Welcome back to PadGadget’s weekly music column. One of our favorite things to talk about is ways the iPad can help you become a better musician. Last week, we explored the innovative augmented sheet music app from Weezic.
This week, we have an app that is not just for musicians. In fact, Musaic Box HD is more of a game than a music app. However, it incorporates music history throughout, so we think it fits perfectly with Sound Stage.
Players are given a box with tiles on it. Each tile makes a sound from a musical instrument when played. Some tiles play multiple instruments, some are only one or two squares in size.
Before you try to piece together the tiles on the board, listen to the song by tapping the player. This will play the portion of the song that you are supposed to piece together with the main instrument.
For example, Czárdás’ main instrument is the violin, so the player will play back the section of the song to you with the violin. A little brass strings player will appear to play you the tune.
To get started, try tapping on one of the tiles. If it sounds like the beginning or end of the tune, try placing it on the puzzle grid in its respective spot. The more tiles you lay down, the easier it is to complete the puzzle.
My suggestion is to listen to the main instrument using the player, find which colored tile represents that instrument, and then try to map out the song that way. The first few songs will be very familiar to you, but they will quickly become more obscure and more difficult to piece together.
The thing that makes this a good musical app is that each song includes the title, composer, and date. For example, In the Hall of the Mountain King is a very familiar song. Edvard Grieg wrote it in 1876. Believe me, you probably know this song, even if the title doesn’t sound familiar to you.
Another reason this puzzle game is more musical than you might realize is that it forces players to listen to the song over and over and really pay attention to the song’s structure.
The app is free to download and includes a handful of very familiar folk songs. You can purchase additional sets of songs for $1.99, or get all available songs for only $2.99. You can also purchase “hints” in a 10-pack for $0.99. The game comes with two free hints.
This is a great app for musicians who want to incorporate gaming into their lives, and for gamers who want to class up the joint with some music. Download it today and see how musically inclined you are.
Thanks for checking out our music column. If you have any ideas or suggestions for apps and accessories you’d like to know more about, leave a comment below, or send us a message. We’d love to hear from you.