Frequently Asked Questions
Where do the recordings come from?
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.
What about duets, ensemble pieces, and full roles?
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.
What about pop songs?
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.
Are you planning to include sheet music?
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
Where can I see a list of all the titles you offer?
You can download the app for free, and view and search all the titles.
How do I change, manage, or cancel my Appcompanist subscription?
You can change, manage, or cancel your subscription at any time directly through Apple. For instructions on how to accomplish this, please refer to the Apple Support Page.
Can I use the app on my computer?
Appcompanist is only for use on mobile devices
Can I save the changes I make to a song using the play features of Appcompanist for later use?
Song settings 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.”
Can I make recordings for myself, my students, or my friends using Appcompanist?
ANY mechanical reproduction or copy (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 artistic community depends upon people adhering to Copyright Law. Violation hurts composers, lyricists, publishers, recording artists, and companies striving to develop innovative products that serve artists. As with all streaming models, royalties are paid on subscription revenue, based on "streams" or actual use of each recording. Please keep in mind:
- ANY COPY distributed to another person is an illegal copy
- ANY COPY made and retained by a user after a subscription is cancelled or expires is an illegal copy.
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. Thank you for doing your part as an artist to help your community thrive!
Can I post recordings using Appcompanist online or stream recordings or performances?
For many cases, yes! Many of our songs and vocal exercises are public domain. That means you can make recordings of yourself singing with our accompaniments and post them freely without needing to obtain a license to do so. Some of our songs and exercises are protected by copyright. A copyright protects the underlying musical composition, which may be owned by the song’s rightsholders like writers and publishers. A separate copyright exists in our recording of the composition, and that’s owned by Appcompanist. We own all our recordings and pay rightsholders licenses so you can use our accompaniments. We can’t wait to see how you’re using us, and hope you’ll credit and tag us so we can keep up with your creativity! You can use Appcompanist’s recordings of both public domain and copyrighted songs for private and non-commercial uses which include recording yourself practicing, sharing privately with your music teacher, and performing at auditions, juries, and recitals or settings where no one is making money off the performance. If you’re using Appcompanist to perform copyrighted songs in a paid performance, livestreaming from your own website, or in a video of you performing or practicing posted to a social media site, you must obtain any required licenses according to the law. We don’t mind you posting video of yourself singing with any of our accompaniments, but, to be clear, we cannot grant you the right to post any recordings or copies of any compositions which are not in the public domain. Such licenses would have to be obtained from the copyright rights holders directly. We do not maintain a list of compositions in the public domain.
Do you offer institutional licenses or discounts?
The Apple and Google Play renewable subscription models don't allow for institutional purchases or licensing. Also, it wouldn't be ideal for students as they need to have their accounts tied to their own Apple IDs or Google Play IDs so that their playback settings, playlists, etc. go with them wherever they go and on any of their devices under that ID. Some schools and private studios that have really wanted to help students with the purchase of a subscription have done it by giving iTunes/Google Play gift cards. It's not very tech or elegant, but it has done the trick where needed.
Why do I sometimes hear the melody even when the melody button isn’t selected?
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.
Why does the piano sometimes sound distorted when playing through the phone’s internal speaker when volume is all the way up?
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.
Does the search box match “any” word or “all” words?
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.
Why is the title I’m looking for not coming up in my search?
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.
Why is the key signature in the app different from the key signature on my sheet music?
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.
Can I use the “Share song” feature to share an Appcompanist recording with someone who is not a subscriber?
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.
Why did you disable cloud archiving of playlists and custom versions?
A very small set of customers reported the app having problems on startup, such as hanging and crashing. We are actively looking at more reliable system. In the meantime you can always share playlists and custom versions with yourself via Messages or Mail if you need to have a backup or you are setting up a second system. If you previously used CloudKit for archiving (which was the default before version 2.0) we are also looking for a way to restore playlists and custom versions from CloudKit storage as well.
Note that if you regularly back up your phone and you deleted the Appcompanist app you should be able to restore from a backup made before you deleted Appcompanist and your playlists and custom versions should also be restored. If you do this be sure to then update to the latest version of Appcompanist.