EarMaster is a music software program launched in 1996 by Danish editor Miditec, who changed its name to EarMaster ApS in 2005. The first prototype version of the software was DOS-based, but since 1996, it has continuously evolved with the Microsoft Windows OS. In November 2008, EarMaster became multi-platform with the release of a version for Mac OS X. The main focus of EarMaster is ear training, even though EarMaster seems to tend towards a more general approach to music teaching since v. 4.0, covering a broader spectrum of music theory and practice. In June 2016, EarMaster was also made available on iOS (iPad only).
EarMaster includes several training modes: workshops with progressive sets of lessons about various music theory and ear training topics, a customization mode, and a beginner's course. While the general workshops are rather general and their lessons focus on most of the aspects of ear training, the jazz workshops focuses exclusively on the particularities of Jazz music (e.g. jazz chord, swing rhythms and real book sight-singing). With the customization mode, the user can set up custom exercises for tailored practice. The topics covered by EarMaster are interval singing, interval comparison, interval identification, scale identification, chord identification, chord inversion identification, chord progression identification, rhythm dictation, rhythm reading (sight reading), rhythm clap-back, rhythmic error detection, melodic dictation, melody sing-back and melodic sight-singing.
Questions are answered with on-screen interfaces (staff, piano, guitar, bass, violin, cello, banjo and other stringed instruments), a functional keyboard with scale degrees and solfege syllables, multiple-choice buttons, a MIDI instrument, or through a microphone (voice, clapping or acoustic instruments).
The user can choose between several note-naming systems to complete the exercises: Anglo-Saxon (A, B, C, etc.), Fixed-Do Solfege, or Relative-Do Solfege, which makes it compatible with the Kodály method.
The results of each lesson are recorded and analyzed in a statistics window. They can be synchronized automatically via the EarMaster Cloud system for instant access by music teachers. EarMaster Cloud is a cloud-based system for music schools developed by EarMaster ApS. It combines online license management and cloud syncing of student assignments and results.
EarMaster is distributed as download and as a CD-ROM. The software is compatible with the Microsoft Windows OS (XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10), Mac OS X 10.6 or superior, and iOS 9 or newer.
User can input answers with a MIDI device by playing their answers. The software also includes real-time pitch detection, which enable users to sing or play their answers and obtain an immediate evaluation of their pitch and rhythm accuracy.
The sounds played by the software are produced by a SoundFont playback engine and cover the complete set of General Midi (GM) sound presets.
EarMaster is also available as educational versions with a comprehensive course editor to create exercises and assignments for students, detailed results monitoring, administrative tools to manage users and classes, and Cloud syncing for remote teaching.
The prototype of EarMaster was a DOS-based software programmed in 1994 by Hans Jakobsen. The first proprietary version of EarMaster was EarMaster 1.0, released in 1996 by Miditec. It was distributed by Roland in Scandinavia and available in 5 languages. EarMaster 2.0 was launched in 1997 and was the first version to be commercialized online. In 1998, EarMaster develops the first educational version of its ear training software, EarMaster School 2.5, in collaboration with 29 music teachers. EarMaster Pro 4.0 and EarMaster School 4.0 follow in 2000, with a new interface and more options. The current version of EarMaster is EarMaster 5.0 in both Pro and School versions, released in 2005. The release of EarMaster 5.0 also marks a name change for the editing company from Miditec to EarMaster ApS. EarMaster 6 was released in 2012, followed by two major updates (6.1 in 2013 and 6.2 in 2015), and a completely new version for iPad in 2016.
- Berklee College of Music (USA)
- Royal Conservatory of Antwerpen (Belgium)
- École Atla (France)
- École Tous en Scène (France)
- Aarhus Musikskole (Denmark)
- Sonic College (Denmark)
- University of Nevada, Reno (USA)
- University of Kansas (USA)
- ESMUC Escuela de Música de Cataluña (Spain)
- Conservatorio Profesional de Música "Joaquín Turina", Madrid (Spain)
- Cours Florent (France)
- Heidelberg University (Germany)
- Music School of the US Navy (USA)
- ESMUC Escuela de Música de Cataluña (Spain)
- Conservatorio Superior Joaquín Turina de Madrid (Spain)
- Ecole de musique de la ville de Challans (France)
- University of Toronto (Canada)
- CEGEP de Sherbrooke (Canada)
- CEGEP de Saint-Laurent (Canada)
- National Conservatory of Hanoi (Vietnam)
- Music Conservatory of Lisbon (Portugal)
- University of Leeds (UK)
- Buckleitner, Warren (2006), EarMaster Pro 5 - Children’s Technology Review Technology Integration for Teachers, October 2006 vol. 11 no. 2, p. 3
- Music Educators Journal, March 2008 vol. 94 no. 4, pp. 26–27
- Sander, Florian (2007), Earmaster Pro 5 - Lernsoftware zur musikalischen Gehörbildung Multimediales Lernen – Masterstudiengang Medienautor – Hochschule der Medien