Musiclock is a groundbreaking tool that makes it easy for anyone to grasp the basics of musical scales.

Learning to play an instrument is great fun. However, many aspiring musicians feel intimidated by music theory – especially scales. Perttu Pölönen, a student at the Sibelius Academy in Finland came up with a solution. Musiclock is learning tool that helps to visualise, understand and experiment with all musical scales and their modes.

MusiClock - From physical to digital

Going Digital

At first, Musiclock came to life as a physical prototype. The brilliant idea instantly gained momentum: Pölönen won the first price at the 2013 European Union Contest for Young Scientists and was also named the most creative Finn at the 2014 Slush startup event.

Together with his brother, Pölönen started a company around his invention. The brothers joined forces with seed investor company Koppicatch, and after careful consideration, Taiste was chosen to design and develop the product into a mobile app.

MusiClock - Design process

UX Design

The UI consists of not only the playable clock itself, but also features an interactive keyboard that highlights the notes that belong to the scale currently on display. The user can also play backing tracks and transpose them in real time to any key she wants to practice.

The visual style of the UI was built around the idea of finding fitting colors to represent the mood of different scales: for example, selecting the Major scale turns the dominant colour to cheery yellow whereas the Blues scale is, of course, blue.

Developing the MusiClock app

App Development Meets Music Theory

Building the basic mechanics of the clock, keyboard and backing tracks required a deep understanding of music theory from the developer.

Luckily for us, all our team members happened to be either musicians or music enthusiasts themselves. Communication-wise, it was easy to hit the right notes (excuse the pun) from the get-go.

See what the Interaction Awards 17 judges had to say about MusiClock.
MusiClock UI

Taking over the World

Musiclock was met with high praise from the users and critics alike. In 2017, the app won the main prize of the Expressing category at the prestigious Interaction Awards in New York. It was also a finalist at the 2017 UX Awards in Palo Alto, CA.

It seems that Musiclock might just revolutionise the way music theory is being taught. It has truly been a joy to be a part of that journey.

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