Ear Training Method
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The Joe Bloom Ear Training Method

Quick-start The Joe Bloom Ear Training Method is divided into topics. Each topic consists of levels of increasing difficulty.

You can search for a topic by its name or number in the search box below. If you don't know where to start, try topics 1, 240, or 385. 1 is extremely easy, 240 is medium (the first in a group of topics identifying intervals), 385 is harder (the first in a group of topics identifying harmonic progressions). Once you've chosen a topic click in the black window below and press enter.

You can also view a list of topics organized by subject and difficulty here.

MIDI info If you wish to use a MIDI keyboard, please select it from the list at the bottom of the page. If you do not see your MIDI input device, try quitting any other programs that may be accepting MIDI input. Using a MIDI keyboard is only necessary for the topics that require MIDI input, for instance if the topic has the words "match" or "play" in it, you may just use your computer keyboard for other topics.
Other details If the name of a topic contains "H" (for Horizontal) that means that notes will be heard in a sequence, first one note, then the next. If it contains "V" (for Vertical) notes will be heard at the same time.
You may choose your preferred instrument-sound from the drop-down menu below the black window. You may want to use an instrument with a pure sound like the Oboe.
The Story Behind the Method

I developed the Joe Bloom Ear Training Program in the 1990's. I sold it to quite a number of colleges and high schools. Now, for the first time, it is available online, free.

This program is distinguished by creatively designed teaching algorithms to allow for clarity, speed of learning, as well as joy and satisfaction in learning. The ear training method contains over 600 topics, ranging from abstract pitch relations (“sonic geometry”) to four-part dictation (counterpoint). Each topic in turn contains from 30 to 60 graduated levels. Level one is always pretty easy.

Everything having to do with Ear Training is covered from every point of view within the method. The abilities required for the harder topics were first put through a prism to resolve the abilities involved into separate, simpler, component abilities, each of which appears standalone in other topics of the method. And those in turn are put through more prisms to see if there are still simpler abilities involved. And so on until, there appear in the method topics of the simplest nature, such as "which of two sounds has the higher pitch", and "which of two sounds has the longer duration".

This, along with several other music-based programs I wrote, were all marketed successfully in the 1990's (including theory programs, an "anti-ear-training" (sic) method, a sight a singing program, etc.). I am in my mid seventies and no longer have the ability to either update or market them. Thus the internet.

I had two near misses in particular with the ear training program. A company had decided to invest a million dollars in it, but “restructured” the day that we were set to sign the contracts. That's when I learned what restructuring meant in the business world. A second investor wanted to put several hundred thousand dollars into the project, but a restaurant that he co-owned was doing badly and he had to withdraw from the project. After this, I gave up and marketed it myself.

“Both students and teachers loved it! Both easy to learn and fun to operate… The program is a wonderful teaching aid… What a tool!” (Piano Guild Notes, March-April 1991).

“The most comprehensive ear training software I have ever seen” (The Instrumentalist, September 1992).

If you recognize the value in what appears in general on my main website, please trust this software method is of the same quality. It is innovative, based on 55 years of teaching and gradually learning how people learn. I look forward to hearing what you think when you try it!

Joe Bloom

MIDI Inputs:
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Found a bug? Please report it by email to eartraining AT fastmail DOT com