Wolfram Music Theory Course Assistant Education App Review (iOS, $1.99)


Languages: English

Seller: Wolfram Group LLC

Interactive tour and bug fixes. Retina iPad, iPhone 5 support.

Customer Ratings

Current Version:
2 Ratings
All Versions:
45 Ratings


Learning music theory? Don't go anywhere without this handy music reference from Wolfram—a world leader in technical software! Are you taking a basic course in music theory, just starting out in band, or learning an instrument? Now you can learn about notes, intervals, scales, and chords and even hear what they sound like!

- Hear and view accidentals and octaves anywhere on the staff.
- Choose from both common scales and hundreds of more advanced scales.
- Explore triads and basic major, minor, and seventh chords.
- Input up to four chords and hear their progression.
- Learn how to identify music intervals by their name and what they sound like.
- Find interval inversions for every interval type.
- Reference musical terms like "andantino" and "solfa" in the abbreviated music dictionary.

The Wolfram Music Theory Course Assistant is powered by the Wolfram|Alpha computational knowledge engine and is created by Wolfram Research, makers of Mathematica—the world's leading software system for mathematical research and education.

The Wolfram Music Theory Course Assistant draws on the computational power of Wolfram|Alpha's supercomputers over a 2G, 3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi connection.

Customer Reviews

  • Not sure what to think

    by NAZ Music

    I think that the app is a bit misnnamed. I don't see it much of an assistant, but instead more of a (almost mathematical) reference tool. Look up something like C Major scale, and you will be given the obvious information, such as the names of the notes in the scale, a drawing of it on a staff. But then you start to get into the less common info (alternate names, frequencies of the pitches in the scale, midi note numbers) and diving into the esoteric (results of various set theory operations). As a music teacher, this is not an app that I would likely use. But, as a composer, some things are quite interesting. There is an almost encyclopedic set of scales that are fascinating to explore. Some areas are very disappointing. The section entitled "Science of Music" turns out to be merely a tiny dictionary of a handful of technical terms, all with brief definitions that would teach little to the average musician. Likewise for the section entitled "Song Types." For instance, I would expect a definition of gavotte to speak more of the typical rhythms involved, and what a missed opportunity in that no examples were offered. I was surprised that this same section didn't have an entry for "gigue." The interface is annoying at times. To look up a word, you must first identify its category (is it a style of music or a song type?), and then find the word in a picker menu. If you can not find the word, you may be left wondering if it is in another category. It is also very limiting that you must have a web connection in order for the app to work. Frankly, I do not see enough information presented by the app to merit an Internet connection. The contents could easily be downloaded. And there does not seem to be any complicated aspect of the interface that would be served well by centralized processing. This is not an app that I expect to use, although I might pick it up once and a while to explore its scales. I am not sure what Wolfram had in mind for this app. Perhaps they expect to grow the knowledge base online over time so that the app will evolve to a comprehensive knowledge source. In the meantime, I'd recommend waiting before purchasing it.

  • Wonderful

    by Newmexico12345

    Great app- especially the many scales!

  • Not very helpful...

    by SolovusUltima

    Most information is nonmusic specific and this app really has no "theory" which was I was looking for. Not worth 1.99 for the scales--which is more or less its only good feature.

  • Good app

    by VietNamWar

    I love it

  • Great app

    by masterlockstfu12

    Nice app, but I would've liked to see a bass clef representation in the calculation. I'm a native trombone player and I read bass clef normally, so it would be a lot easier to have that rather than transposing treble clef. Overall it's a fantastic application though!

  • Wonderful!

    by Chris Stephens

    Why a great app - lovin it!

  • Okay.

    by ruchrana

    It's an okay app. It's basically just consolidating all things music from wolfram alpha into a single app. As a beginner to music theory, it's kinda handy. But not a must buy.

  • Useless

    by JmarioCV

    Do not waste your money. Cumbersome interface with, in my opinion, little useful content. It needs to talk to the mother ship to do something as simple as the playing a single note. The "dictionary" implementation is simply ludicrous. Not worthy of the Wolfram name (which I have great respect for). review written Jan 13, 2014

  • Too elementary

    by Lkmorris

    Not detailed enough to be helpful with college level music theory. I expected so much more.

  • Thoughts from a musician and a music teacher...

    by hollyfigueroa

    Stick with mathematics, Wolfram. No one does it better. Since math and music are inextricably linked, I wrongly assumed that Wolfram's music theory app would be as thoughtfully organized as their other sub apps (calculus, algebra, etc). Not even close. I deleted this memory sucker pretty quickly, since I already have access to Wikipedia. So...please make this app free, or better yet, in an update of this app, make it music centric instead of, as another reviewer so aptly called it, a "smaller dictionary".

  • Garbage

    by Gerard Uht

    This is, without a doubt, the single most useless app. It's a dictionary-that's it. Though it aggregates a collection of words relative to music to define - there are no examples. It defines a "fugue" as both a dissociative psych disorder and a style of composition. Thanks wolfram for a smaller dictionary.

  • No sound

    by User123456pojnhgfc

    I want my money back.

  • Trivial - and update broke it

    by laconic2

    Not worth your trouble even before the latest update, which breaks it so it won't even launch!

  • Disappointed

    by Cognisense

    I have always held the Wolfram software company in high regard - ever since the early days of Mathematica - so I had admittedly high expectations for this app. Unfortunately, this app disappoints on all fronts. It is painfully slow. It is of surprisingly little substance. It requires a network connection for every feature. Apps like this are a vivid reminder of why I hate Apple's no refund policy.

  • Terrible!

    by Camas Band Nerd

    Poorly designed. Definitions copied out of a non-music dictionary. Others poorly worded or just wrong! Pitch and interval sections are too laborious for anyone to learn anything. It takes 4 steps just to get to middle C! This app is of no help and a waste of money.

  • Oh man

    by Dranorter

    As with many Wolfram Alpha powered apps, this is not even as good as just going straight to Wolfram Alpha, which is free. Why pay for something which just accesses Alpha?

  • Broken

    by rkmark

    Sound doesn't work!

  • Slow and unstable

    by Marcelo::Miranda

    Right after download I was very satified, even though I could not understand why it would keep accessing the web for each request. It took longer than I wish and it would improve a lot if it could work offline. But then... Now it is really hard to get response from the servers. 99% of the time I get a timeout and end up empty handed. A shame I hope Wolfram fixes asap.

  • Meh.

    by DahcSiwel

    Not much here yet, especially when compared to other Wolfram apps. The ability to play notes and scales is a nice addition though.

  • Shallow Information

    by Enricochet

    This app is amazingly non music specific. Definitions of terms are not specific to music and do not include musical notation examples...very general. For example, the scales search does not include the Melodic Minor form...one of the great 48 every musician learns....hmmmm....Don't buy, wait for something written by music instructors.

  • Wanting more functionality

    by Marcussssssss

    I wish all intervals did not start at the middle c octave, I wish you could lower the octave and the look at different intervals.

  • Way too slow

    by liumiemie

    And not very user friendly.

  • Bleh....

    by spearhead7

    Wolfram has been an interesting supplier for years, but this one does not measure up during initial tests. S-L-O-W, for starters. Clearly a low poriority computation on Wolfram's servers, I experienced several connection time-outs awaiting results for mundane queries on Saturday evening, such as C diminished triad display. As mentioned in other reviews, it's just a skin for connecting to Wolfram's computation engine. I want to use this in lessons and rehearsals, but it's nowhere near fast enough. Another thing I could learn to dislike intensely is this: you set up a query, you press Compute, you wait, the result comes back, it's nice, but nowhere in the result is there an indication of what (chord, interval, scale) you asked for. Labeled results are a pretty darn basic scientific and musical behavior, especially when it takes 15-30 seconds to receive the results. I expect that Wolfram will need to upgrade this app in the near future. Wait befor buying. iOS 4.0.2 - iPhone 3GS - lightly loaded WiFi

  • Have it compatible for iOS 3!

    by ajnethery

    Have it compatible for iOS 3!

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