Updates: Mode Support, Time Signatures, and Looping

Happy New Year everybody. Today we pushed several new features to Hookpad that we hope you like: time signatures, modes, and looping.

We’re really happy with the amount of use that the editor (and the site in general) is getting for being so new. Recently the 10,000th song was created in the editor, and the site is now getting over 100k hits per month and growing.

Time signatures

“Common time” (4 beats per measure) is great, but it’s obviously not sufficient. Today we’re adding support for 3 and 6 beats for measure. You’ll find this option in the upper right of the editor when you load a new project.

Modes

The Major mode is really useful but it’s definitely not the only mode that is used in music. Now the editor lets you write and analyze songs that aren’t written in the Major mode. This means you can write and analyze songs in the Minor, Dorian, Mixolydian modes, etc.

In addition to being able to choose the mode for songs you write and analyze, you can also “borrow” chords from any mode. We hope to post an article about modes shortly since I know they can be a source of great confusion for new musicians.

Looping

This was quietly updated a while back. You can now loop playback so you can hear an analysis (or your original composition) multiple times.

Most requested songs for the song wiki

Our Wiki of user contributed harmonic analyses of popular music is really starting to take off. If you’re looking for a song to contribute, we now have a way to compute which songs the database is most in need of:

Most Requested Songs

At the moment, the database seems to want Eminem and Kanye West songs. The list is updated dynamically as songs are added.

Smaller changes:

  • The vii˚ chord is now supported in the GUI.
  • The tempo of a song can now be changed with higher specificity.
  • Improved the interface for synchronizing YouTubes to analyses.
  • Various bug fixes.

Let us know if you have other comments/questions/feature requests. We want to make the Music Editor as useful to the community as possible.

If you haven’t already, try out The Music Editor now.

  • David Harper

    I would like to thank you for the hard work you have done on this website. My instructor in my college music class on history of Jazz and Rock has used and referenced the website. For someone who is not a music major this website has been helpful in providing a better understanding of popular music. I also found the easy and nice clean layout to also be helpful.

    • http://www.hooktheory.com/ Dave

      Thanks David. We’re really happy that Hooktheory is starting to take off in University settings.

  • Ali

    This is honestly one of the coolest websites I have ever been on. Although I am not a musician myself, I am a music lover and this information is fascinating to learn about. This website offers such unique analysis’ of songs we have all heard. What a great way to help people have a batter understanding for music and how it is created!

    • http://www.hooktheory.com/ Dave

      Ali, thanks for the kind words. It’s always great to hear.

  • http://twitter.com/m2esquire Mario Macagba

    I am taking this Music class about Jazz Pop and Rock and our professor starts talking about this website called HookTheory. At first i was interested but then a few days later a grad student did a small presentation about iOS’ Garage Band and HookTheory. Tis site is AWESOME. I wish I knew more about music. I do listens to music differently now. This website has given me a greater appreciation to the music I enjoy on my walks to and from the car, the drive to school or just doing things around that house. I really like The Beatles and thought there would not be many analysis of Beatles songs. NOPE, lots! I think think this site has a super cool feature of exporting to MIDI and saving chords and the best part is creating sheet music! SWEEEEET! if you are an aspiring and starving musician, you could use this site to feed yourself!

  • DeAngelo Hudson

    It makes it easier for students like myself, who has no background in music to understand how it all comes together. How to take many sounds and chords, and bring them together. When the songs are broken down we are able to recognize the different funtions of the song like the pitch and so on. It also make me want to learn more about music, being there a simple ways to relate to it.

  • Jane93

    After reading, I can only say that in my opinion, this text contains helpful and useful information rather than unhelpful information about music. The things I liked most about the text is the visual portion of the actual keys that are not only labeled with its letter but the color coordination of it is helpful for my understanding because I am able to see and hear the differences among each key. Listening and seeing how a melody is played out including with the keys it consists of is the thing I like the most from this text because after reading each written section, it gives the readers an example as to what the text is saying.

  • Jesus

    This website and the text it provides, makes it is easy comprehend the fundamental structures of music. Even for those who have never taken a music class, this website provides essential information that breaks down music in form that is easy to understand.

  • Alyssa

    In reading this text I am learning more in depth the fundamental structure of music. Specifically, what I am taking more from this text is learning how to play the piano. Hooktheory thus far seems to be a very easy and helpful way to learn the basics step by step and I believe it will enable me to do well in my course. I look forward to continue reading as the course I am taking continues because given my musical background I feel like hooktheory is a great way for me to enhance my knowledge! The examples they offer are very helpful as well because it gives the reader a better understanding of what they are trying to lecture to us in the text.

  • Kerry Fitzgerald

    After reading two chapters I am really enjoying this text. I love the online version and interactive features of the text. I find it very useful to hear scales and chords while reading through the text. In most textbooks the author refers to a drawing or diagram which is most likely not viewed or taken into consideration. Hook theory allows a visual and audio version of the diagrams and modules that makes the text very interesting, fun and interactive. The only suggestion I have is to make a keyboard available under each scale or chord to allow the reader to physically play the progression themselves. I understand there are links to keyboards but I believe it would be very benifical to have the student/reader play it while reading through the text.

  • FernandoV

    I think this book is an amazing tool. Not only for already pracicing musicians, but for those that are new the arts. This book has already taught me amazing things in such a simple way. I feel that this book does a great job and does not need any type on improvement, from my perspective.

  • Jen Seabury

    This is a pretty cool book. The nicest of all my university texts. I have played music for years and this book really breaks it down to fundementals, especially for someone like me who has forgotten them, oops. Your book has an easy to follow structure and keeps the reader interested. You have accomplished a ton with just those 2 main things. Thank you very much

  • Chadwick Chang

    This text is a very easy and unique way of learning about music. I’ve taken a few music courses before and the texts of those courses do not compare to Hooktheory. Materials are easier to understand using this text. A couple key features that make Hooktheory a very easy to understand book is the fact that it’s an online text that has features where you can play examples right after information is given. Visually the online test is simple enough to follow and the diagrams are easy to read. The text also allows mini-quizes to make sure you understand the material.

  • Nohemi Martin

    I have been playing an instrument for about ten years now, and I absolutely love this book! Growing up it was difficult at times to completely understand certain things. This makes everything a lot easier as well as show you examples. This is something that I will defiantly recommend to anyone who wants to be introduced to music.

  • Tannaz Eghtesadi

    Being that I have been around music all my life, specifically the piano, this text really breaks everything down for you as far as the fundamentals of music. It has been a few years since I have really played the keys and this text is a great reminder for the basics of music theory. I am relearning things I knew from years ago, so it is a nice refresher. This text is also very useful for people who have never really been exposed to music theory. It is a simple step by step method of what is important in music. I think that this hook theory text is helpful and very tech savvy!

  • Mike Van Arsdale

    I am pretty much brand new to anything related to music theory. This text is surprisingly easy to understand and really helps me to figure out the basics of how music is written and composed. I’ve always been a music lover throughout my life, and now I have a great way to easily understand what is going on with these amazing songs I am listening to. My appreciation for music is already beginning to grow substantially!

  • Khadraa Kamaruzaman

    I have been playing music and getting serious into it ever since I was small. I am good in playing the instruments, but not in music theory. This website has helped to understand more the fundamental structures of music. I can easily understand it since everything is thoroughly explained. I need not to refer to other websites to understand certain things like I used to do back then. Hooktheory is by far the best music theory eBook I have ever purchased. It is worth every single penny. Surprisingly, it is not just me who has been referring to this website, but my little cousins too. I suggested them to use it as a reference and they found it very useful. It is a good starter for them who do not have any musical background. I really appreciate the effort and hard work you have put in creating this website.

  • Rosa

    I don’t know anything about music theory, after reading the first two chapters I understood the lectures. I think this book is great for starters like me, it explains everything clearly which makes it easier to read. The chapters are also short which is great because you understand better. I have also noticed that this website shows the most recent songs, that is very great, because you become more interested.

  • Caroline

    Even though I have been learning about music for the past four years, I have learned new information from Hooktheory from just the first two chapters. I have never used Hooktheory before, but I really enjoy the ways that it teaches the reader different information. Throughout the second chapter on Harmony I, I found the audio examples to be very helpful. They helped enhance my understanding of what the book meant by being able to tell the different chords apart just by listening to the different pitches. They also helped me to understand the different sounds of a major chord compared to a minor chord. I also really like that there are questions that you can answer to make sure that you understand the lesson that the book is trying to teach the reader. Overall, I think that Hooktheory does an excellent job of teaching students a lot about music.

  • Ruben

    What I enjoy that HookTheory does is the way they try to help us better understand a note or tune, to the point where we cannot forget. They do an excellent job and going through the processes and I have to admit, learning the keys were hard but when they decided to number them 1-7 instead of alphabet letters, it made it easier to understand. The only complaint I would have is the need to actually number each chapter accordingly.

  • Alyssa

    This seams like a really interesting site. My favorite part is seeing the analysis of popular songs, it makes me feel like I can learn to play pop songs on the piano. This is a really useful tool for learning music, but also gets those who may not be music majors more interested as well. I can’t wait to try out the rest of the website!

  • Nancy Vang

    This section of the hook theory was very helpful. I use to play instruments when I was younger and sang in a choir so I knew the basic to notes. This was very helpful though. I liked how hook theory has examples that you could listen to to see what they are trying to explain to us. I find that to be helpful. They give us the demonstration and then explain to us what is going on.

  • http://twitter.com/mathiascg Mathias Caramutti

    Hi, I have discovered this page a few days ago and I found it fantastic. I really like the project, I’ve been looking for something like this for some time. The editor is very intuitive and I think the theory section is easy to understand for people with little music knowledge. I’ve started contributing already! I found there was an artist with no tracks submitted. The only think I can complain about, is that the Youtube straming plugin seems not to work quite often. Other than that, the site works very well. A suggestion: perhaps in the future, an enhancement to the search engine could be done, so that one can look for songs according to their harmony (i.e. harmonic progression), by melody, or by key. Good luck anc congratulations for the community!

    • http://www.hooktheory.com/ Dave

      Mathias,

      thanks for the feedback and welcome to the community! If you ever happen to notice a pattern for when the YouTube streaming doesn’t work, let us know. It almost always works for us, but obviously this type of problem can be really hard to track down when it’s not repeatable.

      We are indeed working on an enhancement to the search engine to make searching for songs by their harmony! We’re very pleased with it and hope to have something to announce soon.

      Dave

      • http://twitter.com/mathiascg Mathias Caramutti

        Thanks for the reply, Dave!

        Today I have continued to contribute with some simple but well-known songs and found what I think is a bug in your database. I was sequencing the verse of a song I had already created the intro. I saved it as a new project and synched it with the same Youtube video as in the chorus part. However, when I clicked to make it public, the site said there was an error, so I lost the project I had saved. Yet, I could manage to make it work by creating the new part again but this time saving the project with a more different name than the original part (intro). I thought you might want to know this, so as to figure out what could have gone wrong and prevent it from happening again.

        By the way, I’m happy to know that you are working on the enhancement of the search engine, I believe it will be useful for many purposes, and besides this would be the first site ever (that I’m aware of) to implement this feature.

        I have a further suggestion to make, let’s see what you think. As you may know, in the Baroque period composers didn’t fully expand the bass part of their pieces, but used a system known as figured bass to transmit the desired harmony to the interpreter. Today. Roman Numerals are used instead, but there are many similarities between both methods. However, they have one disadvantage: they treat the bass as if it had only one function: developing harmony. While this is true for most popular songs following a simple homophonic structure, it turns out that it many other songs use the bass as a melody itself. I wouldn’t call it polyphony in the traditional sense, but Roman Numerals just cannot express many of the elements the bass can have (arpeggios, NHT, etc.).
        I think it would be interesting if the editor of the site had the possibility of adding another track that sounds simoultaneously as the main melody. I was thinking on the bass, but it could be used for fragments sung by two voices, or counter-melodies on top of the main one as well.
        As you see, this is just another idea, but it would be interesting to know what you think about it.
        Greetings!

        • http://www.hooktheory.com/ Dave

          Mathias,

          Thanks for the additional comments. I’m sorry you ran into that error using the wiki. Do you happen to remember the error msg you received when you tried to make the song public? I’d also be curious if you remember the exact name of the song that caused the error. Were there any special characters or anything? I definitely want to figure out what might be the cause and if it’s reproducible. It’s weird that you lost the song entirely since adding the song to the public wiki never deletes anything, it should just make a copy.

          Polyphonic melodies is something that is on our to do list. We would like to do it eventually, but also want to balance that desire with the goal of making the editor as simple and approachable as possible. One of its other purposes is as a learning tool for basic harmony in schools, and we are very cognizant of what feature-creep can do to ease-of-use.

          Great work on the analyses today. I look forward see what else you decide to analyze in the future!

          Thanks again
          -Dave

          • http://twitter.com/mathiascg Mathias Caramutti

            Hi Dave, thanks again for the reply. When this error appeared, I was editing the “verse” section of Avicii’s levels. I had saved the project something like “Avicii Levels Verse”, and when I clicked to make it public, the site lead me to a “404 error” page, saying there was an error and they had a problem making the project public. The strangest part was that it also deleted the private project I had saved.

            Just another comment about your editor: I think it’s perfect and very intuitive the way it is now. In my opinion, you shouldn’t make any changes to it, other than those that will make it more interactive. For me, if you ever decide to introduce more features (various voices or anything else), you should try to create an “advanced editor” which contains all these features. This way, the default editor would be the one we have today, but as peole progress with theorical knowledge and want to do or see a more complex analysis, they could just simply switch to the advanced editor. Just another thought on the subject.

            Regards.

  • Valorie Rothgarn

    After reading the second chapter of Hook Theory I am confident that even though I am new to notating music I can still be successful in my music theory class. This book walks me through every thing i need to be learning in small baby steps that help me learn what it is I am reading. The chapters are short and sweet and make it easy for beginners like me to master the steps at a good pace.I think this text is helpful to not only beginners like me but also skilled musicians that have a back ground in notation because the book is still interesting and entertaining. I like being able to hear examples as well its very helpful. Reading this book has made me less worried about whether or not i can understand this class. I am looking forward to learning all of the material hook theory has to offer.

  • Guest

    I have always love music and play musical instruments such as piano and
    violin. However, as I learn how to play the piano by myself, hence I did
    not know any theory or how to read the major scales in the right way.
    After reading the second chapter of the Hook Theory, I was surprised at
    how easy it is to understand the music scales and the notes. This
    chapter provides examples and created a simple way for the readers to
    understand music in relative notation. I think this chapter is not only
    helpful to beginner, but also to those intermediate music students as
    well. I really learned a lot in this chapter and am now practicing
    almost everyday to identify which chord is it by hearing at the notes.

  • dfusion

    Congratulations for the work done with this book, I just bought it and it is helping so much. I just want to know if the theory applies exactly the same in the minor scale and others, thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cjsmusic C.J. Smith

    bug: When changing mode while viewing a song (I think it also does this in the editor), sometimes the octave of the melody is changed, which it really shouldn’t be. An example of this is Clocks Intro.

    • http://www.facebook.com/cjsmusic C.J. Smith

      Also, when a song has different sections in different modes, it would be nice if the notification said “This section was analyzed…” (instead of song), and also to only display when it’s actually on a section that has been analyzed that way, instead of all the time. I’m not sure how it decides what to display, but it might be whichever section was analyzed first, it chooses to display the notification as if the mode of that section were the mode of everything.

      • http://www.hooktheory.com/ Dave

        This is a good point. Thanks for pointing that out.

        • http://www.facebook.com/cjsmusic C.J. Smith

          Looks like you got it! :) You rock.

      • http://www.facebook.com/cjsmusic C.J. Smith

        Ok, that’s not how it decides… maybe if any section is major it just doesn’t display… anyway, you’re welcome.

    • http://www.hooktheory.com/ Dave

      This is a known issue. On our to do. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/cjsmusic C.J. Smith

    Wouldn’t be surprised if this is known too, but Chords currently doesn’t deal with borrowed chords or songs analyzed in any non-major mode. It just treats it as if it were whatever it would be in major. Secondary dominants are fine though.

  • Kalene Null

    After reading the second chapter of Hook Theory it was came naturally when understand these chord changes. This has never come easily to me and after years of trying I’ve just given up but the text is an easy read and breaks each step down for you in lamens terms. Every book I’ve tried to read has been very difficult for me thus making learning how to read music something I dread rather than enjoy. Hook theory is very helpful and will continue to recommend this to my musician friends, this is a great refresher and helped so much.

  • micahphones

    hey, it’d be nice if there was broader support for harmonic and melodic minor modes :)