April 27, 2022: v2.6.2 Experimental mbira dzavadzimu tunings
Added samples of a
mbira dzavadzimu in Bb,
by Sebastian Pott, tuned to three different temperaments: equi-heptatonic, mixolydian,
and AMI karimba tuning.
Samples recorded by the maker. Thanks, Sebastian!
April 25, 2022: v2.6 Play back anywhere; Selection shortcuts; Shift ← →
Changed Position notation to includes the B2x key.
Removed former off-by-one position numbering.
Position of both mbira dzavazimu classes are now compatible.
Changed the position numbering of the RT6/7 downward extensions.
When translating pieces, table rows with empty captions are now always kept verbatim at the
bottom of translated parts.
This standardises the former informal practice of using emtpy-caption tracks for
lyrics and other free-form content.
Translation does no longer add empty rows for optional manuals in the notations.
Background parts now more likely match the rows of the foreground,
Removed two experimental notations
(Art of Mbira lines and Art of Mbira notes)
which were introduced in v0.11.1.
March 17, 2022: v2.4 Streamlined user interface
Empty fields in the metadata section now are hidden until you press the
▶ Show all fields button.
Added samples of two hera made to order by Josam Nyamukuvhengu for Andrew Tracey in the 1970s/early 80s.
resembles Saini Madera's tuning;
TIC 295 is slightly higher and
resembles the Zonke family's tuning.
November 11, 2021: v2.0 New group features; Username aliases
All users may now create groups.
The Groups menu is always present.
Groups can now be marked as listed.
Listed groups appear in a public list, so that other users may request membership.
The former Nickname field of user profiles now became the
Alias (retaining the name).
Aliases (if set) are shown throughout the website instead of user's full names
when using 'social' features like piece sharing or groups.
Added groups to enable power users to share pieces with a group
whose members they can manage independently.
September 1, 2020: v1.8.2 Playhead animation; Bugfixes
When playing back mbira parts, the play position is now shown as a green bar moving across the table.
Bugfix: Mbira animation would still run at previous tempo after tempo change.
Maintenance: Modularized code which (in theory) speeds up page loading.
Bugfix: Share notification emails would contain wrong URLs (introduced by the above maintenance).
July 31, 2020: v1.7 Analytic notation; Bugfix
Added Analytic notation to facilitate analyzing and transforming the harmonic and
rhythmic structure of mbira pieces, and composing new music.
To learn more, click here and then on the "Analytic" tab.
Bugfix: After appending multiple tracks to a part at once, entered notes would sometimes show up in
all of them.
July 17, 2020: v1.6 Timbila samples
Added samples of Augusto Manhiça's mbila
for mbira dzavadzimu and matepe playback.
In order to cover the mbira's 23 note ambitus with the 18 keys of the mbila, 5 keys were synthesized
by pitch shifting their octave counterparts.
July 15, 2020: v1.5 Added News Archive
Added News Archive for all news bits once featured on the SR homepage.
July 13, 2020: v1.3-1.4 Cosmas Magaya's mbira tuning
In memory of late mbira master Cosmas Magaya, the tuning of his mbira is now the new default for
mbira dzavadzimu playback.
Added samples of two of Cosmas Magaya's mbira:
His own, made by John Kunaka,
and another one
made by his relative Tendai Tapfumane.
Added samples of Paul Berliner's mbira, made by John Kunaka.
Synthesized the RI2'' keys, which are not present on the two Kunaka mbira.
June 10, 2020: v1.2 Animated visualization of matepe scores
Matepe / Medhebhe / Hera transcriptions can also be shown as animations.
June 18, 2020: v1.1.5 Looping background parts; Matepe page; Bugfixes
If a background part is shorter than the foreground, it is looped horizontally to fill up the number of
pulses in the foreground.
Bugfix: After swapping parts of of different lengths in the parts list, sometimes the longer part
could not be edited any longer (until the page was loaded again).
Bugfix: Mbira dzavadzimu key labels on the Help page would not
longer show up at the right position.
Bugfix: A message box "An error occured, please reload the page" would appear when playing pieces of
instruments for which there is not yet an animation.
(You could continue working without problems though.)
June 10, 2020: v1.0 Animated visualization of mbira scores
Mbira dzavadzimu transcriptions can now not only played back, but also shown as animations.
This allows to learn pieces visually, without the need to understand notations.
Slight redesign of the Playback and Part Management panels.
More consistent use of terminology: An mbira "piece" consists of a list of "parts" which may be played
alternatively or simultaneously.
April 3, 2020: v0.11.1 "Art of Mbira" notations for mbira dzavadzimu; Improvements & Bugfix
Added two new experimental notations for the mbira dzavadzimu,
to facilitate entering scores from Paul Berliner and Cosmas Magaya's book
The Art of Mbira.
One is intended for users capable, the other for users incapable of reading musical notes.
Added an animated news widget to the homepage.
Bugfix: Listing multiple template pieces would mess up the visual layout.
January 21, 2020: v0.10 More mbira samples
Added samples of an mbira dzavadzimu in Nyamaropa 'Devon' tuning made by Sebastian Pott.
Recorded and sliced by Hendrik Brück.
January 9, 2020: v0.9.3 Bugfixes
Bugfix: Sharing pieces would result in an "Internal Error" message under certain conditions.
Bugfix: Choosing "Other" instrument class would sometimes display an error message.
Bugfix: Audio would not play back on the homepage.
August 27, 2019: v0.9 Score Editor Improvement
When editing scores which are wider than the browser window,
the editor now properly scrolls forth and back between the input field and the score cell being edited.
August 26, 2019: v0.8.1 Changed Hosho sound
Due to popular demand, changed Hosho sound to a louder, more mid-range one
August 20, 2019: v0.8 Bugfixes; Maintenance; Improvements
Bugfix: Sometimes the playback of multiple mbira parts would slowly run out of sync,
e.g. with .ogg files on Google Chrome.
Removed a hack to make mp3 loops in Safari browsers play more smoothly.
Bugfix: Notation menu would not be updated when changing instrument class.
Translator menu would not be updated when changing notation.
When empty, a piece's tempo field now shows the instrument classes default tempo.
August 5, 2019: v0.6 Added bulk share for power users
Added the possibility to bulk-share pieces for users with (technically) "power user" privileges.
October 25, 2018: v0.5 Added key to karimba notations
Added a lower RI7/ key to the karimbaPitch.4 notation,
and equivalents to all other notations.
This key is found on Joaquim Kusaya's Nsenga-type karimba.
Adopted a semantic versioning scheme for subsequent software releases.
From now on the second digit will be increased on every feature release,
and the third digit for every bugfix release.
Only feature releases will be listed here.
October 16, 2018: v0.4 Updated user interface, New hompage, Maintenance & Bugfixes
Fixed a long-standing problem which prevented the website's main menu to work on mobile devices
Updated user interface to Bootstrap 4 and jQuery 3.2.1
October 16, 2018: v0.3.68 Added nyonganyonga samples
Added sound samples of a Sena/Barwe nyonganyonga (TIC #052), remade by Andrew Tracey.
Samples sliced up by Zack Moon.
October 9, 2018: v0.3.67 Added Hera extra keys
In order to match the extra keys on Pintu Almeida João's Hera,
added RT4/, RT5/, LI2, and LI3 keys,
as well as RI4' and RI5' key aliases to the
matepe / madhebhe / heraPitch.4 notation.
Added equivalents for all other notations.
September 19, 2018: v0.3.66 Added nyonganyonga
Added new nyonganyonga instrument class with two notations:
Pitch.1 and Pitch+Octaves.1.
Added sound samples of a Sena/Barwe nyonganyonga (TIC #153).
Sliced up by Zack Moon.
Bugfix: Deleting a score would not remove it from the background of other scores.
January 19, 2018: v0.3.48 Added 'big' karimba class of instrument
Added new karimba instrument class with four notations:
Pitch.1/4 and Pitch+Octaves.1/4.
Added sound samples of a beautiful old Sena/Tonga or Sena/Nyungwe karimba,
acquired by Hugh Tracey in 1931 at Ruenya River, Mozambique (TIC #157).
See Jocelyn Mory playing this very instrument on
their Yelloweaver blog.
January 16, 2018: v0.3.46-47 Gapless loop playback on Safari, Bugfixes
Audio loops [for] now play seamlessly on Apple's Safari browser.
This is achieved by artificially shortening the loop range of decoded audio files,
in order to skip chunks of silence which are a side effect of the mp3 decoding process.
However, this very much depends on the actual mp3 decoding software employed by the browser,
so it may break again with any browser update.
Only the score which receives key commands now shows a blue cursor.
Bugfix: After requesting the generation of a new audio file,
the previous file would again be played when not holding Shift key (due to howler.js's audio file caching).
January 5, 2018: v0.3.45 Pitch Equivalents, Small improvements, Sound fix
When playing back a score on a sampled instruments which misses certain keys,
keys of the same pitch are now automatically substituted for each other
(e.g. the RT2 key on an mbira can be substituted for an absent high L2 key).
(Before the same effect could be achieved duplicating sound samples,
but needed to be done for each instrument individually,
and distorted the virtual representation of the instruments.)
Improved field description and appearance of the Piece metadata section.
The 'Former Sources' field has been renamed to 'Source Details' to accomodate the current practice of some users.
Sorted instruments in the matepe dropdown menu from highest to lowest pitch.
Removed delay from a Dambatsoko RT3 sound sample
December 31, 2017: v0.3.44 More mbira samples
Added samples of an mbira dzavadzimu in Nyamaropa tuning, (presumably) made by Chris Mhlanga,
and another one in Nemakonde tuning made by Samson Bvure.
Recorded and sliced up by Gilbert Stirling Lee.
Sorted instruments in the mbira dropdown menu from highest to lowest pitch.
December 28, 2017: v0.3.42-43 More mbira samples, Bugfix
Added samples of an mbira dzavadzimu in Nemakonde tuning made by Samson Bvure.
Recorded and sliced up by Gilbert Stirling Lee.
Bugfix: When playing back a B2 key in an mbira dzavadzimu score on instruments with a
B2, extra key, the samples of both keys would randomly mix up.
December 27, 2017: v0.3.39-41 More mbira samples, Documentation
Added samples of two mbira dzavadzimu in Dambatsoko and a low Mavembe tuning.
Recorded and sliced up by Gilbert Stirling Lee.
Bugfix (sort of): Audio playback no longer creates stereo mp3 files, which (for unknown reasons)
cause long pauses between loop cycles on Safari browsers.
As a side effect, audio files are only half the size.
Bugfix: Translating a new, unsaved piece would result in an error message.
December 16, 2017: v0.3.35-37 Key aliases. Samples of Boyi Nyamande's matepe. More translators.
Key aliases allow to transcribe pieces where a key is played with different fingers
(e.g. the right thumb on the mbira dzavadzimu playing higher keys than the first three).
Before you had to use comments; now these keys have alias names which make the playing area explicit,
and which are retained when translating pieces to different notations.
Added samples of Boyi Nyamande's (Anthony Zonke's brother's) matepe.
Recorded and sliced up by Zack Moon.
Added translators from all matepe notations to Pitch+Octaves.4 notation.
November 17, 2017: v0.3.34 Added samples of Matomati's matepe
Added samples of Anthony "Matomati" Zonke's matepe.
Recorded and sliced up by Zack Moon.
October 19, 2017: v0.3.33 Bugfix
Bugfix: Deleting a piece would also delete pieces derived from it.
August 26, 2017: v0.3.31-32 Improved translator mechanism, Bugfixes, Small improvements
Improved translator mechanism:
A warning is shown if notes could not be translated.
Duplicate translated notes are removed (would sometimes happen on transposition).
When translating a score, real notes now overwrite omissions ('_').
This avoids unnecessary duplication of rows if the translator maps two rows into one.
Bugfix: Translating score with a caption which has a footnote would make the row appear appear out of
Improved display of "Record by" field in certain corner cases.
When saving a copy of a piece, the new record keeps a link to the original piece
(not yet shown in the metadata section).
Pages load slightly faster.
August 14, 2017: v0.3.30 Improved documentation; more translators; more metadata shown
Rationale: Separate classes for mbira with/without extra keys make the notations within
each class fully convertible. Before, the former Position (with B2 key) notation
couldn't be converted to Position notation without loss of information.
This change prepares an upcoming feature:
Automatic translation of pieces to users' preferred notations, within each class.
The former Position (with B2 key) notation is now covered by the Position notation of
the new instrument class. Existing pieces in the database were automatically converted.
Renamed mbira Pitch notation to Pitch+Octaves,
and Pitch (minimal) notation to Pitch,
according to the new naming style introduced with the matepe notations.
Changed spelling of "mbira dzavadzimu" (two words, no camel caps). Thanks, Tich.
April 14, 2017: v0.3.23 Second Hera tuning, Improvements & Bugfixes
Added samples of a Hera built by the late Josam Nyamukuvhengu,
tuned up by Zack Moon after old ILAM recordings.
Highlight score columns also if beat information ("Hosho Track") is only in the score background.
Bugfix: If multiple score cells were selected,
entering a footnote would also set the cells' notes to the same value (and vice versa).
Improved flushing of outdated rendered audio files.
Bugfix: Couldn't store pieces with either "Medium" or "Type of Piece" set to "Other".
Bugfix: Removed substitute samples for LI6'' Hera key which were added in v0.3.19.
They would interfere with LI6 key playback, as LI6'' is not part of the notation.
April 9, 2017: v0.3.19 Added samples for second Hera
Added a second sampled Hera by James Kamwaza.
Substituted high LI keys (4'', 5'' and LI6'') on the Hera by copying samples from the RX register.
This allow to play back transcriptions which use the high LI keys.
Thanks to Zack Moon for the suggestion.
April 8, 2017: v0.3.18 More notations for matepe/hera
Two sampled instruments are available for all tunings, so that Kushaura and Kutsinhira parts can be
played back on different instruments. This creates a more realistic sound impression, especially if
two instruments play the same pitch.
July 27, 2016: v0.2.3 Simultaneous Playback
Multiple Scores (e.g. Kushaura and Kutsinhira parts) can now be played back simultaneously
on Chrome, Firefox and Opera. Known issue: Occasionally browser timing is not perfect, and you may need to restart several times.
July 8, 2016: v0.2.2 Maintenance
After a long break, I'm happy to have found some time to continue development
Got rid of misleading browser security warnings due to a self-signed SSL certificate. Thanks, https://letsencrypt.org!
Maintenance work to keep things up to date and secure
May 26, 2014: v0.2 Looping Playback
New Feature: Looping playback in Chrome & Opera. Unfortunately loops don't play back smoothly in Firefox and Safari.
Improvement: Browser support for Opera.
May 20-23, 2014: v0.1.11-12 Bugfixes
Bugfix: Playback on Internet Explorer and Windows Phone 8. (v0.1.12)
Bugfix: Occasionally, the server would stall out completely for several minutes on audio playback. (v0.1.11)
May 16, 2014: v0.1.10 Improvements & Bugfixes
Small changes to page layout.
Bugfix: Login problems with email addresses containing uppercase letters.
Bugfix: Development app title showing up in Google search results.
April 26, 2014: v0.1.9 Improvements & Bugfixes
Added icon to appear on browser tabs (favicon)
Bugfix: After login from a site-global page (help, about, news..) the same page would reappear, rather than
the user's list of pieces.
Bugfix: Duplicating a track and editing either would change the notes in both tracks.
Bugfix: Arrow down would not enter a value in the editor's input field
Bugfix: Long scores would not play back. Now the first 192 pulses are always played back.
April 23, 2014: v0.1.8 Notification Feature
Recipients can now be notified via email when sharing pieces. Non-registered users receive an invitation.
April 20, 2014: v0.1.7 Improvements
Added minimalist Welcome page.
April 12-19, 2014: v0.1.2-6 Improvements & Bugfixes
Bugfix: '_' would not be translated without an error indication.
New notation name: "Position (with B2 Key)".
Fixed "Pitch (minimal)" notation and updated scores accordingly.
Minor speedups and fixes. (v0.1.3)
Added extensive Help page. (v0.1.2)
April 10, 2014: v0.1.1 Improvements & Bugfixes
Added About and News pages.
Improved piece form based on Doug's comments.
Bugfix: "Add Score" now adds an empty score below the current one (rather than a test score above).
Improvement: Moving a score up or down in the list now keeps this score focused.
Improvement: Faster entering of values: Press arrow left/up/down to move to a new cell without the need to press the Enter key.