Very Exciting Prospects in iPad Music Notation

I was contacted by developer about their app Symphonix Evolution. This is one more app entry into the music notation category.

This app does something new that I have been waiting for in a music notation app. It allows me to hit the record button, play the keyboard and then I get music notation! This is the really exciting news! I’ve been waiting for this capability since I bought my first iPad. I just figured that it would be either Finale or Sibelius that would make it happen first!

The bad news is that the notation that is the result of such a recording makes me remember the first time I ever saw a music notation app back when I was in college (think late 80’s!) Now don’t get me wrong, we were pretty excited about the capabilities back then as well! The problem is that there are some weird rests that end up needing to be edited out. There are some weird rhythms that show up too, things that no musician would want to read. Of course technically these things are all correct, that’s exactly what I played – it’s just not what I want to see. Software notation programs have come a long ways since the 80’s! Now we are spoiled! We get to use Sibelius, record a part, and have Sibelius interpret it for us into a sensible piece of music.

What makes me so excited about what is going on here is that if Symphonix Evolution can make this happen then I KNOW Finale and Sibelius are hard at work doing their magic too!

Back to Symphonix Evolution. I think that this app holds promise for use in a music class. It is a 16 track sequencer, MIDI is fully supported, Music XML support is coming soon as well. You can also input notes one at a time to get exactly the look you want from the beginning. There is much potential here. Here is a YouTube video that talks about some of the features.

I will also say that this app does not feel like a polished app. There were many times I was left frustrated about a button that would not work well (probably because of my fat fingers) or else I had to sit there pushing a few different buttons to try to figure how to do something. There were times I just couldn’t figure out how to do something, which after using the app for a while I’m sure would not be a problem. But students in a music class are going to have the same thoughts and frustrations as I did.

One other downfall I believe is that the app is $12.99. This is a pretty high price in my eyes.

I’m not sure where this app falls in my list of useful or not useful. Of course in my situation, I own Sibelius. So if I want to create music notation I am going to be doing that on my Mac. If I had students that did not own Sibelius though I might suggest this app. It does not take up the absurd amount of space that Notion does, that’s for sure! Of course this app does support MIDI files. That means there are a zillion MIDI files on the web that students could be downloading, importing into Symphonix Evolution and turning into musical notation for further study. All on an iPad!


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