Monday, July 9, 2012

Visualizing Music - The Best Apps

Source: NodeBeat
These days, an iPad and five minutes are all you need to experiment with trippy, light-bending music interfaces. Anyone can become an instant composer. The proliferation of interactive sound apps has opened up countless lesson ideas for music instruction. Schools blessed with 1:1 tablet capability can set their students free to explore and create. Other options include BYOD meet-ups or group sharing. Even without hand-held devices, a teacher could show the functions on an interactive whiteboard to inspire children outside of the classroom. At the very least, the apps featured below are fun for anyone, whether serious musician, techy gear-head, or occasional fiddler.

Visual Music Apps

NodeBeat - iOS Music Sequencer from AffinityBlue on Vimeo.


NodeBeat is a visual music app from AffinityBlue where the user manipulates nodes and clusters to create cadenced tunes. Self-described as "intuitive and fun," the app is certainly easy to use. Check out the video above to hear a sample of the tunes.

Source: Orphion


The Orphion app combines string and percussion elements to express feelings and polyphonic music. The experience was created by a German jazz saxophonist with the Rowling-esque name of Bastus Trump. As Fast Company's Co.Design blog noted, "it's a Venn Diagram that you can play."

An Incredible Way to Teach Music Using iPads in the Classroom 

This is not an "app" per se, but Neil Johnston of Store Van Music used a combination of tablets and traditional instruments to generate an upbeat, commercial anthem from a room full of students. This article from Edudemic features a catchy video of the kids in action. The resulting song is now even available for purchase.

Source: Interval Apps


Thicket triggers sounds and images by swiping fingers across the screen. It is equal parts toy and performance tool, with stunning modes such as "Cut Whispers." You can check out a demonstration by watching the preview video.

Finally, this Leo Burnett television ad, called "Love Unlimited," does a beautiful job of showing the potential of interactive apps in a human ensemble. We're not promoting (and have no affiliation with) Sprint as a cellular network. The visual choir of devices, though, is inescapably uplifting.

Check out our other posts about teaching with visual music.


  1. Great List..!! Music visualization or music visualisation, a feature found in electronic music visualizers and media player software, generates animated imagery based on a piece of music. Have some beautiful music to share with the world? Broadcast it live to local listeners or around the world using our free MappStream Application for iPhone/iPad.

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