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Appcompanist Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where can I see a list of all the titles you offer?

A: You can download the app for free, and view and search all the titles. You can also view the list on our site.


Q: Why does the piano sometimes sound distorted when playing through the phone’s internal speaker when volume is all the way up?

A: The premium piano sound in Appcompanist is designed to be played through an external Bluetooth speaker or quality headphones in order to achieve the volume necessary for accompanying live singers.


Q: Where do the recordings come from?

A: A team of top-level collaborative pianists and coaches from all over the world record the accompaniments you hear in the app. By contracting specialists in every genre, we are able to offer the highest quality accompaniment recordings available…then give you the control over them!


Q: Why do I sometimes hear the melody even when the melody button isn’t selected?

A: Many times, especially in Musical Theater, the piano score has the melody doubled in the accompaniment as part of the arrangement. We try to stay true to what you will actually hear when a live accompanist plays from your sheet music, so the melody line may be doubled between accompaniment and Melody Guide Track.


Q: Are you planning to include sheet music?

A: We are focused on creating the best accompaniment tool possible, and we look forward to partnering with existing publishers and digital music distributors to help you find and purchase the sheet music you need. In the meantime, we also recognize that viewing scores on a phone wouldn’t be the most conducive experience to learning or rehearsing and that most teachers and singers have many sources from which they can obtain either hard copy or digital sheet music. We are exploring the possibility of a pdf viewer within future iPad and Tablet versions.


Q: Is Appcompanist only for iPhone and iPad?

A: We are working on the Android version to be released in 2018.


Q: Do you offer institutional licenses or discounts?

A: Because the renewable subscription is offered directly through the App Store, via your Apple ID, and because we have kept the pricing so reasonable, we do not currently offer institutional licenses or discounts. Most schools simply reimburse the cost directly to their faculty for annual subscriptions, and encourage students to maintain their own subscriptions.


Q: What about duets, ensemble pieces, and full roles?

A: Once we have recorded every classical vocal and musical theater solo piece you could possibly want to sing, we will look to include duets, ensemble pieces and full roles.


Q: What about pop songs?

A: If there is a pop song that is often sung by musical theater singers or is part of a Broadway show, it will likely appear in the Appcompanist Library. Also, we are planning to add jazz standards very soon. However, since we primarily serve classical and musical theater singers and voice teachers, and since there are other products that cater to pop singing, we’re staying in our lane for the near future.


Q: Can I request a song?

A: Please do! While we may not be able to include every request, we love suggestions and hearing from you will most likely move your desired titled up the recording list to appear in Appcompanist more quickly.


Q: Why is the title I’m looking for not coming up in my search?

A: Appcompanist provides a number of ways to search the library and some powerful tools to find what you’re looking for. Here are a few suggestions if you’re having trouble:

  • • Make sure you don’t have unwanted filters set.
  • • Check that you didn’t leave a word or part of a word in the search box at the top.
  • • Widen your search by typing only part of the title in the search box, or by simply sorting the list and looking in categories rather than for a specific piece.
  • • Check spelling. If you are typing anything other than a title of a song or greater work in the search box (like a voice type or language or composer) you would need to type the entire category word, spelled correctly to find.


Q: Does the search box match “any” word or “all” words?

A: The search box is designed to narrow to very specific searches. For this reason we have it set to match to all words typed. For instance, if you type "baritone" and "Some" the search will not include all baritone pieces as well as all titles or greater works with the word "some" in them, because we assume you’re looking for a baritone piece with the word some in it. It will use both to find ONLY baritone songs that have the word "some" like Some Enchanted Evening.


Q: Can I use the app on my computer?

A: Appcompanist is only for use on mobile devices.


Q: Why is the key signature in the app different from the key signature on my sheet music?

A: This is a complex answer because of the intricacies of published and printed music. Assigning a single key to a piece that moves through multiple keys; or has an intro or recitative that is in a different key from that of the Aria or Song "proper" is somewhat subjective and can be difficult.

We decided to display the key signature of the song or aria "proper" (Where the familiar part of a piece begins). For example the intro of the song "Popular" from Wicked starts in C major, but the song proper begins in F Major, when she sings, "Popular…I want to be popular." This is the key that is displayed on the app since most people think of that as the song and would claim to sing it in the key of F, rather than naming the starting key of the introduction. Using the melody feature on the app and any pitch pipe or instrument (even one on your phone), it’s easy to double check that you are playing the accompaniment in the right key for your sheet music.

Another possible answer is that the piece was recorded in a different published key than the one you have. Numerous Art Songs, Folk Songs, Hymns, and musical theater pieces are published in multiple keys. Simply tap the Transpose button to change the key to the one that reflects the sheet music in front of you.


Q: Why don't you sell individual titles rather than a subscription to all titles?

A: We opted for the subscription model like Netflix, Spotify, Apple Music, because even more than those services, we felt it was very important as a repertoire building and learning tool, for Appcompanist users to have full access to all titles in their chosen genre. This allows teachers to explore new rep with students of all different voice types. It allows singers to expand their horizons and look into different genres without constantly worrying about the runaway cost of building their personal library. It lets young signers with limited knowledge of the rep, discover new facets of their voices and musical tastes. And it hopefully saves singers quite a lot of money while encouraging them to sing a wider variety of repertoire.

If we sold individual recordings of this quality, with the ability to play in every key and nearly any interpretation, they would likely sell for $10 or more per recording, and most serious singers maintain a repertoire of far more than 12 songs, which would equal the cost of a full year access to the whole library. It's definitely a business model choice, as it would be technically possible to go either way, but we made this one with our singer and teacher customers in mind, trying to provide them the very best service in the most economical way. We hated thinking of singers having to quickly buy songs for an upcoming audition that they might never sing again, or hesitating to add experimental pieces to their repertoire because if they chose not to use it later, they didn't want to waste the money. So this is our way of saying, "sing anything, any time. Go for it...and we'll keep adding more pieces for you to explore!


Q:  Can I use the “Share song” feature to share an Appcompanist recording with someone who is not a subscriber?

A: The “Share song” feature is simply providing an easy way to suggest a title to another Appcompanist subscriber.  The service is tied to each individual's Apple ID so anyone with whom you share a song would need to have their own subscription to Appcompanist in order to play it.


Q: Can I make an accompaniment recording for my students or my friends using Appcompanist?

A: Any mechanical reproduction (making MP3s, CDs, digital recordings for students, friends, etc.) is a violation of copyright law in the same way it would be to photocopy sheet music or make a copy of any recording that you buy to distribute to another person.  We pay royalties to publishers and composers for the use of the copyrighted material that we record and make available through Appcompanist, and our original recordings of public domain songs are also protected under copyright law.  The only way to preserve the goal of every artist being fairly compensated for their work, is for all of us to adhere to copyright law.  

Also, for your students to get the full experience of being able to practice with the recordings...controlling tempo, key, melody, fermata, etc., they really should have their own subscription to Appcompanist. This also allows them to explore new repertoire on their own and expand their horizons with our growing library of thousands of arias, art songs and musical theater pieces. 


Q:  Can I save the changes I make to a song using the play features of Appcompanist for later use? 

A: Static song settings (as of Version 1.1) such as key, tempo, melody blend and melody octave are all automatically saved when you close a song, so that the next time you open that song, it will play exactly as it did when you left off.  You can clear all settings and restore to the original recorded settings by tapping the three dots in the lower right hand corner of the play screen and tapping “Reset Song Settings.”  Version 2 of Appcompanist will incorporate a feature that allows you to save the dynamic changes you make to a song during play.