January 4, 2021
Learning and Research

The Right Tune

New Version Of Popular App Receives Positive Reviews

More than a decade ago, Wittenberg University students and faculty members in the Department of Music expanded their creative energies into an emerging field by creating apps.

As it turns out, they were just getting started. A new version of InTune, an app designed to improve and test intonation that debuted in 2012, was recently released by Apple to positive reviews. InTune has been a top-10 music app in 70 countries and has reached the No. 1 music spot in 38 countries.

InTune was created through a collaborative effort among Professor of Music Daniel Kazez, his son Ben Kazez, a tech entrepreneur and musician, Peiqian Li, class of 2013, a computer science major who now works for Google as a senior software engineer, and Crispin Prebys, former Wittenberg associate professor of art.

The concept for the app is based on a computer program created by Daniel and Ben Kazez, who own and operate Half Note Labs, LLC. The collaborations also included Professor of Statistics and Data Science Doug Andrews, who created a mathematical algorithm for changing the distance between pitches, and Professor of Psychology Mary Jo Zembar, who analyzed data for a study indicating that with repeated use of the program the ability to discern very close pairs of pitches improves. The results were presented at a session of the 2020 College Music Society National Conference.

The newly updated version of InTune includes banjo, guitar and koto sounds produced by Xavier Davenport, class of 2018, a triple major in music, physics and Chinese while at Wittenberg.

Much like its original release, the response to InTune has been overwhelmingly positive.

What blows me away is how absolutely genius this app is. Yet so simple…Some say it’s the best ear-training app out there…The Bottom Line: An absolute must for any musician who has to play or sing in tune with other instruments.
Music Maker Apps

Daniel Kazez first studied tuning systems and intonation in a research project as a student at Oberlin Conservatory, and he has written articles on the subject. He is pleased that the app has been lauded by his peers as well.

“Excellent…it’s made a remarkable difference this past year in my ability to rehearse complex 20th and 21st century music,” said Paul Piazza, a conductor and composer based in Los Angeles.

Aaron Yackley, an orchestra director in South Carolina, agrees. “I love the InTune app and have played with it extensively to improve my own pitch discrimination skills,” he said.

In 2009, Kazez worked with music students, alumni and fellow faculty members to create an iPhone app called Composer of the Day, which offers concise, one-sentence biographies of classical composers – one per day, on the composer’s birthday. It was named one of the “Top Five Classical Music iPhone Apps” by New York radio station WQXR – the country’s first (and most listened to) classical music radio station.

Ryan Maurer
Ryan Maurer
Senior Writer and Web Communications Specialist

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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