An app has been created that provides the exact pitch frequencies for the bagpipe. The app has been produced by Reel Ear, a company based in Valencia, Spain, that specialises in music education tools and courses.

The company says its Mircrotone Ear Training Web App is useful for instruments that are not traditionally tuned to equal temperament pitches.

According to Reel Ear Director Mattie O’Boyle, “We set out to correct what we perceived as a crucial deficiency in ear training education. Microtones pervade almost all of humanities musical experience and expression, and yet musicians never have had a tool to practice them efficiently. So we designed an app that any singer or musician can use irregardless of their musical skill level, style of music or instrument.

Mattie O’Boyle.”

“Now bagpipers of all levels can have infinite, call and response dictations based on their choices of musical variables – with the exact pitch frequencies that they need. We are finally free from equal temprament ear training.

“All musicians can now train themselves to hear, sing and play any pitch, not just the limited sonic soundscape of the 12 tones in equal temperament.”

Unlike other ear training apps on the market, this one is not confined to Equal Temperament. The Microtone app comes with some bagpipe presets; additionally, pipers can modify the pitches according to the exact specifics of their instrument. Finally, if pipers want to add some additional presets, the company can do that.

Reel Ear Education Director, Maria Vazquez, said: “When we designed this new app, we focused on
putting total control over the possible pitch combinations into the hands of the musicians, while still
achieving a relatively uncluttered interface that users could easily navigate, even on a cell phone.”

The app is easy to use, modestly priced and comes with a 15-day free trial.

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Dan Nevans, the well known piper based in Scotland, says he is on track with the publication of his debut book, Piobaireachd is for Everyone.

The National Piping Centre teacher tells us he hopes to launch the book at Piping Live! on August 10.

The book is essentially a study of the social, historical and cultural context of our music. It is written in a none-academic and friendly style. In 15 short chapters, Nevans describes the journey the music has taken from the Dark Ages to its elevated place in the traditional music culture of the 21st century.