Want to use Harmonia in your aural skills classroom? Follow this guide

By Rachel Mann - June 03, 2020

Harmonia is a useful tool for teaching and learning many ear training fundamentals. Harmonia works very well for creating interval, scale, and chord-quality identification drills and exercises.

You can use our in-app score generators to create simple interval exercises to test student comprehension of melodic or harmonic, simple or compound intervals. You can also create exercises for interval chains and short melodic fragments and incipits.

I generally use Harmonia to test more fundamental aural skills such as scales, intervals, interval chains, and triad- and seventh-chord quality identification. I also use it to create exercises for identifying cadences. I don’t use it much for melodic dictation or harmonic dictation. However, if you find something that works for your classroom, please feel free to share. And, if you think of anything that might be a quick software tweak to make the process easier, let us know. I know that we are considering adding a “record audio” button in the app. If we could use our in-app generators to create intervals or harmonies and record the audio, it would shorten the process of making aural skills assessments.  

It is possible to create melodic dictation exercises via Harmonia, but not rhythmic dictation. And, to be clear, melodic dictations would only be able to assess pitch placement, not rhythmic durations or attack points. Harmonia basically hides or shows pitches of predetermined durations. We do not yet have the capability to alter rhythms. This is a feature we are working on for future release.

 

To create a melodic dictation, you would need to compose or transcribe a melody in the notation software of your choice (Finale, Sibelius, MuseScore, Noteflight, etc.) and then import the MusicXML in Harmonia. (Alternatively, you can use the in-app pitch generators to create whole-note melodies or interval chains if you like.) When in the notation software, be sure to also save the sound file, because you can add this to your personal media library on our website. Then, to make a dictation assessment, select “pitch composition” to turn it into an exercise. Hide the desired pitches so that students can then fill them in after listening to the audio. Add the audio from your media collection and configure it to meet your needs.

 
  • Directions for creating and preparing MusicXML files may be found here
  • Directions for turning scores into assessments may be found here
  • Directions for creating a pitch composition exercise may be found here (select pitch NOT pitch class.)
  • Directions for adding and configuring audio may be found here
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It is possible to also use Harmonia for harmonic dictations, but each voice would have to be assessed separately as a pitch composition exercise. So, if you typically require students to dictate the soprano and or bass lines of a chord progression, you would need to make a pitch composition exercise for the soprano voice and then a separate one for the bass voice. (You could still stream the combined audio.) Details such as roman numeral and inversion could be handled in a series of multiple-choice questions to follow the exercise. You can see an example of this at the bottom left of the poster found here.

 
  • Directions for adding multiple choice exercises may be found here