What is this?

Music Explorer is a simple application to explore and learn music theory. It's designed to see how notes, chords and scales fit together, more than as a piano to be played.

Motivation

My first instrument was the guitar, and I never learned much music theory. Many years later, when I tried to learn a bit, I realised that seeing notes, chords and scales on a piano made everything click and make sense. Hence, I thought that to learn a bit more, it would be much more practical to see music theory on a piano, and I built this application. I hope it helps you, too.

How do I use it?

On startup, all keys are dimmed. You can select a scale on the left, or type a chord name on the right, and the corresponding keys will be highlighted.

When you choose a scale, you will see the basic chords that fit in that scale. Clicking on their names will play them and mark the different notes that comprise them. These notes will have a mark stating the role of the note in the chord: "R" for "root", "M3" for "major third", "P5" for "perfect fifth" and so on. If you have a scale selected and you play a chord that doesn't fit, the offending chord notes will be highlighted in red.

If you know the chords to a song, you can try typing the chord names, and then guessing the song melody by playing the notes in each chord.

Technical details

Music Explorer is written in JavaScript (ES6 to be more precise) and React, and uses the fantastic teoria JavaScript music library, Browserify and other code and tools. I got the piano markup and CSS from this codepen by Gary Paul, and the piano note samples from Vibrationdata.com.

The full source code is available on GitHub. It is licensed under the MIT license (see below).

License

Copyright (c) 2015 Esteban Manchado Velázquez <emanchado@demiurgo.org>

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.