  • Music Subreddits – Reddit is known as ‘the front page of the internet’, and here you’ll find all things music-related. Reddit has user-generated content, so whether you’re looking for tips, resources, or contacts, you can ask the community here.  Pay particular attention to the ‘learning’ subreddits which cover topics like Ableton, bass lessons, music theory, and tabs.
  • Ethan Hein’s Blog – Ethan Hein is a writer and a musician. In his blog, which he updates frequently, he discusses music history, math, technology, philosophy, and education. He is known to include syllabi and talks and lessons from other music professionals. Read his site for a more academic look into a broad range of topics in music.

Music Education Blogs

  • Music Matters Blog – Although Natalie Weber is a piano teacher, she has all sorts of games, online resources, and teaching ideas for anyone in the music education space. She chronicles her experience with different products and trying out different strategies in the classroom. Her blog is well-organized so you can easily find tactics for ear training, improvising, scales, and more.
  • The Bulletproof Musician – This blog is geared toward musicians of all levels. Most of the blog is related to performance anxiety, and how to get over the jitters and become an elite performer. It’s written by violinist Noa Kageyama. He covers strategies for practice, focus, resilience, and auditioning.
  • Tech in Music Education – This blog comes from music education technology expert Christopher Russell, PhD. He’s known for his work on integrating technology into music education. He covers technology across the industry, from app reviews to software tutorials to how startups and tech companies are impacting music. As a choral teacher, he has plenty of choral warm-ups for tablets, as well as assessments and presentations. Highly recommended for teachers looking to incorporate tech into their lessons and stay up-to-date on the latest education technology.

Music Tech Blogs

  • Music Tech Net – This blog is geared to producers, engineers, and recording musicians. It covers topics like music production, mixing, recording, and music mastering. You can find all the latest advice on the technology that’s changing the field of music.
  • Analog Industries – This blog is about the music business, music software development, and all things electronic. It is writing by an electronic musician called Chris Randall. Although it’s highly technical, it’s a great resource for those looking to get into the weeds of music production and the nitty-gritty of how produced music is made.
  • Wired MusicWired is an authority in tech, so why not turn to them for all things music tech? They cover app releases, popular artists, industry developments, and music culture.
  • Producer Hive – This website covers buyer guides, production techniques through to articles focussing on the mental wellbeing of producers and musicians.

Piano Blogs

  • The Cross-Eyed Pianist – This blog is written by a London-based piano teacher, music reviewer, and blogger called Frances Wilson. She interviews artists and discusses piano music and culture.
  • Tim Topham – Tim Topham’s tagline is, ‘Teach Piano. Differently.’ He delves into technique, learning development, and bringing a modern touch to the classical practice of teaching piano. While his blog is aimed at teachers, learners will also find tools for effective piano study. He also has a podcast and several webinars.
  • Melody Payne – The Plucky Pianista – This is a blog for tools, resources, and information for students and teachers. Melody includes worksheets and mock-up lessons that she’s applied in the classroom. She has lots of tips on everything from accompaniment to creating moving performances.

Guitar Blogs

  • Ultimate Guitar – While it’s not technically a blog, Ultimate Guitar is a great place to go for tabs, chords, and forums. You can find user-provided chords and tabs for most modern songs and many older, more traditional classics too.
  • Guitar Player Magazine – This online magazine is an expansive resource for guitarists of all levels. You can find gear reviews, information on guitar models, interviews with guitarists, exercises, and more. You can also sort articles by almost any genre of music to explore the kinds of music you’re most interested in.
  • Musician Tuts – A tutorial platform that’s geared toward guitar players. There are reviews, guides, and in-depth tutorials for guitarists looking for a community of like-minded learners. You’ll find fun articles like ‘Top 100+ Easy Guitar Songs.’

While you’re at it, Sheet Music Scanner is a fast-growing resource for beginning musicians, music teachers, and music hobbyists. Easily scan sheet music into your phone or tablet, then explore playback and exporting functions. This type of technology is usually found in expensive, complex software platforms that cost $100 or more, and come with all the bells and whistles. Sheet Music Scanner is an affordable alternative to these platforms. It will help you if you’re stuck in your practice or need a better way to scan your music files into different formats (Music XML, MIDI, audio, etc.)

Unconventional Ways to Make Money Through Music

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, making money through music is notoriously difficult. When many people expect to get their music for free, it’s difficult to carve out a career in the field. But new technologies have also created avenues for profitability and exposure.

You don’t have to be a full-time, professional musician to be enterprising with music. People make money with music in a variety of ways, whether it’s by using online platforms or approaching live performance in a new way.

Gone are the days of making a demo and sending it to record companies in hopes that they label you the ‘next big thing.’ There are plenty of ways to take your musical career into your own hands. Here are some of the best.

1. Personal SEO

The bad news about streaming is that it has caused a steep decline in record sales. The good news about streaming is that it has created a way to reach millions of listeners. You just have to get those listeners’ attention. You can improve your personal SEO by expanding your web presence. Whatever your budget, you can create your own website, YouTube account, Twitter, Facebook and online store. You can even put a tip jar on your website, or have a newsletter to grow your subscriber base. It’s a straightforward process to upload your music into streaming platforms like Spotify and Soundcloud. The smarter you get about online marketing channels, the more chances fans will have to discover your music.

2. A New Way To Play Live

For decades now, artists have improved their chops by busking, playing weddings, and performing at open-mic nights. There will always be a need for live musicians at a variety of gigs. Now, you can get more leverage out of your live performances by recording them and live-streaming them. Many live-streaming platforms also allow you to interact with fans and sell merchandise. Musicians use forums and fan groups to book small shows with dedicated fans who are willing to pay to see an artist they like in an intimate setting.

3. Crowdsourced Patronage

Podcasters, critics and writers use crowdfunding platforms to raise money from individual patrons. Musicians can do the same through platforms like Patreon, Pledgemusic and Indiegogo. Some of the most successful ones can raise thousands of Euros a month, made up of small one-time or monthly contributions by individual donors. Crowdfunding is an easy way to support your music, and also a way to provide your biggest fans with special messages, giveaways and performances.

4. One-Off Business Gigs

In the day of the ‘sharing economy’, gigging has taken on a broader form. Traditional musicians supplemented their creative endeavors by gigging at weddings or birthday parties. Today, through platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, you can take gigging to a different level. For clients around the world, you might offer to write a catchy jingle for a product, design a band’s logo or record a quick demo that they need as background music for an advertisement.
Ultimate Guide to Being a Freelancer

5. Teach Students Around The World

Musicians often give lessons to less experienced students in order to make money. You can now teach music any time through online platforms like Wyzant or Live Music Tutor. On these platforms you just create a profile and wait to get plugged in with a student whose needs match your skills.

6. Cover A Song, Put It Somewhere Visible

On YouTube, the best covers of popular songs sometimes get as many plays as the songs themselves. People have launched careers off covering popular songs in an interesting way. You can put your website in your profile, and you can link to other songs you’ve done at the end of your video. Stand on the shoulders of giants to generate widespread attention.

7. Affiliate With A PRO

Performance Rights Organisations distribute licenses to retail shops, restaurants, radio stations and television networks. They essentially make sure that songwriters and publishers are getting their due when their music is used. Once affiliated with a PRO, they will ensure that you are paid royalties any time your music is used in a retail playlist, television advertisement or commercial venue.

8. Pitch To A Background Music Provider

Once affiliated with a PRO, you can pitch to a background music provider. There are a multitude of music providers that provide large stores of music to commercial services, restaurants, stores and other businesses. Pitching them is as simple as finding them on Google and writing them an email with some song samples. Google phrases like ‘background music provider’ or ‘in-store music services’ or ‘music for business’ to find them.

9. Get A Sync License

A sync license grants third parties permission to use your music. If you get a sync license, your music can be included in video games and other visual media. That’s a great way to find new fans and gain exposure with a new audience. You can work with a licensing company if you’re stuck on how to deal with the intricacies of licensing.

10. Create A Ringtone

If you can write and record a catchy ring tone, large wireless companies are required to pay you royalties any time it is downloaded. This is known as a reproduction and distribution copyright. Once recorded, simply upload your ringtone to the iTunes store and see what happens.

11. Develop An Online Course

Through YouTube your website, you can create tutorials. If you’ve mastered classical guitar, share that knowledge via video. If you’ve discovered a great way to hack reading music, show that hack in a video and put it online. Maybe you just want to do a product review of all of the most useful tools you’ve used to boost your musical skills. Budding musicians are sure to find this information helpful. You can make the decision to put these tutorials and lessons behind a paywall, or simply share them far and wide to grow a larger audience.

One particularly useful tool you can check out is Sheet Music Scanner. This app will scan sheet music and play it back to you. It’s as simple as taking a picture with your phone or tablet.

Looking for new music composer job opportunities? Give Jooble a try.

The Music Theory Roundup for Beginning Learners

A lot of musicians get by without being able to read or write music. You could create an entire album without actually knowing any musical theory or composition. Geniuses like Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix became world-famous musicians solely off the power of their ears. But having a grasp on some key concepts of music theory can be, if nothing else, a comfort.

To give some context to the music you are uploading on Sheet Music Scanner, I’ve distilled some resources from across the internet on basic music theory. If you’re stuck in your practice, turn to some of these sources. Maybe somewhere, you’ll find the key you need to make progress.

Pitches, Intervals, Scales and Chords

Pitch has been described as ‘the highness or lowness of tone.’ So a bunch of pitches, when put together, create the ‘music-ness’ of music. Put another way, it’s the notes on the keyboard.

The Ear-Training Mastery Blog describes pitch in some detail, and discusses how to recognise pitch on a staff. If you want, you can even practice recognising a certain pitch just from hearing it, or what is called ‘perfect pitch.’ Check out the Pitch Improver Exercises.

An interval is the difference between two pitches. It can be great or small. You will hear this term used all the time with respect to vocal music. You can also think of an interval in terms of your hand on the piano – stretch your thumb and your pinky out as wide as they can go and see how far apart the notes are. That is the greatest interval your hand can reach.

You can check out Music Theory’s interval lesson, which breaks down the concept of intervals via keyboard. To test your interval recognition online, use Pitch Improver’s exercise, which is helpful for musicians of any level. For more on interval construction, identification and inversion, Teoria’s exercises are also useful.

Once you’re comfortable with pitches and intervals, you can try to grasp what happens when you put pitches together in ascending or descending steps. These progressions are known as scales.

The Open Music Theory Blog is an online textbook that’s meant to provide support to music students. They break down the concept of scales into understandable explanations.  Theta Music’s blog allows you to get familiar with the sound of scales through a playback function. Just choose the scale you want to hear and it will both play it and visualise it on a virtual keyboard. If you want to take it to the next level you can try testing your knowledge of each individual note of a scale, using the ProProfs quiz.

Scales account for one note at a time, but it’s more common in music for several notes to be played at the same time, especially with piano, guitar or when you have multiple voices singing at once. A chord is the combination of three or more notes, designed to be played simultaneously. They are built off of a single root note.

To study chords, check out’s lesson on chords. A virtual keyboard depicts the lesson’s key concepts as you go through it, so you can get a nice picture along with your explanation. Test your knowledge of building a chord through Teoria’s chord exercises – you may need to fiddle with the settings to create your test, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out.

Keys and Clefs

A key is something that you can feel in music. When you’re playing in a certain key signature, and you return to that original key, it feels and sounds like a homecoming. A key tells the musician which notes will be sharp and which notes will be flat, and which note serves as that home base.

You can read more about keys and key signatures from Piano Lessons Made Simple. For practice, you can take this music key signature quiz from Music Theory Fundamentals. Here is another simple and easy key identification quiz from Northern State, using only the sharps and flats of the key signature as identifiers.

A clef provides an anchor for the notes within a musical composition. If you’re accounting for both really high notes and really low notes at the same time, you might see that written out in two different clefs, connected by a brace.  Pianists will be accustomed to seeing music for two clefs written out at once.

There’s not too much complexity around understanding clefs. The Wikipedia page on clefs provides a simple and straightforward explanation. Teoria’s clef exercises will help you get familiar with reading notes per a certain clef.

Rhythm and Form

Rhythm is the placement of sounds and pauses in time. John Cage famously wrote a piece called 4’33 which was a three-movement composition made up of pure silence. To understand both sound and silence within music, you need an understanding of rhythm.

For a tutorial on rhythm in music, you can check out this YouTube video from Michael New on how rhythm works. Theta Music also provides an overview of rhythm in music, helpfully  in both European and American musical terms.  Test your rhythm using the Got Rhythm quiz online.

Whenever you’re talking about reading or writing music, you’re talking about form. Although musical form is a very complex subject, it essentially means the overall structure of a piece of music.

You can get more familiar with form by understanding what the various symbols and signs mean within a composition.  Lumen Learning provides a nice overview of form, including a bunch of different links to some of the particulars of musical form. Art of Composing also provides a basic overview of form in this

short blog post.

Harmony and Inversions

Harmony is the pleasant effect you get when you produce chords and chord progressions whose frequencies are complementary. If you have a good ear, you can hear and feel when pitches are harmonious. If you sing in a choir, you may be providing harmony to the main melody. Harmony is often at play when resolving musical tensions throughout a composition.

You can learn about all sorts of concepts and questions of harmony through Stack Exchange’s open forum on the subject. Understand harmonisation through Wikipedia’s explanation, which actually provides one of the clearest breakdowns on the web. But the best (and most fun) way to understand harmony is through practicing it yourself. Musical-U can help you practice learning to harmonise,  and My Music Theory provides a step-by-step guide for harmonisation practice.

Inversions in music are used when you use one chord as a root, and play the same notes of the chord, but stacked in a different position along the staff. There are different types of inversions.

Uberchord can help you practice this concept with their beginner’s guide to chord inversions, and an animated explanation of triad inversions is located here, from For more detail and a simple explanation of inversions, check out Music Theory Academy. You can also practice identifying chord inversions through the quiz on The Toned Ear.

To put your newfound knowledge of musical theory to work, try downloading Sheet Music Scanner. Upload a pdf or take a picture of sheet music, and you can hear the audio playback immediately. It’s a great tool for unlocking your practice and helping you understand the symbols on your sheet music in real time.

Beginner’s Guide to Technology for Making Music

I have a background in classical music, so I decided it would be easy for me to learn to produce music digitally. That overconfidence was quickly destroyed when I started researching. I got lost in a sea of software. Some websites claimed production only requires laptop and a portable controller. Others recommended loads of expensive tech tools.

And then came the branding – some people swore by Ableton. Others seemed to do okay with GarageBand. And I came across other names, like Traktor and Serato. And then what about looping? And cueing? And decks? I gave up before I even began.

There’s so much you can do to create music through technology. But it depends on your ultimate purpose, and the amount of time and experience you have. To help, here’s a quick rundown of some favorite software tools for making music.


Synthesizers help to convert sound through an amplifier. You can warp music and sounds to create a more electronic timbre, or just imitate other existing instruments. A lot of music production tends to rely on synthesizers, which came into fashion in pop music in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Moog Filtatron is a virtual audio filter and effects machine. You can run your sound through the Moog filter and experiment with modulation, delay and overdrive. After you’re done, they make file sharing and recording easy. Moog are famous synth experts, and this app is cheaper than the real thing. The Waldorf Nave is serious synthesizer business. This app for iOS includes two wavetable oscillators and more than 500 presets from acclaimed sound designers. Despite those intimidating-sounding credentials, this app is actually easy to use whether you’re a beginner or an advanced music maker. The Korg iElectribe is a synth with a 16-step sequencer, so you can build your track. You can also create different effects, like a reverb or chorus effect.


There are a million and a half apps and websites devoted to music production, so I won’t delve into all of them. For a high budget, you can pour money into state-of-the-art digital audio workstations (DAWs).

Garage Band is the classic tool that people turn to because it has a low barrier to entry. With its recording studio and collection of instrument sounds, you can play along with a band or orchestra by filling in their parts. You can record up to 32 tracks, and it’s a relatively simple interface. Never a bad place to start!

Steinberg offers Cubasis, a scaled-down version of its desktop DAW. You can use an unlimited audio/MIDI track feature, and mixer with FX, audio loops built in and more. This is like a very souped up version of GarageBand, and it’s more expensive, but won’t set you back as much as the desktop version.

Propellerhead Figure has an easy interface and is aimed towards musicians who want to quickly create music. Their app store listing says you can ‘create an addictive beat before the next bus stop.’ It’s a light version of their popular DAW, Reason. You can also share with other users if you’re looking for help in remixing or development.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use tool to import your paper sheet music to the computer, Sheet Music Scanner can turn a PDF or photo into a MusicXML or MIDI file. It also has an audio playback function for individuals looking to hear music they see on the sheet. You just have to take a picture with your phone or tablet.


There is no real centralised network for musicians who want to collaborate. However, if you want to work on a project with other musicians, you’ve got options. Maybe you’d like to jam with others, or need to ask a teacher a quick question. Online collaboration tools make these things possible.

You can find spontaneous jam partners as easily as an online date or meetup. For example, ejamming allows you to play with live musicians anywhere in the world. You can join their community easily, and get as much extra rehearsal time as you need. Ohm studio also serves as a real-time collaboration platform, so that you can record your part on a track and upload it for your band, or source your partial track for input from the project members.

Grooveboxes and Drum Machines

Many apps will allow you to program percussion and drum loops, which are an essential foundation for building tracks. To practice your rhythm and build up a tune from the ground up, grooveboxes and drum machine apps are a great place to start.

The Drumjam by Sonosaurus was created in partnership with renowned professional drummer Pete Lockett. He recorded several live drum beats at various tempos, and incorporated several interesting percussive instruments like cowbell, ghatam, bongos and a surdu. You can use the app to manipulate reverb, pitch bend and distortion effects of your beats. Elastic Drums is similarly set up to use an interactive drum kit. You have several different synth channels and percussion synth engines to create a variety of sounds.

For every music producer, no matter your skill level, there is also Sheet Music Scanner. You can scan and play back music from printed sheet music, and export it to the file of your choosing, including MusicXML and MIDI. It’s as simple as taking a picture with your phone, then getting started.

Beginner’s Guide to Technology for Studying Music

When I was a beginner-level musician, the only resources at my disposal were theory books, my teacher and a metronome. If I got stuck, I often I had to wait a week until my next lesson to work through a problem.

If you’re studying music, you’re on the lookout for ways to improve your understanding. Today new tools and apps can help you make breakthroughs without waiting for a teacher. Your musical education is fairly accessible, whether you need help with basic theory, practice exercises or sight-reading.

If anything, you have different problem than I did – which resource should you choose? You have hundreds of apps, blogs websites and videos competing for your attention.

To help you, I dug through reviews, teacher recommendations and music education journals. I found apps and blogs that are widely-considered to be impressive and credible. Some were developed by teachers who have been in the business for decades, and others are side projects of professional musicians. Here is an overview of some basic musical concepts and the related technical resources to guide your study.


Music theory is the study of the practice of music. Although it is as old as the existence of music itself, technology has transformed the study of theory. Concepts and methodologies are now more accessible. These websites and apps can help you build a foundation and fill in any knowledge gaps. is a free website with exercises, lessons, and product recommendations. Topics cover everything from learning about key signatures to major and minor keys to ear training and reading music. You’ll find interesting tools like the “tempo tapper” and the “pop-up keyboard.” The interface is very basic, but you don’t need a complicated website to learn theory (it’s complicated enough!). The app is supported through two paid iOS apps if you want to get more in depth instruction, but there is plenty of good free content on the website.  There are myriad apps for music theory too. Music Theory and Practice is a popular one that combines theory lessons with exercises to match. You can pick and choose from the subjects you want to learn about, including an introduction to scales, the circle of fourths and fifths, inverted major chords and modes.

Ear Training

Ear training is the envy of every aspiring musician; a finely-tuned ear can identify pitches, melodies, chords, and even entire songs just by listening to them. While some people are more naturally inclined than others in this way, technology can help improve your ear. Needless to say that ear training is critical for all aspects of learning an instrument.

Several blogs can be helpful for ear training. I Was Doing All Right is well-known for its ear training studies. Within the writing, you can find exercises for call-and-response ear training, as well as improvisation and composition. The blog also has an ear training app and a online song randomizer for practice.

Reading Music and Sight Reading

If you can sight-read well, you can look at a sheet of music and play it at first glance. Of course, this habit comes with time and practice. However, there are no shortage of websites and apps that will help unblock your practice. A basic Google search will provide you with tips and research from experts on how to improve sight-reading.

You’ll find hundreds of tutorials on YouTube that will show you how to identify where notes are located on the staff and on the keyboard, and what the key names are. You can learn the basics of sheet music, fingering, theory and even specific song tutorials.

If you’re the type of learner who needs interactivity, apps like Music Sight Reading PRO and Music Tutor Sight Read provide lessons that incorporate note recognition and rhythm. The lessons are organized in a way that is supposed to be accessible. If you have more patience, you can go for a software platform like Sight Reading Mastery. This software was developed by a music teacher, and you can change the difficulty level to your speed, listen to your own playing, and log your progress.


There’s no reason to feel out of rhythm anymore, with the multitude of play-along apps and tools in existence. These new technologies serve as a more modern update on playing along to a recording in order to imitate it.

Although rhythm is a basic concept, it serves as a nice way to hone your sense of timing. Touch Pianist allows you to play along to “Moonlight Sonata” and control the rhythm. While the computer takes care of the melody, you are able to focus on improving your rhythm and tempo.

Rhythm Cat is a game that helps both adults and children understand rhythm. Levels of the game get progressively more challenging. This game was developed in collaboration with music educators.


Many individuals and companies are hoping to transform the way people learn by making it fun. These websites and apps hope to turn studying music into a game, where you can be rewarded for points and incentivized to challenge your brain.

Companies like Joytunes hope to reinvent learning through three piano apps. No prior music knowledge is required for Piano Dust Buster, wherein you compete against other players and learn the basics of notation. The interface is colorful and simple, making it ideal for children or those who want to ease in slowly. Their app Simply Piano is slightly more advanced, and teaches concepts like sight reading and two-handed playing. Pop songs are included in their repertoire, so as a beginner you can play some of the hits.

Then there are platforms that are basically video games. For example, Rock Prodigy is ‘your personal guitar tutor.’ The app aims to integrate lessons, skill acquisition, videos and live assessments of your playing. You can get scored based on your accuracy. Think Guitar Hero for learning the real guitar. This platform is designed to take beginners to an intermediate level. For this and many platforms like it, you can plug in your acoustic or electric guitar.

While you’re practicing, consider using Sheet Music Scanner. It scans sheet music using your phone or tablet’s camera and plays it back to you. Just choose the instrument, pick the speed, and give it a go!