Project Introduction and Vision
About the word 'Kalimbist'
Making this word exist in dictionary with the definition of "Artists who play kalimba" has always been lingering in my mind from the start of the project. I hope that one day, this will come to fruition not just by me alone, but by the entire kalimba community as a whole!
Kalimba isn't like a piano - at all. The kalimba has its own "keyboard" layout, therefore is totally different from a piano. The layout is a little bit "weird" to first understand, so it makes the learning curve a bit steep for new kalimba players.
However, most musical sheets arranged for kalimba are rather simple. It can be as simple as two notes each staff, yes. So it's suitable for people who start to step in to the world of music, and/or just feel like covering the song they love/can't get rid of it in mind (coming from own's experience right here ^~^)
This software is born to address the above two keys:
- Making learning kalimba and practicing kalimba songs with ease.
- Allowing users to create kalimba musical sheets and share them with others.
So what can it do?
When the software is ready to download, it should have the following features:
- Read MIDI (*.mid), and Music XML (*.mxl, and *.musicxml) files. Because there are so many files of these extensions are already present, looking for a sheet for the song you love? Simply search for it on the internet, I'm sure there will be a lot.
- Arrange sheets with notes in type of "bars" - the longer the bar is, the more duration the note has.
- Play the sheet by making those bars fall slowly until they touch the tines. The touched tines will light up and make sound.
- What else after all those makings and editing? Save your sheet. Supported extensions are for Music XML (*.mxl, and *.musicxml). I decided to use such extensions because the files are light, widely used, and are compatible with many programs.
- Play at your own speed. Bars falling too fast for you to follow? This features will be the savior, practicing can never be easier.
- Change the layout of the tines. Unlike piano which has a fixed keyboard layout, kalimba has flexible layouts (it can even be a two-liner like chromatic kalimba (one layout on the front, the other on the back), or both layouts at the front side)
- Transpose the sheet. You can shift the entire tine layout by a semi-tone at a time and play at the correct tune (not all kalimbas are tuned at C major)
At release, only Desktop version (Windows) will be available. Making a music sheet isn't simple on small mobile screens, so my best bet is to make it on desktops for the ease of use.
Reading a music sheet is indeed not hard on mobile devices, so I will make the reading feature available on mobile in the future, making the software cross-platforms at its fruition!
Because of the flexibility and ever-evolving nature of kalimba players, there will be more features added to help you utilize this software to the most of it.
The software has been in development stage for about a year now. I plan on releasing the Kalimbist software within the next 6 months. So expect it to come out in the first half of 2020!
Until next time~!