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4 and one half note ratingMiBAC Music Lessons




iBAC Music Lessons is an excellent no-nonsense theory program. This software does not teach little tunes or use cute games; it gets straight to the point of teaching music theory in a sound, correct and informative manner. Students of all ages can benefit, although supervision would be helpful with younger children. Older children and adults find this program very informative and useful.


keyinfo.gif (1045 bytes)The name MUSIC LESSONS has been changed to MUSIC LESSONS I  Fundamentals. The program's sequel, MUSIC  LESSONS II Chords and Harmony, is also now available. (Win/Mac Hybrid CD)


Music Lessons boxInstallation of the MiBAC system was automatic and straightforward on a Windows. We did not test the Macintosh version for this review. If you should have some trouble, the manual provides an unusually well-documented description of the whole installation process so you can do it manually if necessary. The manual provides tips on how to set up your computer speakers and MIDI configuration as well, so most users should be able to get MiBAC up and running easily, either in the home or the studio. Should you need help, we found tech support helpful and informative.

The main Music Lessons screen is uncluttered and easy to understand. Most users with basic computer familiarity should be able to use it without help or introduction. For those unfamiliar with computers, a ten minute introduction to using the mouse should suffice. For example, a student can click on the icon for Jazz scales, the screen will then present the exercises which go along with the chapter on jazz scales; to read more about a topic, then the student just clicks on the help or ? button. A click on the Check button provides an analysis of their work. If not correct, the program will, on request, show the correct answers to the exercises. The MiBAC teaches note names, the circle of fifths, all major and minor scales, modes, jazz scales, scale degrees, intervals, note/rest durations and, finally, ear training of intervals and scales. You don't necessarily need a MIDI keyboard to use the program; an on screen keyboard can be clicked on with the mouse. Of course, a MIDI keyboard makes the program easier to use and more realistic.

Students can choose from treble, bass or alto clef, and can modify the exercises to use all or single clef, in whatever combination they wish to use. This reviewer found the modes and jazz scales chapters wonderfully helpful and presented in a clear concise manner which helped clear up a lot of fuzzy past learning of these two theoretical problems.

The Help screens present a factually accurate and informative theoretical explanation of all the specific chapters. Each of the above mentioned items has an individual chapter devoted to that specific area. One of the strengths of this program is its excellent printed and online theory manual accessible via the program's Help function. You can take a look at this music theory reference manual directly from the MiBAC World Wide Web home page.

We have recommended this software for use by students at home, and have also strongly recommended it to other teachers. Adult students in particular find it a welcome relief from the shoot-em-up-bang-bang approach of teaching programs directed to kids. Our more advanced children like it as well. If you want a program to teach solid theory, you won't be displeased by MiBAC Music Lessons. You can download a free demo of Music Lessons from the MiBAC Music Software Home Page on the World Wide Web.

Nancy Ostromencki and John Zeigler

MiBAC MUSIC LESSONS I Fundamentals. List Price: Windows  $119, Mac $149. MiBAC Music Software, P.O. Box 468, Northfield, MN  55057. System Requirements: WINDOWS: Windows Vista, XP, 2000, ME, 98.  Sound blaster and MIDI compatible. MACINTOSH: Mac OSX (10.2 or  later), Mac OS9 or OS 8. MIDI optional. Phone: 507-645-5851  800-645-2377 Fax: 507-645-2377
Page created: 7/13/96
Last updated: 01/30/15
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