IFR blog > Student questions > Is there an IFR app for analyzing sheet music

Is there an IFR app for analyzing sheet music?

Hi All,

Is there an IFR app for reading standard music notation and showing it with the IFR tonal numbers?


David's response:

Hi Jonathan,

We don't have any application like that. If you have the music in MIDI format then you could certainly create an application that expresses this music in IFR language, at least for simple songs that only have one interpretation. The problem is that music, like any art form, allows for unlimited interpretations.

The concepts that we study in IFR are the raw materials from which all of this music is made. This is why students of IFR are able to recognize these sounds by ear. But this recognition and interpretation is a human process. The method can't do it for you, and a computer application can only do it in very limited situations. In other words, the IFR method isn't complete without YOU.

The way the method works is to give you experience with essential sounds and harmonic concepts so that you can recognize variations on these concepts when you hear them in the real world. The human mind is amazingly good at recognizing patterns and understanding variations and abstractions. This is why the method is so effective. Instead of trying to "catalog" every sound and harmonic movement that can possibly exist, the method relies on your own ability to combine ideas together, recognize variations, etc.

What all this means is that IFR is 100% designed around human beings. The only way that you could transfer this to a computer application would be to combine the IFR concepts with some kind of artificial intelligence. More than an app, we would be talking about a robot who practices IFR!

So here's what I would suggest that you do with all of this. Instead of looking for an app to save you the trouble of analyzing songs, embrace the challenge yourself. Make it your mission to explore and analyze every song you come across. Put yourself at the center of the process.

Don't think of IFR as a tool for analyzing songs. Think of it as a tool for developing yourself. YOU are the only person who can decide what any particular musical moment truly means, where it comes from, what it reminds you of, etc. And you are also the only person who can decide what to do creatively with that moment.

Thanks for the great question,