A creative music app where things are far from harmonious

While for the serious musician there are plenty of heavy-duty apps available to record, edit and export your latest musical creation, there are also a range of visually creative tools that allow for a much more basic – and colourful – way for people to compose their own masterpiece.

Waviary falls into the latter of these two categories, where upon opening you’re met with a screen containing a grid with six coloured, spinning swirls. Dragging the swirls around the screen creates sounds, with each swirl having a slightly different pitch. You can also select the lock button in the top-right corner to fix the swirls into their current position, allowing you to tap the screen like a keyboard. The sound quality is excellent, and the soothing tones can become rather hypnotic, even if they sound like something from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.

There is also a wealth of features on offer. You can alter the pitch and octave of the swirls, which is represented by a lightening or darkening of the background. There’s a volume control, and in the bottom-right corner a button to select a different tone for the swirls. At the top of the screen you’ll find a clock, allowing you to set a sleep timer. Selecting the button in the bottom-right brings up an extended menu, including a Help option, the chance to save a composition, and the option to turn on the Random Optimiser.

While the features and visuals are a definite plus, sadly there are plenty of issues with the app. On a phone screen it was difficult to select options from the menu, with a delay often creating much confusion. However, when we used the app on the iPad, everything was smoother, and although it still took a while to load, the bigger screen allowed for much easier navigation and enjoyment of this music maker.

Rated 3 out of 5

A fun and creative music app that works much better on a tablet.


  • TITLE=Barney The Box;RATING=5;BARNEY is a small gilded box which needs help. It is a game like angry birds or other nice 2D physic games.

    You have to stack all the boxes on one level. They must not touch the floor and must be above BARNEY’s eyes. In the first and last levels the elements are stacked by drag and drop. In the following levels there are also boxes and stones which explode or which have to be shot. The ones who have already some experience with Angry Birds can be happy. You can recognize elements to shoot by the writing “SHOOT”. The boxes and stones have to be shot in every level until there are no more elements left to shoot. Patience and fine motor skills are necessary! In “BARNEY THE BOX” there are about 60 different levels with new elements and degrees of difficulty.

    The game is for those of you who want to improve their fine motor skills and to train their patience. “BARNEY THE BOX” is optimal for everybody who likes explosions, who likes to shoot and order boxes, stones and other forms. Furthermore, one should be open for all different kinds of enigmas and one should have some cleverness.

  • TITLE=MAKE ME MUSIC APP FOR KIDS;Stylishly rendered Garage Band for beginners that lets kids express their inner Mozart or Madonna while learning about rhythm and melody in a bright, beautiful sound garden. Make Me Music, is a loud, raucous cacophony of ringing, honking, strumming and banging instruments brought to life by legendary Beatles´ artist Alan Aldridge and the creative folks at FeeFiFoFun.com. The app is very user-friendly with little or no instruction needed. The home screen has a big play button in the centre surrounded by a few instruments including some with hands and feet. Pushing play takes you directly to the music room. It’s anchored by a winding red pipe covered in garlands of flowers that laugh or make funny noises when touched. A question mark in the top left corner brings up basic directions which let parents know that the four flowers across the bottom of the screen control rhythms and the arrows in the bottom right corner let you change the melody from a Caribbean vibe ukulele to a jazzy trumpet. When the melody is changed, the background in the room changes colour as well which gives pre-schoolers a subtle hint to perhaps change the tempo of their composition. All the kid-created symphonies and concertos can be recorded by activating the microphone symbol on the bottom left. Kids get a 3, 2, 1 countdown before recording begins. Compositions can be saved by emailing them to yourself or friends. They are converted to a mp4 format, so once downloaded, tunes can be made into ringtones or used as background music for home movies or whatever creative pursuit calls for maximum banging and clanging. Music is the great equalizer because you are never too young, too old or too disabled to participate in it. The recordings my kids and I made with Make Me Music were not as pretty as the app’s band room, but we had a lot of fun. Private music lessons or even the yuppie filled music classes I took my kids to are expensive and a luxury many families (and increasingly schools) can no longer afford. If the research is to be believed, this $1.99 app which follows the Orff method is a good investment in your child’s academic future. Regardless of your stance on the importance of music education, Make Me Music is a welcome departure from the plethora of preschool apps and games currently available. Recommended for 3+ ios. http://tinyurl.com/makememusic