Program to support the piano student

Piano Booster

Piano Booster is a program to support the piano student. The program Piano Booster reads Midi files and can play the piece or show all or part of the student musical score and play along with the student.

Piano Booster is a fun way of playing along with a musical accompaniment and at the same time learning the basics of reading musical notation. The difference between playing along to a CD or a standard midi file is that PianoBooster listens and follows what you are playing on a midi piano keyboard.

Piano Booster has been designed to allow you to play along on a midi piano keyboard with the scrolling notes shown on the screen. The notes you press on the keyboard appear as coloured lines on the musical stave, the colour of which depends whether you have pressed the right or wrong note.

A different musical instrument sound is used for your playing depending whether you are playing the right or wrong notes. This feature also allows Piano Booster to be used with printed sheet music so you can hear if you are playing the right notes while at the same time keeping your eyes on the printed score. The music accompaniment will automatically wait for you to find and play the correct notes in the piece.

Piano Booster is piano teaching software that can provide piano lessons for beginners as well as for advanced players. It can be used for teaching music theory and is useful for piano practice and learning piano technique.
Timing markers show whether you are playing ahead or behind of the beat. They appear as white crosses that are drawn over the note. Timing markers are new in version 0.6.2.

Piano Booster Features:

  • Piano Booster follows your playing when playing along to a musical accompaniment. (If you stop then so does the music).
  • Play a single hand and Piano Booster will play the other hand in time with you (and will also play the violins, the bass, the drums etc. in time with you).
  • Change the speed of playback to match your playing ability.
  • Transpose +/- 12 semitones without stopping the play back.
  • Change the Key Signature of the piece.
  • Plays any standard midi or kar file.
  • Play along to any instrument in the midi file.
  • Adjust the volume of the current part or the volume your piano part.
  • See the accuracy of you playing.
  • Change the start bar to start playing from any bar in the music. The repeat bars allows you to practice just a few difficult bars continuously.
  • Timing markers are white crosses that are drawn over each note and show if you are playing ahead or behind the beat.
  • A different instrument sound is used for the right and wrong notes that you play.

Piano Booster Requirements
To run Piano Booster you need a MIDI Piano Keyboard and a MIDI interface for the PC. (If you don't have a MIDI keyboard you can still try out PianoBooster using the PC keyboard, 'x' is middle C -- but a MIDI piano is recommend).

To hear the music you will need a General Midi compatible sound synthesizer. Unfortunately the "Microsoft GS Wavetable software synthesizer" that comes with Windows introduces an unacceptable delay (latency) between pressing a note and hearing the sound. For this reason the use of "Microsoft GS Wavetable software synthesizer" is not recommend. Please see the forum section of this website for possible solutions.

Piano Booster MIDI files
To run PianoBooster you will need some Midi files preferably with right and left piano parts on channels 4 and 3. Some high quality demo MIDI files that are compatible with PianoBooster are available

Piano Booster is available for:

  • Piano Booster Windows: There is now an installer/uninstaller for windows. Just download and run this setup program.
    • PianoBoosterInstall-0-6-4.exe
  • Piano Booster Mac: Piano Booster has been tested with SimplSynth for the Mac which can be obtained for free (MIT license). Version 0.6.4 for the Mac is coming soon in the meantime here is the previous release. A universal binary for the Mac (Thanks to Christian).
    • pianobooster-mac-0.6.2.dmg
  • Piano Booster Linux: A Ubuntu Package for Piano Booster for the current version 0.6.4 is available. Download and install the .deb package that corresponds to your architecture using your favourite package manager.

    Note: In Ubuntu 9.04 there is an issue with the Intel drivers which that means PianoBooster performs very badly if you have Intel graphic chips. Upgrading to Ubuntu 9.10 fixes this problem.