REVIEW – InTune iPhone app

InTune 1

InTune is a simple game app that challenges your ability to hear the difference between two tones.  The tones start a semitone (half-step) apart and get closer in frequency as the game progresses. The app comes from the music department of Wittenberg University in Springfield Ohio and is the brainchild of Professor of Music Daniel Kazez.

The app undoubtedly forces you to listen carefully to pitch and intonation.  As the tones got closer together (and they eventually get very close indeed), I almost stopped thinking consciously about whether the second was higher or lower, and relied instead on a feeling of whether the sound was brighter or darker.  My best result yet is 0.65%.

I’ve no idea whether using InTune could improve your intonation, but it’s quite fun (I tried it with my chamber choir – they all ended up shouting “higher” or “lower” as if they were on a game show) and at 69p (99c) it’s not a major investment.  Musicians being the competitive beings they are, I imagine there’s lots of fun to be had challenging your friends and seeing if they can come close to your best score.

Personally, I would happily pay a slightly higher price point and have some additional features.  The tone is always the same (a basic digital “beep”) as is the pitch.  I think InTune might be a better training tool if users could select different digital instrument sounds, eg violin or piano, and different starting pitches.  The latter feature would be particularly welcome as we hear intonation very differently at the top and bottom of the spectrum.

Overall, this is a welcome app and I hope it undergoes further development in the future.

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