[Smt-talk] Aural skills supplement

Ann K. Blombach ann at macgamut.com
Sun Mar 14 12:16:22 PDT 2010

Just a quick note to mention that MacGAMUT does allow for modal melodic
dictation and atonal melodic dictation, although with the exception of a
little atonal dictation included in the Musicians Guide Series melodic
dictation library, modal and atonal melodic dictation levels are not
specifically included in the several dictation libraries that come with
MacGAMUT.  If anyone has developed modal melodic dictation exercises for
MacGAMUT, hopefully they'd be willing to share them with you.  I know
instructors at Capital University developed a modal harmonic dictation
library, but I'm not sure if they developed a modal melodic dictation
library as well.  

As for Harmonic Dictation, I know some instructors have used the existing
MacGAMUT capabilities to create atonal harmonic dictation exercises by
"repurposing" the existing set of harmonic analysis symbols to allow
students to enter the required analysis.  For example, if your exercises
don't include augmented sixth chords, students could use a chart reminding
them that they need to enter an Italian 6th for V+, a French 6th for V9, and
a German 6th for ct7 for that level.  At best, it's a very poor substitute
for what you'd really like to have MacGAMUT do, and at worst, it seems to me
like it could seriously confuse students, but instructors who have done this
kind of thing say it actually does do what they want it to do.  In this
case, you'd need to create your own exercises for your students to use.  (I
do appreciate your suggestions for extending the use of MacGAMUT--just not
enough hours in the day to do everything I'd like to do as fast as I'd like
to do it!)

Finally, if you'd like to develop your dictation exercises, and if you're
stopped by the fact that MacGAMUT's Enter/Edit programs currently work only
in Classic mode on Macs, you may be encouraged to know I'm finishing up a
Windows version of Enter Edit that will allow you to edit the various
existing libraries or create your own new libraries for Rhythmic, Melodic,
and Harmonic Dictation.  (The new MacGAMUT Enter/Edit for Windows runs fine
in Boot Camp on Macs, which effectively makes the same version available for
both platforms.)  If anyone would like to beta test this new version when
it's ready, please let me know.


Ann K. Blombach
ann at macgamut.com
MacGAMUT Music Software, Inc.

Visit us on the web at www.macgamut.com
Toll-free Phone (US and Canada):  1-800-305-8731
Toll-free Fax (US and Canada):  1-877-370-1074

-----Original Message-----
From: smt-talk-bounces at societymusictheory.org
[mailto:smt-talk-bounces at societymusictheory.org] On Behalf Of Matthew
Sent: Friday, March 12, 2010 12:59 AM
To: smt-talk at societymusictheory.org
Subject: [Smt-talk] Aural skills supplement

Dear collective wisdom,

I currently teach the complete Aural Skills sequence at Adams State
College and am struggling deciding how to supplement the final Aural
Skills course. The first 5 weeks of the course covers linear/extended
tertian harmonies and expanded tonicization, while the remaining 10 weeks
covers melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic practices of the 20th century. 20th
century topics include modal, whole-tone, and octatonic melodic dictations
and quartal, quintal, and polychordal harmonic progressions. The program
MacGamut has been a great tool for the preceding Aural Skills courses, but
is of little use for the above mentioned topics. Does anyone know of an
ear training program that effectively covers these topics? Has anyone
found success creating a supplemental Aural Skills listening CD? I am
hoping that later versions of MacGamut incorporate, at the very least,
modal melodic dictations and harmonic progressions with chords such as the
V+, V9, and ct7. This course meets only twice per week (as is usually the
case) and out of class practice will likely be very beneficial. I look
forward to hearing recommendations.


Dr. Matthew Schildt
Assistant Professor of Music
Adams State College
Alamosa, CO 81102

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