Scape

App review by
Kim Alessi, Common Sense Media
Scape App Poster Image
Music app offers original, endless listening experiences.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational value

Kids can learn how to create unique ambient music by combining elements onto a blank palette. They can also learn some basic music and visual arts composition skills. The more Scape is played, the more elements are unlocked. This gives kids time to understand the individual elements and how they work together, rather than throwing its entire toolbox at them all at once. Scape is an innovative app that lets kids experiment with sound and visual elements.

Ease of play

Scape is easy to use -- just choose shapes, colors, and textures then drag them onto the palette. Scape has no screen clutter, a great in-app tutorial, and easy instructions. Scapes play as you make them, in real time, and auto-save to your gallery. Young, pre-reading Scape artists might need help saving scapes and accessing playlists.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Scape is an innovative app that makes ambient music by combining shapes, colors, textures, and backgrounds into a visual palette. Each shape contains musical elements designed to behave differently depending on where and when they're used. The result is a sonic "scape" of ambient music based on the scene you've created. Scapes can be saved to an in-app gallery, combined in a playlist, and shared by email. Scapes can also play in the background of other apps. It's a mesmerizing and meditative listening experience (for iPad users only) made even better with headphones or external speakers. 

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What's it about?

SCAPE is a music creation tool by Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers (Bloom HD) that generates music from shapes, colors, and textures. Scape's musical elements react to one another and change mood together to make endless combinations of sonic scenes. Scapes can be saved to an in-app gallery, combined into a playlist, or shared with other Scape users by email. Eno and Chilvers, themselves well-known composers of ambient and generative music, provide 15 original scapes that play as an ambient album within this app.

Is it any good?

Scape is a captivating music tool that lets you explore relationships between visual and sonic elements by creating sound pictures that are a meditative, tranquil listening experience. Unlike the thumping beats, tinny sounds, and blaring lights of many other music generating apps, Scape fills your senses with space and peace and welcomes you to breathe.

Kids can have fun layering Scape's ethereal sights and sounds and listening to their creations while doing focused play (puzzles, drawing, looking at books) or while relaxing. Parents can enjoy Scape for creativity and escape. Imagine a nap, reading a book, doing yoga, to your own original soundscapes … ah. Plug this gem into your docking station, press the play button, and see where it'll take you.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Play different kinds of instrumental music with your family. Classical, soundtrack, electronic, and ambient music are good options.

  • Talk about some elements of music like melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, and form. How can you hear and see these in a Scape creation?

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Arts: improvising and music analysis, music
  • Skills: Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
    Creativity: imagination, making new creations
    Communication: listening, presenting
    Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, investigation, part-whole relationships, prediction
  • Price: $5.99
  • Release date: September 25, 2012
  • Category: Music
  • Topics: Music and sing-along
  • Size: 190.00 MB
  • Publisher: Opal Limited
  • Version: 1.0.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.0 or later

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For kids who love music and creativity

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