Do We Really Need Music Apps Designed For People With “No Talent”?

Do we really need music apps designed for people with “no talent”?

iPhone app developer TuneAround has released a new $1.99 iApp, SongMaker (App Store link), that’s officially designed for people with “no talent”:

Not good at singing? No talent for music?

Never mind. You can create a song of your own voice with SongMaker even without actually singing.

SongMaker is a “reverse karaoke” app – you sing into it and it makes music that goes along with what you sing. You select a genre and a tempo, and it does the rest.

Now – it used to be that you had to “practice”, “educate yourself” or even “work” in order to make music. Musicians have traditionally embraced these tasks, because they love making music. And it showed in the music that they made.

Now, developers are officially trying to make this all optional.

Does the world need more music apps designed for people with “no talent”? Seems like there are enough musicians with no talent already.

What do you think? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

26 thoughts on “Do We Really Need Music Apps Designed For People With “No Talent”?

  1. I'm for cultivating an interest in music. If someone with 'no talent' gets interested in making music due to this app, that is a positive thing. Perhaps they'll explore further, get a DAW and lose themselves in the process of music. Then they may find that the person they thought had no talent, actually had talent.

  2. hmm…there will always be people making exceptional music, and there will always be the rest of it. i wouldn't berate someone with no talent for trying to get into music, whether it's through i.e. voice lessons or a program like this. music and all of the arts are a gift that anyone can tap into at their own level. technology also makes more things possible and can present concepts in a different way.

    Now…all this said, i am concerned about the number of people who believe they are talented and yet invest nothing…it's the sort of instant gratification, fast-food mentality that plagues just about everything these days.

  3. ehhh, why not? Everything sucks anyway. What difference does it make if they have no talent? I think they should just make a program that makes music on it's own with little or no input from the user. Just program it to understand music theory and scales and stuff and it can do everything else.

  4. If an app or device sounds good in the hands of a person without any talent or skill, then a.) it's not really an instrument, it's a glorified record player, and b.) the person isn't "creating" anything, it's just generative iterations of the designer's creation, using the person's arbitrary input as a randomization seed.

    This comes up again and again, every time something new is invented, but the laws of reality don't change.

  5. As the technology for making music become cheaper and in the hands of more people, the quality of the overall output will always go down. Not every piece of music created on an electric guitar is a classic by a long shot.

    There are people who make fantastic amounts of money who play record players already.

    Like anything else, some will use it with skill and imagination, but those people would use anything at hand to make music the same way. Those who would make horrible music will do so with this or something else.

  6. Making music is enlightening, enlarging, and fulfilling. Everyone who enjoys it should do it, "talented" or not. I have no problem with talentless people making music….but it is annoying when they get rich off of it.

  7. Yes, we do. Those of a conservative bent would have said the same when the theremin first appeared. Technology does not truly "deskill," but rather changes the definition and boundaries of music, thus creating a new skill entirely.

  8. If your music can be trumped by someone with a "no talent" ap, what does that say about your level of talent? Doesn't your implicit degree of fear suggest that you're just going through the motions yourself?

  9. My problem isn't the app itself, but the fact that there will be people who get the app and think they're a musician and have talent simply because of the app itself.

    I can't count how many times I've had people tell me they "make beats" because they threw together some loops in garage band, even though they have no musical experience and no desire to gain any if it takes the least bit of effort…

    Basically these things just serve as ego boosters, not musical devices. If it gets someone interested in music, great! But personally I am tired of hear people think that playing guitar hero, or singing into an auto-tune app or any other similar activity translates into musical ability.

    People are becoming obsessed with instant gratification and just don't seem willing to work for things anymore, the practice it takes to become a good musician is just seen as obnoxious and not worthwhile. This app, as fun as it may be will only contribute to that mentality…

  10. This is the musical equivalent of paint by numbers. Let the market decide what is sellable music. I can't believe anyone would be worried about a program like this.

  11. I don't know nearly enough about Brian Eno's past and how exactly he came to do what he does and is praised for. But maybe his musical development was influenced by being in a band called Roxy Music? Not to say that times have changed and that maybe people might actually find "music" applications for the so-called non talented people (Who is talented and what is talent anyway? Does it even matter in a world where you still have to work instead of just think to realize anything?) to be a "gateway drug" for progressively more involved means of making music that give their user more and more control.

  12. Right, the only thing I can be bothered to worry about is that the market (as is there were just one …) decides what is sellable music, i.e. what ends up in record shops. These days I cannot even stand being in a store that plays this contemporary pop music for longer than a few minutes because the omnipresent beats from a can and the auto tuned moaning they call singing. Hopefully it's all just a brief phase.

  13. lol, so dramatic! I think the dev's where being a bit tonque in cheek with those comments. It's just a fun little toy. Like Strette said, perhaps it will encourage people to try other tools that require "talent".

    Besides, having fun and being CREATIVE is much more important when making music, IMVHO. Music theory sometimes is a bit antiquated (for electronic musicians) because of the modern tools. Also, I've come across many virtuosic musicians who wrote terrible, bland music.

  14. Anything that makes music making cheaper and easier is a good thing in my book.

    Sure, an app that writes the song for you is different than say, someone using a sample library instead of learning to play the trumpet. But it's important that someone is able to focus on only the elements of composition they think are important. And if all you care about is your lyrics, then this will probably suit you fine.

    Don't get me wrong though, Almost all the music made with this app will certainly be trash. But there's always been and always will be awful music.

  15. I don't think that's the worry – it's that there will be even more bad music put out there by people with no talent.

    AutoTune wasn't good enough – now they have to AutoCompose and AutoPlay everything.

  16. It's a bit like piano players, really. Because they can't get their fingers on the right bit of the string, they're reduced to banging a bunch of pre-programmed buttons.

  17. What a load of exclusive bullshit from Synthopia! There's a lot more to Music than the musician – it's a strange marriage connecting the physics of audio (the propagation of wave through an atmosphere), the vibration-sensitive human ear (and skeleton) and our very human, gestalt sense of pattern rhythm and repetition. Every thing above that is just personal bias (as to good/bad, talent/no talent).

    You should praise anyone that makes an effort to reach out to the greater public and attempt to cultivate an interest, even a casual 'untalented' one. Music is joy-creation. Tone down the chin scratching please.

  18. Per se when a non-musician non-talented person produce something that is recognizable as music I guess it definitely is a good thing.

    I feel more concerned about the algorithms behind the app rather than the target aimed by the app… I mean what's really behind this black box algorithm (I didn't check further so maybe it isn't a black box at all, and it is totally open source)?

    Is it just a dumb app with a few presets that will fit the mumbling in the mic? If it is I agree with the fact that it is totally useless except for educational purposes, and maybe triggering the will to make music among non-musician.

    I think that something more interesting would be an algorithm that enables the app to react to the parameters of the singing to produce the music. Maybe AI will bring something like that in the future… That would be much more interesting, and creative I guess!

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