July 9, 2014 1:20 pm

Windows Phone Apps for musicians and songwriters

Are you a songwriter or musician? Want to compose your own music instead of just lip-syncing cover songs at the local karaoke bar?

If you’re like me, you often have a melody running through your head. You may hum it out loud, but if you’re not near a piano or other instrument, it may be hard to notate it.

And what if you can’t read music, much less distinguish a C minor seventh chord from an A augmented ninth? Well, that tune may even more elusive to capture.

But you don’t have to be classically trained to write music. Unleash your inner Mozart (or your inner Pharrell Williams) with these music-composition and music-theory Windows Phone apps.

ChordOracle

ChordOracle

Experiment with your melody by strumming or plucking the guitar strings of this free app. ChordOracle supports simple chords like major and minor triads as well as more complex chords such as ninths with a diminished fifth. You also have a choice of three types of guitars: electric, classical and steel-string.

OneNote

This built-in app isn’t just handy for your text notes. Use OneNote’s audio feature to record melodies. Create a note (such as “Melody Ideas”), tap the microphone icon and start singing. It’s that simple. You can also pin the note to your home screen for instant access when inspiration strikes!

Monk

Is your understanding of basic music theory a bit shaky? Do you think the Circle of Fifths refers to Dante’s Divine Comedy? This beautifully designed and comprehensive app ($1.49, first two days free) helps you explore harmonic structures and chord progressions. As for music writing, Monk 7 can help you find all the chords in a specific scale as well as show chord inversions and various key signatures in bass and treble clefs.

MusicStation

MusicStation

If you’re a guitarist, this app could be very useful. With MusicStation ($6.99; free trial available), you can find chords and scales by note, type, root and guitar position, and you can be shown on a piano keyboard as well as a guitar. Among the app’s other features: a built-in chromatic tuner, a metronome, an audio notepad, and a music reference section.

Piano Music Studio Free

This app packs a wallop: Featuring 16 instruments, a beat creator, drum pads, metronome and basic four-track studio, this app makes it easy to create your own songs and ringtones.

PianoPhone7

PianoPhone7

Don’t need lots of bells and whistles? If you just want a piano keyboard on the go, check out PianoPhone7 (free). Unlike some other apps, you can explore a piano’s full range of 88 keys — just tap the left and right arrows at the top of the screen.

Sequencer

Prefer your music more on the electronic side? Sequencer may be for you. You can easily while away an afternoon playing with this app. The free version features a 70-sample sound pack with two octaves, 35 synthesizer presets, a seven-channel sound mixer, a loop setting, and variable tempo, from 30 to 180 beats per minute.

If you use any of these apps to create music, please record and send us the links. We’d love to listen to your melodic masterpieces!

Image credit: Hoder Slanger