Testimonials from users of GNU Solfege
On January 14, 2008, a few stable releases showed these download counts:
Counting ''all'' stable releases: 509180 downloads. I'll update the counts when download statistics on Sourceforge works again.
And this is not counting people downloading from ftp.gnu.org, Debian and other mirrors. Who are those users? If I know what kind of skills the people using the program have, it is easier to improve the program.
Please describe in a few words why you use the program and your musical background. Click the add comment link here or on the bottom of this page. It is ok to be anonymous, but it is nice if you sign with your name and/or email address. Also the name and version of your operating system is interesting to know.
I am studying sound engineering for 2 years now. All students of this course attend to "hear training lab" classes. This classes consists in specifying differences of attributes of sounds played through headphones. This attributes are for example: frequencies of bands at which the music was attenuated/reinforced or sound level of some music. The software that is used to carry out these tests is named "Shinji". Some of the exercises are quite challenging so we must practice at home. This is where Solfege is very helpful because "Shinji" is not a free software (actually it is quite expensive). We were given the music samples and written lesson-files. Thanks to Solfege we can practice and as a result, pass the tests more likely :). I want to say "Thank You" for writing this useful program. Classes of sound engineering course are using Solfege since 1.0 version :)
However, I want to say that I don't understand why in "expert mode" the statistics tab isn't working properly... It is nice to select which answers will be asked for, but it is also important to be able to quickly lookup the statistics while practicing. This is unfortunately not working for me.
It would be very helpful for us, to make one of the following (or both):
- multiple files support in wavfile() object
- multiple wavfile() objects support in a single question block
This would make easier to play original-processed pairs of sounds that we use a lot. Currently, we use external programs to do that but it is somewhat inconvenient.
Last thing that I want to mention is that Solfege has many dependencies on Gnome libraries which keeps me from installing it on my Debian-non-Gnome system.
Sorry for writing such a long text and for my poor English. Although I mentioned many disadvantages of Your software I appreciate it a lot. It really helps!
Ps.: I am using Solfege 3.9.3 on Ubuntu Hardy and WinXP. My e-mail: akukuq<you-know-what>gmail<dot>com
I am violin teacher for a big range of pupils aged 4-30. I used solfege for their rhythmic training a lot and with good success. In addition I created my own lesson files for fingering schemes on the violin. Unfortunately, since upgrading my SuSE to 8.2 and later 9.0 I was no more able to get solfege running. (and I tried really hard...) Nor does my windows98 version run (although this might be a hardware problem, as the laptop is really old...) I changed to the commercial and expensive auralia (rising software) for the moment, but I'm longing to get back to and help improve solfege.
It's interesting to compare the 2 products. I believe the strenght of solfege is the open configuration (lesson files). It would be nice to enable 'real' sound playback like wav or better mp3/ogg. This would enable recognizing styles (baroque, classical), instruments or composers. auralia offers some exiting excercises like
- intonation ('which note is higher?' or 'make the 2 notes identical')
- sound recognition via mic. (It works! I sing/play the scale, melody or interval. The program tells me if I'm correct.)
- rhythm dictation from melodies. (This is a lot harder than from percussion sound!)
- levels (Pupils may change or the 'professor' automatism makes them change the level after a certain number/percentage of successes.)
- users (Pupils have to login. As teacher I can define what they may practise, give them tests to do and control their personal results.)
Maybe something to dream about?
- Tom Cato:
- Hi Simon! mp3/ogg/wav playback can be done with version 2.1.1 or later. 'whitch note is higher' can be implemented using .wav files or using csound. Microphone response is more difficult, so I don't know if I will be able to add this myself.
I am an amateur musician and enjoy playing acoustic guitar, 5-string banjo and a bit of piano. I just discovered Gnu Solfege and find the interval and chord recognition lessons to be just what I was looking for in ear training software. I had no trouble installing and using the program on my computer running Win 98. The only minor problem I have is a repeated ?couldn?t load font? warning in the console window, which I understand may be fixed in a newer version. My thanks to the author and those who contributed to this fine piece of software.
I'm a self taught guitarist with some basic music theory training. I am using GnuSolfege on my Slackware 9.0 Linux powered laptop with TiMidity++ as the midi renderer. I built the program using the easy-build source package. I am using most of solfege's builtin lessons to improve my ability to recognise the essential aspects of music that I want to learn and improvise over.
I'm a bass (tuba) player in an English brass band, and I am largely self-taught. Solfege gives me a chance to improve my musicianship. I'm running Solfege on Slackware 10.0 with my sound card's FM Synth (I used to use Timidity++ because it sounds better, but the FM Synth is hardware and has better realtime response -- particularly important for rhythm and tempo exercises!)
I'm a piano player studying Jazz at the Rimon school in Israel and I use Solfege for my ear training needs. Especially melodic/harmonic intervals, chord recognition and rhythm dictations. I use Solfege on a debian based machine and the installation is a single click there. The software is terrific. I use timidity since my sound card synthesizer is not supported by ALSA. Thank you for a great piece of engineering.
I play the piano and a little guitar. I have been using Solfege for several months now, and my musical abilities have improved a lot! I mainly use the rythm dication exercise for now, but when I have mastered it (I would like to be able to recognize all rythm patterns over 8 beats) , I will go on to tone recognition. Thanks a lot for the great software, it is very helpful!
I'm a currently a computer science student, using mainly Debian GNU/Linux sarge, but also developing on Debian GNU/Hurd (which has no sound support yet so I don't use Solfege on it). I used to play the piano a little and want to relearn it :-).
Arnout 'raboof' Engelen (http://bzzt.net)
I'm a sax player. I'm already quite comfortable with transcribing the melody line of music, but found myself lacking when trying to transcribe duets and figuring out which chord is played under it. I hope Solfege, which I run under Ubuntu, will help there. I'd also be interested in an intonation lesson (like Simon mentioned) as I feel that's an area where I need improvement but am not sure how to train it.
I'm a newbie guitar player. I can identify the Relative Pitch of a particular song progression. But I have difficulty in identifying a particular chord or note when it is played by itself. In other words, I cannot identify a C when it is played. If I play it on the guitar, however, I can identify the chords and the progression (though this will require a lot of effort, and I simply do not know how guitarist directly jump to a chord when they listen to a piece of music). I use windows XP on a P3 machine.
I am an accordion player and teacher. I use solfege both on windows xp and debian sarge. I think the best part of solfege is the possibility to extend it with new lessons. I write lot of lessons for myself, and some of them are now in solfege.
I am an spanish musician, and a music teacher. I descovered solfege and I,m going to tell to my students to advance in eartraing. I am creating new exercises, fixing to the needs of my lessons. It will be a complement of my dictation lessons. Great! Thanks! Can I share new exercises with you? Where I send the new files?
- Tom Cato:
- Send your contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm a self taught. An ever learner music and sounds. I use Debian and Windows sometimes. Thank you very much.
i am a single reed player and guitarist. Have found this to be a great piece of software and have recommended it to others. currently running this on vista!! a few minor probs installing but that's vista for you!Thanks, folks!!
I'm a double bass player playing many different musical styles and in many different combos - so a good ear is essential for me to be able to follow the band... What I miss in this program: For identifiying chords you offer several groups of chords for practising - but I miss the "all chords" option to really test your skills.
Aristotle A. Esguerra (http://www.cantemusdomino.net/)
I direct a Gregorian chant schola and play organ at a church on the weekends. I just discovered this program and already envision distributing it to my singers to help them improve their intonation and identification of modes and intervals. I would love to see the option of rhythm exercises incorporating note values longer than a dotted semibreve, or at least the option to double note values, since we already have the option of adjusting tempo. This would really assist the singers in getting familiar with the note values prevalent in a lot of transcriptions of Renaissance polyphony. Incorporating a four-line staff and Gregorian neumes to the melodic exercises would be a nice plus, too.
My personal copy runs on Ubuntu 7.10 with the modification to /etc/profiles needed to enable intonation exercises. I suspect my singers will use the Windows version.
Please add support for four-line staff and gregorian chant neumes. I am trying to use GNU Solfege, but without this support it is very difficult. It would be very popular, since gregorian chant is starting to be used again in churches.
I am an amateur recorder player, and sing in a community choir. I am trying to improve my ear for music since I have discovered it is very variable, and often doesn't even discriminate semitones. My computer runs Windows XP, and Solfege runs without problems. I too would like the intonation exercises to run on Windows. Thanks to Tom for a great program.
Allen McBride (http://www.allenmcbride.com/)
I am an amateur hammer dulcimer player. I'm trying to become faster at learning traditional melodies and folk songs by ear. The exercises I use most are harmonic and melodic intervals, and the various chord exercises. Thanks for the program, Tom!