I am not very experienced in the music theory. I constantly get lots of ideas on composing choral (SATB) music and I write them, but I am unsure about their correctness. Until I will finish to learn about harmony, is there any software to help me identifying all the errors?

Thank you! This should be preferably free. Thank you again.

  • Your question implies several misconceptions that could perhaps be addressed, but since there's a request for software recommendations, the question is closed. That's how this site is currently set up to operate. – piiperi Reinstate Monica Aug 26 '19 at 7:00
  • I think you're implying that you mean to compose within a very specific set of guidelines (Common Practice, perhaps?), but if you aren't concerned with those rules, there's no error except that maybe you don't like something. – user45266 Aug 26 '19 at 18:28

It is not possible for a software program to identify harmony mistakes because it can't know what you want to do. A "mistake" is what sounds wrong to you. In other words, you need to be able to identify your own mistakes. Some composers want more dissonance, some less.

What you can do is get a software program so you can input your ideas and then listen back. I find it helpful to print out my scores and read them on paper while listening back so I can quickly circle spots I want to change without having to stop the playback.

There are many software programs online. A lot of people I know use MuseScore. I have not used it myself because I use Finale. Finale also has a free version, but the amount of things you can do with it is limited.

If you need help making your music sound better, it is a good idea to get a teacher or mentor who can listen through your pieces with you and make suggestions on how you can improve them. But a good teacher will not force you to change something you think already sounds good, even if they would make a different choice.

Ultimately, you decide what you should fix and what you shouldn't. No program can do that.

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  • If such a "music fixer" program existed, then wouldn't it be possible to give it random rubbish and the program would "fix" it until it's nice. ;) – piiperi Reinstate Monica Aug 26 '19 at 14:02
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    Also I wonder what such software would do with some things you could give it. Some Shostakovich or Stravinsky perhaps, or maybe Stockhausen. Could be fun! – JimM Aug 26 '19 at 17:36
  • @piiperi, my guess is such a "music fixer" would create a lot of similarly-sounding music. It can only be programmed to do what the creator chooses, which ultimately reflects the taste of the programmer. – Heather S. Aug 26 '19 at 20:02

Although what Heather states is true, music notation software can usually check for some correctness. The most basic check I can recall is for parallel fifths and octaves. Depending on which notation software you use, you may need to install some extra plugin to get that functionality.

Hope this helps!

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  • I think there are lots of issues much worse and more basic than parallel octaves or fifths, like for example if the melody is awkward or boring, has a nonworking chorus/verse part structure, or if it's too predictable or too weird, or if it disagrees with the harmony, or if the harmony doesn't make sense or ... :) "I made a nonsensical melody and chords, but the computer shows there are no parallel fifths, so ... " ;) – piiperi Reinstate Monica Aug 26 '19 at 8:39
  • Of course, that's why I first pointed out that Heather's answer stays true. Those things you mention are all crucial to a good piece, but not everything is checkable, or at least I haven't heard yet. So, I pointed out something I know can be checked, and added that there might be some more checkers. Of course, no checklist will ever be enough. – 89f3a1c Aug 26 '19 at 12:47
  • Things like parallel fifths and octaves are not necessarily wrong, either. It really depends on the style of the piece and what effect the composer is looking for. – Heather S. Aug 26 '19 at 20:00

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