Getting Started with Clarion

How Do I Get Started as Quickly as Possible?

When Clarion first launches, it is set up for practice and quizzing in the default “Major Scale” based configuration. To quickly get a feel for how Clarion works, just click the “Start Quiz” button. You’ll immediately hear two musical notes. In quiz mode, Clarion is acting like a teacher or student partner, patiently playing musical intervals and waiting for you to guess the correct answer. Whatever interval you hear, click the corresponding button in the Clarion quiz window. If you are correct, you’ll immediately hear the next interval. If you’re incorrect, you’ll hear a single beep and the incorrect button will be disabled.

Keep guessing until you get the correct interval. While you’re just getting started with interval recognition, it can be helpful to “try out” your guesses on the piano. Click the “Show Practice Piano” button to reveal the built-in piano keyboard. You can play the notes of this piano as much as you want until you hear the correct interval. Now, figure out the interval name for what you’ve played and press the corresponding button.

I Find the Terminology Confusing. What are M3, P5, M7, etc?

Clarion was designed for musicians with some knowledge about the names of intervals in the western octave. The buttons in Clarion’s main quiz window use a common shorthand for the various sizes of intervals that you find in western music.

The letter represents the quality of the interval:

"U" = "Unison"
"M" = "Major"
"m" = "minor"
"P" = "Perfect"
"d" = "diminished

While the number stands for the conventional position of the interval in a Major or Minor scale. The terminology is something of a compromise when discussing Chromatic or otherwise non-modal scales. But it’s a widely accepted compromise, and intervals are often referred to as being "major" or "minor" for instance, outside the context of those scales.

If you’re having trouble understanding this terminology, or you know what the interval you’re being quizzed on is, but can’t figure out what to call it, you might benefit from additional instruction. If you already have an instrument or voice instructor, for instance, they would be perfectly-suited to helping you set up a practice configuration with Clarion, and for teaching you about the various names for intervals you are studying.

Can I Add Custom Scales to Clarion?

With Clarion you can define custom interval sets as a collection of ascending and descending intervals within a single octave. Open Clarion’s Preferences dialog and select the "Interval Sets" tab. Here you can easily add, rename, or delete your custom interval sets.

To use the new interval set in a quiz, select the "Quiz Settings" tab and choose the new interval set in a user-defined configuration. If your set contains descending intervals, be sure to select a direction preference that includes descending intervals, or they will be ignored when you run the quiz.