Is there an app that can identify musical instruments?

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ironpony
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07 Mar 2020, 4:59 am

I often will hear an instrument and want to know what it is, if it's not common and wonder if there is any app or computer program that can ID instruments in a score, if you play back the recording for it. Is there?



Karamazov
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07 Mar 2020, 5:57 am

Interesting question!
I’ve never thought to look for one... I suspect if such things exist they might have to be very high-end and expensive to do what they’re meant to.
Even leaving aside blended timbres from say, oboe and cello playing in unison, one instrument on its own can confuse people.

I have a recording of John Williams playing some pieces by Albeniz: there’s a section of one of them that my wife insists must be a church organ, but it is him on his guitar... a master musician at the top of his game seamlessly blending pianissimo artificial harmonics with the sul tasto end of his instruments timbre to render the chordal melody gorgeous beyond words.



naturalplastic
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07 Mar 2020, 7:14 am

Screw "apps".


Just go to your public library, and ask for a CD of Benjamin Britten's "the Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" (or I suppose that you can download it nowadays). Take it home. Savoir it. And you will become an instant expert in recognizing instruments. At least you will know the general "family" of instruments youre hearing (woodwinds, brass, strings, etc).



Karamazov
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07 Mar 2020, 8:02 am

I’m pretty sure it’s been uploaded to YouTube as well.
I had it when I was a child on tape back-to-back with Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf which is also quite good for that sort of thing.



ironpony
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09 Mar 2020, 2:26 am

Oh okay, well I watched the youtube video of the orchestra and pretty much know most of those instruments already. It's usually when I hear an instrument that does not sound like it's part of a traditional orchestra, that I want to know what it is, if I really like it, but nobody can tell me. I want to buy samples of the instrument, for composing, but I cannot find the samples, if I don't know what it is.