EarMaster is a music software launched in 1996 by Danish editor Miditec, who changed its name to EarMaster ApS in 2005. The first prototype version of the software was DOS-based, but since 1996, it has continuously evolved with the Microsoft Windows OS. In November 2008, EarMaster became multi-platform with the release of a version for Mac OS X. The main focus of EarMaster is ear training, even though EarMaster seems to tend towards a more general approach to music teaching since v. 4.0, covering a broader spectrum of music theory and practice. Three editions of EarMaster exist: Earmaster Essential, EarMaster Pro (standard version), and EarMaster School (educational version).
EarMaster 5.0 is composed of 3 training modes: two sets of lessons called “tutors”, and a customization mode. While the first tutor (called “standard tutor”) is rather general and its lessons focus on most of the aspects of ear training, the second tutor is exclusively focusing on the particularities of Jazz music (e.g. jazz chords and swing rhythms). With the customization mode the user can define custom lessons i.e. the content of each exercise. The disciplines covered by EarMaster 5.0 are interval singing, interval comparison, interval identification, scale identification, chord identification, chord inversion identification, chord progression identification, rhythm dictation, rhythm reading (sight reading), rhythm imitation, rhythm correction and melodic dictation.
Questions are answered with on-screen interfaces (staff, piano, guitar, bass, violin, cello, banjo and several other string instruments), a multiple choice option, a MIDI instrument, or through a microphone (voice, clapping or acoustic instruments).
Notes are named in EarMaster using either the Anglo-Saxon note naming system (A, B, C, etc.), or Solfege (Movable Do and Fixed Do, using the syllables: Do, Re, Mi, etc.), which makes it compatible with the Kodály method.
The results of each lesson are recorded and analyzed in a statistics window, and can be exported as a data file to the teacher by email, if used in an educational environment for example. The statistics are also used in the High Score board of the program.
EarMaster 5 is distributed as a CD-ROM and the size of the program is between 12 and 14 MB, depending on the edition installed (Pro or School). The software is compatible with the Microsoft Windows OS (98, ME, 2000, XP and Vista), Mac OS X 10.4.11 or superior (powered by Intel or PowerPC processors) (since 11/27/08) and available in 16 languages.
The sound input options are MIDI and acoustic audio via the Sound2Midi technology, which converts audio signals into Midi messages. The Playback sounds are produced by the MIDI sound engine available in the computer running the EarMaster software, and are controlled according to the General Midi (GM) charts.
The School version of EarMaster 5 is intended to be used in an educational environment. It can be installed in a network and includes functionalities needed by teachers to make assignments and track results for many users at the same time. It does also contain functionalities for remote teaching and result tracking making it e-learning compatible.
The prototype of EarMaster was a DOS-based software programmed in 1994 by Hans Jakobsen. The first proprietary version of EarMaster was EarMaster 1.0, released in 1996 by Miditec. It was distributed by Roland in Scandinavia and available in 5 languages. EarMaster 2.0 was launched in 1997 and was the first version to be commercialized online. In 1998, EarMaster develops the first educational version of its ear training software, EarMaster School 2.5, in collaboration with 29 music teachers. EarMaster Pro 4.0 and EarMaster School 4.0 follow in 2000, with a new interface and more options. The current version of EarMaster is EarMaster 5.0 in both Pro and School versions, released in 2005. The release of EarMaster 5.0 also marks a name change for the editing company from Miditec to EarMaster ApS.
- University of Nevada, Reno (USA)
- University of Kansas (USA)
- ESMUC Escuela de Música de Cataluña (Spain)
- Conservatorio Profesional de Música "Joaquín Turina", Madrid (Spain)
- Heidelberg University (Germany)
- Music School of the US Navy (USA)
- ESMUC Escuela de Música de Cataluña (Spain)
- Conservatorio Superior Joaquín Turina de Madrid (Spain)
- Ecole de musique de la ville de Challans (France)
- University of Toronto (Canada)
- CEGEP de Sherbrooke (Canada)
- CEGEP de Saint-Laurent (Canada)
- National Conservatory of Hanoi (Vietnam)
- Music Conservatory of Lisbon (Portugal)
- University of Leeds (UK)
- Buckleitner, Warren (2006), EarMaster Pro 5 - Children’s Technology Review Technology Integration for Teachers, October 2006 vol. 11 no. 2, p. 3
- Music Educators Journal, March 2008 vol. 94 no. 4, pp. 26–27
- Sander, Florian (2007), Earmaster Pro 5 - Lernsoftware zur musikalischen Gehörbildung Multimediales Lernen – Masterstudiengang Medienautor – Hochschule der Medien