User Guide for iOS

Show the User Guide for Android


With What’s My Note?,  you use a smartphone or tablet, instead of a piano, to learn your notes. Photograph a page of the score, or import the score from a PDF or image file. Then touch individual notes in the photo to hear them played.

You control which notes are played, and how fast, as if notes were played on a piano. Phrases are played by sliding a finger from the start of the phrase to the end. Intervals can be repeated by sliding back and forth between two adjacent notes.

What’s My Note? reads published choral music – the kind used by high school choruses, church choirs, barbershops and musical theater.  For more information, see the Document Requirements page.

Navigation Icons

 Tap the lightbulb icon to view the Quick Start Guide:

Quick Start Guide for the Playback view

Quick Start Guide for the Camera view

Photograph Music

  • Take the photo in bright, even light.
  • Use a clean unmarked original copy of the music.
  • Lay the page flush on a flat surface.
  • Include the full staff width in every photo.
  • Align the music to the green guidelines.
  • Hold the camera still until you hear the shutter click.
  • It may help to use both hands and rest your elbows on the table.
  • If the full page won’t scan, try rotating to capture a half page.

It may take several tries to obtain a good picture, even when all of these conditions are met. Please be patient. With practice, you will learn how to obtain pictures on the first try. Reading music is difficult, even for computers. Your phone needs all the help it can get!

Your page might not readable.    For more information, see the Document Requirements page.

Multiple Page mode

By default, the camera disappears after taking a photograph, so you can play the new music. To change this setting, tap the icon:

   Photograph one page

snapMultiple   Photograph multiple pages

Import Files

What’s My Note? will accept imports of PDF documents or image files (JPEG or PNG).   Photographs must be high-resolution, and created under bright light.   PDFs work best when prepared by a publisher or using music publishing software. PDFs received as faxes, or scanned from a low resolution scanner may not be readable.   

PDF documents

You can import a PDF document from the browser, email, or any other app on your device that may hold one.  Here’s how to do it:

Photographs of music

Photographs of music must be imported from the Photo Library.   To import a photo,

  • Open What’s My Note?
  • Press and hold the camera icon in the upper right corner of the view.
  • Choose the photo you wish to import.

Play Music

  • To hear a note, press and hold it.
  • To hear an interval, drag between the notes.
  • To hear a melody, drag across the notes from left to right.
  • To zoom to a particular position on the page, double-tap at that position. Double-tap again to return to the full page view.


Tap the icon in the upper left corner to view the options menu:


This option allows you to see what note is currently bring played when you touch the music.


This option allows you to record the notes you play, and then play back the recording.    Replay is activated from the Replay Panel:

To record a passage that spans more than one page, record the start of the passage, pause the recording, move to the new position, then resume recording.


Settings are reached by tapping the wrench icon on the Playback view.

Octave Settings

Octave issues arise because vocal music is often sung an octave higher or lower than written. This may be indicated by an “8” attached to the clef, but most often, it is not explicitly notated. Hence, the need for a setting.

Here are the choices:

Play as written.

   Play treble clef an octave lower than written. Select this option if you are a tenor.

   Play bass clef an octave higher than written. Select this option if you sing bass in a women’s barbershop quartet.

Missing Clefs

When the music does not contain clefs, a default clef can be selected from the bottom row of the Settings View.

Manage Your Music

  Tap the Library icon to view the Music Library.    Here you can view a list of all music you have entered into What’s My Note? and choose a particular page to view and play.

To rearrange the page sequence, go to the Music Library, tap Edit, and drag the thumbnails up or down.  (The sample page always remains at the top of the list.)

To assign a name to a page of music, tap the title above the music view.

Sharing Your Music

You cannot export music from What’s My Note? to others’ devices because to do so could be a violation of copyright.

However, you can share your music photos among your own IOS devices. For example, you might photograph music from your iPhone, then play it on your iPad. (In such an arrangement, the iPad would not be required to have a high-resolution camera.) To enable sharing in IOS, enter the Settings App, find the page that starts with Airplane Mode, and scroll to the What’s My Note? entry at the bottom of the page. Then turn on the switch labeled “Use iCloud (if available)”. If you are having trouble syncing, please check out our iCloud page.