ChordMaps2 is a music app for iPad designed to allow you to explore melodies, bass lines, and chord progressions, using both major and minor keys, by tapping with just one or two fingers. While playing, you can switch from melody lines to bass lines to chord progressions at any time. You can change keys instantly, even in the middle of a phrase.

At the heart of ChordMaps2 is a collection of "maps" containing groups of chords that work well together. The maps give you the opportunity to experiment with both simple and complex chord progressions by touching the various chord locations.

Important Note: ChordMaps2 is a MIDI controller. It sends MIDI signals to other sound-generating apps on your iPad. (You can use it to send MIDI signals to apps like ThumbJam, SampleTank, iM1, Nave, LaunchKey, GarageBand by way of MidiBridge, bs-16i... and many others.)

Welcome to ChordMaps2

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Many music apps have been programmed for the iPad. Some include visual interfaces that look a lot like the instruments they are emulating.

ChordMaps2 doesn't look like a musical instrument, because it is designed to be a collection of areas or zones that correspond to the kinds of thoughts (or awarenesses) a musician might be thinking at any given moment.

These thoughts or awarenesses can change quickly. For example, a musician sitting down at the piano, or picking up a guitar, might think something like this.

"Let's play in the key of A. We'll explore a simple chord progression. That gives me an idea for a melody. Let's try it. How about this for a bass line? Let's go back to that chord progression again. Maybe this melody line, or this bass line, should be played as an octave. Maybe this song should be in the key of G, moving up to A for the last verse."

ChordMaps2 is designed so you can follow these musical ideas as they come to you. All of the options (except for the MIDI channel and destination assignments found on the info pane) are there in front of you all the time. You can change keys, play melodies or bass lines as single notes or as octaves, choose a different map, explore chords and variations, play power chords, tenth chords, or switch to maps that are in minor keys... all using just one or two fingers.

Whether you're a musician who has played for years, a beginner just getting started, an educator in the world of music, a student, a songwriter, or an iOS musician exploring the music you can create with an iPad in your hand... we hope you'll enjoy discovering the things you can do with ChordMaps2.

The ChordMaps2 Design

Copyright 2016 Stephen Mugglin

DESIGN THOUGHTS

& PERSPECTIVES

(While developing ChordMaps2, a better understanding came of this app's purpose and value to iOS musicians. Some of the observations are found in the right columns of these pages.)

While experimenting with ChordMaps2, favorite music apps on the device increased in value, because I could do a lot more with them.

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ChordMaps2 doesn't try to emulate any particular real-world instrument. Instead, it displays, in a two-dimensional space, areas and zones that correspond to the thoughts a musician might be thinking when exploring melody lines, bass lines, and chord sequences.

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For a student, ChordMaps2 opens the door to playing chord progressions that would be out of reach at the beginning. In that sense, this app helps to create a more accessible iOS musical world.

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Design requirements meant that almost every control had to be on the main screen. This made for a complex view.


Then one day this idea came: a piano or guitar is easy to comprehend at first glance - just press a key or strum the strings - yet it takes years to learn to play.


ChordMaps2 is just the opposite. It may take a little while to understand the various areas of the screen, but the playing technique is easy. From the first lesson, a beginner can play melodies, bass lines, and complex chord progressions, using just one or two fingers.

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This app is like a bridge, or a door, that leads to a more expressive musical place, especially in situations where  the only tool you have with you is the iPad itself.

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Download on the App Store
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Full size iPad or iPad Pro recommended

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