Tablet and Smartphone Apps for Music Education: Android and iOS

Below is a selected list of music teaching and creation resources selected from 1000's of tablet and smartphone apps for Android and iOS (iPhone & iPad).  I do not pretend to know all the best apps out there for music education. The list below is a selective based on what I've seen, what I’ve used, and what catches my eye as unique.   This list is biased to iOS because that is what I use the most and from my perspective where the music industry is focused for the more sophisticated apps.  With the most recent update for 2015 I selected apps that receive greater than 3 stars from user reviews from the iTunes store or Google Play Store. Further, I selected only apps that are new or have been updated from 2013 to present.

Note: All of the links below lead to either iTunes for iPhone and iPad (iOS) apps, Google Play for Android (AD) apps, or directly to the developer website.  Many apps have "lite," "demo," "free," or non-HD versions for no or little cost to permit you to try them before paying for the full versions. Some are free but then have in-app add-ons for extra cost. The links go to the full Paid versions but you should look for entry-level versions as well. Click on the AD or iOS links next to the titles below or "video" to view a video clip for the app. I hope you find the information below useful. Please feel free to email me from the Contact tab on this website with contributions or edits or just cheerful notes that you find this work useful.  Enjoy!

David Brian Williams (Feb 2015) Note: Titles in "blue" are a few newer apps on my list worth noting!


Table of Contents


Table Abbreviations

iOS = Apple's operating system for iPhone and iPad
AD = Android operating system developed by Google
IAA = Apple's Inter-App Audio
AudioBus = Third party connectivity developed prior to IAA
MusicXML = universal file format for notation files
MIDI = Music Instrument Digital Interface thru USB or wireless;
Note: functional MIDI on Android dependent on version of Android OS and the device's hardware implementation.


Cost Codes

Paid+ = more than $15
Paid = $0.99 up to ~ $15
Free
In-App= features purchased as add-ons to the app
Sub = subscription fee required

Elementary/General Music [back to the top ]
Category
Title
iOS
AD
Video
Cost
Study & Listening The History of Jazz
Paid
Ken Burns American history
Free
  A Jazzy Day
  GSCE UK Music Curriculum app: GCSE Music Revision: AoS1 on Western Art Music
Paid
Oxford Music Dictionary
Paid
The Orchestra
Paid
Beethoven's 9th Symphony, The Liszt Sonata, Vivaldi's Four Seasons, The Orchestra (four separate apps)
Free/In-App
  Masterpieces of Classical Music
Paid
  Classical Music I and II: Master's Collection (Two separate volumes)
1 & 2
Free
  Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
Free
Music Making
Toca Band
Paid
  TuneTrain
Free
 
Glitchamaphone
Paid
Little Fox Music Box
Paid
  Patatap (based on website patatap.com)
Paid
  Loopseque for Kids (See Loopseque below as well)
1 & 2
Free
  Isle of Tune Mobile
Paid
Basic Skills
Music Flash Class
Paid
  Music Note Flashcards
Paid
  Music Minds: Flashcards with Calvin & Zoey
Free
  Music Learning Lab and Learning Lab Pro
In-App
  Staff Wars a game for learning the note names in various clefs (recommend to me by several elementary music teachers)
Paid
  Rhythmic Dictation game for younger music learners
Paid
  Music Theory Helper
In-App
  Kids Piano
Paid
Instruments Kids Music Instrument Sounds
In-App
 
Glitchamaphone
Paid
  Xylophone (iOS), Let's Xylophone (AD), and Xylophone Piano for Kids (AD)
1 & 2
Paid
  SMULE Sing! Karaoke, AutoRap, Magic Piano (iOS & AD); Ocarina, Guitar & Glee (iOS only)
Paid
  Music Sparkles: All in One Musical Instruments Collection
In-App
Orchestra Websites Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Free
  Los Angeles Philharmonic
Free


Music Theory and Basic Skills
[back to the top ]
Category
Title
iOS
AD
Video
Cost
Ear Training Auralia Interval Recognition (Rising Software)
Paid
  Tenuto
Paid
  Interval Recognition
Free
  Ear Trainer and Ear Trainer Lite
Paid/Free
  Musical Ears
Paid
  Complete Ear Trainer
In-App
  Music Dictation
Paid
  Ear Wizard
In-App
Rhythm Training Musition Rhythm Tapping (Rising Software)
Paid
  Music Rhythm Master
In-App
  myRhythm

Paid

Theory Study
Theory Lessons
Paid
  Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro
Paid
  Score Master and Score Master Lite
Paid/Free
  Note Trainer and Note Trainer Lite
Paid/Free
  My Piano Assistant (reference book of chords-with all inversions, scales and intervals)
Free
  Musition Note Reading and Musition Symbols (Rising Software)
1 & 2
1 & 2
Paid
  ScaleNet using network modeling to teach relationships between scales, keys, and harmony
Free
Sight Reading Auralia Interval Singing (Rising Software)
Paid
  Sonoptic drills and etudes for piano, voice, and instruments with feedback
Paid
  Music Tutor SightRead
Free/Paid

Music Aids & Utilities [back to the top ]
Category
Title
iOS
AD
Video
Cost
Tuners & Metronomes Tonal Energy Chromatic Tuner & Metronome (much favored by music teachers)
Paid
  ClearTune (this is my favorite iPhone tuner)
Paid
  n-Track Tuner & Spectrum Analyzer
Paid/Free
  Tempo & Tempo Lite (this is my preferred iPhone metronome)
Paid/Free
  nTrack Metronome
iOS
In-App
  Mobile Metronome & Mobile Metronome Pro
Free/Paid
Swiss-Knife Do Everything Tools APS MusicMaster & MusicMaster Pro; Swiss-army-knife of tools for music teacher: tuner to metronome, to fingerings and more.
Free/Paid
  Best Music Set
Free
Acoustic Tools
Soundbeam oscilloscope
Paid
  OsciPrime Oscilloscope
Paid
  SoundMeter and SoundMeter Pro
Free/Paid
  Decibel meter
Paid
  Spectrum Analyzer
Paid
Fingerings & Charts Fingerings for Brass & Winds (this is another of my staple apps)
Paid
  Fingerings (Clarinet & Flute), Bassoon, Trumpet, and more instruments
Free
  Fingering Strings
Paid
  DrumDizzle Sticking Notation and Rude for drum rudiments
1 & 2
Paid
  DrumSense and Dummer's Pocket Guide
1 & 2
Paid
Smart Practice Tools Sonoptic is a unique app to facilitate practice with live feedback for performance of scales, etudes, and more (very innovative)
Paid
  Amazing Slow Downer (practice with tempo change maintaining pitch)
Paid
  AnyTune Pro (practice with tempo change maintaining pitch)
In-App
 

JamUp Player and JamUp Pro XT (guitar play along with music from your iTunes library; requires JamUp Plug guitar interface)

Paid
  Maestro XL for conducting training
Paid
  Capo Touch (app analyzes song recordings and creates chord tabs from audio file)
Paid
  SInging Vocal Warm Ups
Paid
  Vocal Trainer for vocal warm-ups
Paid
Other DrillBook & DrillBookNext for planning & charting marching band maneuvers
Paid

Notation
[back to the top ]
Category
Title
Interface
iOS
AD
Video
Cost
eScore Readers: Play along Fakebook (play with, transpose chord progressions for more than a thousand of classic jazz standards, add your own, and more)
Paid
  iReal Pro (intelligent fakebook with interactive, play-along chord charts with changable styles, transposition, practice loops, more)
Paid
eScore Readers: Score reading forScore (my choice for iPad music reading along with my AirTurn pedals & GigEasy stand mount)
Paid
  MusicReader PDF and MusicReader Pro (desktop Mac & PC with iPad music library management & score reader)
Paid
  NextPage (basic budget PDF score reader with many features)
Paid
  UnRealBook (basic budget PDF score reader with many features)
Paid/Free
  MobileSheets and MobileSheetsFree music reader
 
Paid
  Orpheus music reader (basic music reader with common features)
Paid
  Musicnotes (based on access to large commercial library of scores for purchase)
In-App
eScores: Interactive feedback SmartMusic from MakeMusic brings this unique, long-standing practice support to the iPad (requires a subscription for free app)
Free
  Tonara interactive scores that follow performance and adjust to tempo and location in music (score free, paid, or DIY PDFs)  
Free/In-App
  Wolfie interactive practice app for piano students including recording of performance  
iOS
Sub
Notation Symphony Pro (multi-stave notation app for the iPad now MIDI compatible)
MIDI, MusicXML
Paid
  Notion for iPad (mobile version of the desktop PreSonus Notion notation software)
MIDI, MusicXML
Paid
  Ensemble Composer & Ensemble Composer Pro
MusicXML
Free/Paid
  Neuratron NotateMe and NoteMe Now (use stylus or hand notation for entry, then converted to notation symbols); Photoscore included as an add-in for converting iPhone/iPad photos of printed music into notation.
MusicXML
Paid/Free
  Noteflight now accessible for tablet web browsers; HTML5 rather than Flash based
MIDI, MusicXML
Free/Sub
  Finale SongBook
Paid
  Sibelius AVID Scorch (perform scores created with Sibelius--see issues noted in iTunes reviews)
Paid
  SmartScore NoteReader & Reader Premier (scan sheet music and convert to MusicXML, MIDI, or SmartScore format)
MusicXML
Free/Paid
Composing Helpers
Chordy (chord player app for exploring chords and chord progressions)
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Paid
  ProChords (unique app that helps write chord progressions based on database of songs)
MIDI
Paid
  iMashup (add your own music to edit, mix, and recreate mashups)
Paid
  Chordbot Pro and ChordBot Lite (songwriting tool and electronic backup band)
MIDI, ABus
Paid/Free
  ChordTouch (explore chords and chord progressions)
Free

Instruments Traditional & Electronic
[back to the top ]
Category
Title
Interface
iOS
AD
Video
Cost
Traditional Instruments 50 in 1 Piano (50 different instrument options from the piano keyboard with MIDI option; very flexible)
MIDI
Paid
many more...
iGrand Piano for IPad (professional concert quality piano samples; you pay for the quality )
MIDI, ABus
Paid+
  Musical Piano & Musical Pro w/Piano (good basic piano set for a reasonable cost)
MIDI
Free/Paid
  Pianist Pro (good basic piano set for a reasonable cost)
MIDI
Paid
  Pianist HD
MIDI
Free
  SMULE Sing! Karaoke, AutoRap, Magic Piano (iOS & AD); Ocarina, Guitar & Glee (iOS) (imaginative apps to perform or play or sing along--try them all!)
Paid
  iBone (play along with iTunes music with simulated trombone)
Paid
  iTrump (play along with iTunes music with simulated trumpet)
Paid
  WIVI Band 15-in-1 & Wivi Band Free (how cool it is turning your iPhone into your choice of wind instruments)
Paid
  WI Guitar (iOS)
Paid
  Real Guitar & Real Guitar Free
Paid/Free
  Real Ukulele and Real Ukulele Free
Paid/Free
  Rock Prodigy offers interactive, guided instruction for learning to play the acoustic or electric guitar (works with a variety of guitar interfaces to the iPad/iPhone)  
Free/In-app
  Bongos Free/HD (iOS) & Congos & Bongos (AD)
Free
  Instant Drummer (purchase various versions in different drum and band styles)
Paid
  RealDrum & DrumKit
1 & 2
Free
  Harmonica
Paid
  John Cage Piano (explore John Cage prepared piano performing)
Free
  iSymphonic Orchestra, CMP Grand Piano, Oriental Strings, iCathedral Organ digital samples by Kurt Ader from Crudbyte
MIDI, IAA
Paid/Paid+
Ethnic Instruments Kalimba Free
Free
many more.... Janggu Drums
Free
  Gamelan
Free
Electronic Instruments iKaossilator (Korg) and many powerful Korg synth devices in virtual app form
MIDI, ABus
Paid+
  Korg Gadget (15 different synths in one package for iPad)
MIDI, ABus
Paid++
  CZ App for iPad reproduces the Casio phase distortion CZ-series keyboards
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Paid+
  Sampletank (free with IK Multimedia products; iPhone and iPad versions)
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Free/Paid+
  NLog Synth Pro for iPad & nLog MIDI Synth for iPhone
MIDI, ABus
1 & 2
Paid
  Thereminator & Pocket Theremin
Paid
  BeBot the Robot synth; touch control with many options to make the robot sing    
Paid
  Synthecaster (a 99-cent guitar/keyboard fused instrument)
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Paid
  SampleWiz digital sampling keyboard (capture your own samples in real time and play from keyboard)
MIDI, ABus
 
Paid
  SynprezFM II (programmable polyphonic DX7 emulator keyboard)
MIDI
Free
  Saucillator (inspired Kaossilator and Moog synth using x-y axis touch pad)  
Free
  MorphWiz creative touch fingerboard continuum for music making
ABus
Paid
  SoundPrism & SoundPrism Pro use unique visualizations of pitch to create melody, tone & chord patterns
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Free/Paid
  ChordPolyPad chords player for virtual MIDI instruments
MIDI, ABus
Paid
  Chordion for iPad, play chords with one hand and melodic patters with the other with a creative graphic interface
MIDI, ABus

Paid

  AUUG Motion Synth (turn iPhone into expressive motion-controlled instrument; $149 handgrip or use without)
IAA
1 & 2
Free
  DrumJam perform with an incredible set of drum options to mix and match
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Paid/In-app
Voice Processors iVoxel vocoder and voice synth
MIDI, ABus
Paid
  ImproVox ( live voice harmonization, pitch correction, effects)
ABus
Paid
  Singaling (vocal effects processor)
ABus, IAA
Paid

Synthesizers, Sequencers & the Like
[back to the top ]
Category
Title
Interface
iOS
AD
Video
Cost
Matrix generators TonePad very simple matrix generator
Free
Beatwave
ABus
in-app
  Propellerhead Figure several Reason modules nicely packaged
ABus
Paid
  Auxy
Free/In-app
  Xynthesizr is a matrix generator on steroids: expanded 32-step matrix sequencer/synth with MIDI
MIDI, ABus
Paid
  MusicGrid
Free
  Rolling Tones  
1 & 2
Free
Loop-based Loopseque & Loopseque Mini
MIDI, ABus
Paid/Free
  EasyBand Studio auto accompaniment tool for your solo work
Paid
  Loopy & Loopy HD
MIDI, ABus
Paid
  Groovemaker 2 & Groovemaker Free with many different music genres; use iRing & iRigPads for control as well
ABus, IAA
Paid/Free
  ReLoop DAW
Paid
  MAGIX MusicMakerJam
in-app
  O-Generator (Acoustic, Urban, and Dance versions) app version of the web-based synth
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Paid
Pad-based Moog's Animoog for iPhone and iPad put Moog synths in your iPhone
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Paid+
  Nanoloop sequencer-FMsynthesizer-sampler package
MIDI
Paid
  SPC Music Sketchpad 2
Free/Pad
  NanoStudio
MIDI, ABus
Paid
  FL Studio Mobile
MIDI, ABus
Paid+
  UVI Beathawk MPC-style sampler and beat machine
MIDI, ABus, IAA
iOS
Paid
  Fiddlewax Pro (combo features), Yellow (harmony looper), and Blue (notes & chords) instruments:
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Paid+/Paid
Keyboard-based miniSynth PRO for subtractive and FM synthesis
MIDI
Paid
  Steinberg Nanologue analog synth
IAA
Free
  Cakewalk Z3TA + iOS classic waveshapping synth
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Paid
  MusePad for live performance and improv using piano-roll display
Paid
  iSequence for iPad (also check out BeepStreet's Sunrizer synth)
MIDI, IAA
Paid
  Zed Synth hybrid keyboard synth with wave-shaping oscillators, physical modeling, granulator, and more
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Paid
  Arturia iProphet synth recreates the Sequential Circuits Prophet VS with an expanded pallet of sounds
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Paid
  Arturia iMini synth recreates the Minimoog synthesizer of the 1970s
IAA
Paid
Wave shaping Mitosynth hybrid keyboard synth with additive and sample based synthesis
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Paid
  Nave wavetable synth with 3-D views of wavetables for editing or use some 500 presets and a 4-track recorder
MIDI, ABus
Paid+
  VirSyn's microTera wave shaping synthesis
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Paid
MIDI Sequencer & Sound Module Pro MIDI is a full featured MIDI-only player, editor, recorder
MIDI
Paid
  Palmidi and Palmidi Lite
MIDI
Paid/Free
  Roland Sound Canvas recreates the classic Sound Canvas GS sounds from the 1990s along with an Standard MIDI File (SMF) player
MIDI
Paid+
  S1MidiTrigger turns the iOS device into a touchscreen MIDI controller and fully customizable
MIDI
Free/Paid
Rack-mount Synth Propellerhead ReBirth for iPad emulates Roland TB-303 bass synth and 909 drum machines for dance music
ABus, IAA
Paid
  Caustic 3 with some 14 synth choices (video demonstrates using a MIDI keyboard device with an Android music app)
MIDI
Free/In-app
Modular
Reactable Mobile interconnect graphic objects to process sound samples and audio input
ABus
video
Paid
  Jasuto Pro
MIDI, ABus
Paid
  Sunvox (modular synth with tracker sequencer)
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Paid
  Musyc from Fingerlab: let your fingers do the walking to make music
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Free
  Noisemusick offers the creation of "chaotic sounds" through control of three synthesizers--fun for a virtual science project with oscillators
Paid
Algorithmic Dingsaller
MIDI
Paid
Drums & Beat Making iMaschine from Native Instruments, a beat sketchpad with drums and keyboard or recording voice
ABus, IAA
Paid
  Impaktor drum synthesizer using physical modeling; responds to audio sounds like hands tapping etc.  
Paid
  The Drum Machine (DM1) from FingerLab
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Paid
  Electum Drum Machine/Sampler
Paid

Digital Audio Editing, DAWs, & More, Sharing
[back to the top ]
Category
Title
Interface
iOS
AD
Video
Cost
Recording-Editing TwistedWave audio editor for iOS, Mac OSX, and web-based app
Paid
Hokusai
Free
  J4T MultiTrack Recorder
Paid
  FourTracks for iPhone, Studio Track for iPad, & FourTracks for Android (different developer)
Paid
  n-Track Studio Demo, Multitrack& Pro now PC, Mac, iOS and Android
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Paid/Paid+
  Presonus Duo (2-track) & Capture (32-track) for iPad
Free/Paid
  iRig Recorder
ABus
Free/Paid
  MicSwap unique mic modeler and recorder for live or prerecorded audio
ABus, IAA
Free/Paid+
  STROM sample capture, slice and dice editor for the Elektron Analog Rytm machine or use standalone  
Paid
Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) GarageBand for iOS 7 (more performance oriented than GarageBand for Mac OSX)
IAA
Paid
Steinberg's Cubasis and share projects with PC and Mac Cubase
MIDI, ABus
Paid+
  WaveMachine Labs Auria (24-Track) & Auria LE (8-Track Recording)
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Paid+
  Music Studio & Music Studio Lite
MIDI, ABus
Paid/Free
  MultiTrack DAW
ABus, IAA
Paid
  Meteor Multitrack Recorder
MIDI, ABus, IAA
Paid
  Audio Evolution Mobile DAW
MIDI
Paid
Desktop DAW Remote Controllers V-Control Pro and Free for ProTools, Logic Pro, Cubase, Final Cut, and more
Free/Paid+
  TouchAble 3 & Mini for Abelton Live
Paid+/Paid
  Logic Remote for Logic Pro X & GarageBand for the Mac OSX
Free

 

Touch DAW & Touch DAW free for Cubase, Live, Logic, Pro Tools, Sonar and more
Paid
  Cubase iC Pro (control Cubase on PC/Mac from tablet)  
Paid+
DJ'ing Native Instruments Traktor DJ for iPhone & iPad
ABus
Paid
  DJ Studio 5 Free & Skin Bundle     video
Free/Paid
iPhone Audio Tools AudioCopy 2.0 for copy/paste audio and catalog sounds between many iPhone/iPad apps
Free
  AudioBus route your audio streams between iPhone or IPad music apps
ABus
Paid
Cloud Publishing SoundCloud for recording to the Cloud and sharing music
Free/Sub
Audio Recognition SoundHound for recognizing commercially recorded music (pay to remove ads)
Free/Paid
  Shazam for recognizing commercially recorded music
Free

Select Hardware & Accessories for Tablets
[back to the top ]
Category
Title
Controllers

IK iRings Controller (control your iPhone or iPad music wirelessly with your hands and fingers--really unique! video demo)
Jamstik controller (video)
Jambé drum controller (video)

Keyboards and
iPad Keyboard & case

IK iRig Keys Pro (37-key keyboard and studio controller or iOS, PC, or Mac)
CME Xkey 25 and Xkey 37 keyboard (video)
Miselu C.24 wireless piano keyboard & iPad case combo (video & video with 2 keyboards)

MIDI Interfaces

Griffin Studio Connect , Line 6 MIDI Mobilizer and Mobilizer II, iConnectAudio4+ and iConnectMIDI4+ (multiple audio or MIDI devices to iOS, Mac, and PC)
PUC wireless MIDI interface (video)
Quicco mu.1 bluetooth wireless MIDI interface ( video demo )

Footpedals for page turns Airturn tablet music foot page control and more (video demo)
Clip holders for phones or tablets More tablet/phone clip holders like Castiv Drum & Guitar Sidekick and GigEasy and Peak Music Stands
Mixer/Docking for iPads Behringer, Mackie , and Alesis iPad next generation mixer docking stations
Microphones Tascam iXZ AudioI and iM2W microphone with PCM app turns smartphone into handheld recorder
Guitar and audio interfaces Apogee JAM for guitar to iPad and Apogee Duet USB for Mac and iPad

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