Point the Piano and Violin Learning Pen from Gigiway at notation in a music book and it will either play the piece through its built-in speaker or repeat and re-repeat a chosen passage and tell you what all those complicated-looking symbols mean. Budding musicians can slow down the playback speed until they are ready to play at full pelt, activate the digital metronome and even compare tones to make sure their chosen instrument is in tune.
Gigiway hired professional musicians to record all the music used for its teaching system and captured every performance in its own studio to ensure CD-quality 44.1kHz/16-bit compression-free audio reproduction. The same musicians, along with professional broadcasters, also provide helpful hints, tips and notation explanations - all of which are stored in interchangeable 1GB memory cards (enough room for about ten different pieces of music). The "richest, fattest and fullest musical sound" is played through an in-built speaker or via an audio-out port to (included) external speakers or to earphones.
The Piano and Violin Learning Pen interacts with specially-prepared music notation via a light sensor in the tip. Users simply choose the required mode and then point the pen at the page. Aiming at the title of the music results in the whole piece being played or point at some notation (a bass clef for instance) and an audio explanation of what the symbol means is given. There's a function to break down the selected music into segments for drill repetition and another to practice left and right hand parts independently. Learners can choose three different playback and repetition speeds to suit their own needs.
The Learning Pen can also act as a digital metronome when used with a special card. On the reverse there's a music tone diagram that allows users to check they're getting the right tone from their instrument or even use the image of the 50 or so keys to play simple tunes.
There are two models available, both powered by rechargeable Li-ion batteries. Gigiway can also custom encode "appointed piano or violin music books". More information can be found on the product page.
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