Jam Tabs: A Color Based Notation System For Novice Improvisation Conference Proceeding uri icon



  • Music improvisation, which is defined as creatively and playfully exchanging musical concepts, is often associated with expert musicianship and musical skill. While there are numerous methods for live scoring improvisation, there are not many resources aimed at assisting novice performance during improvisational activities. Jam Tabs is a notation system that helps coordinate idiomatic musical expression for novice musicians using color-coded instruments and a colored visual display. Jam Tabs utilizes a seven-color notation system, LED cubes and a colored piano keyboard to assist novices in coordinating chord progressions—a common musical element used among improvising musicians in popular western music contexts. We have observed that novice piano players could follow chord progressions in tonal music note for note using color coordination while improvising. We found that seven colors in any key provide enough information for players to experience a satisfactorily expressive and creative jam session.

publication date

  • May 10, 2020

Date in CU Experts

  • February 14, 2021 5:54 AM

Full Author List

  • Hopkins T; Do YLE

Full Editor List

  • Gottfried R; Hajdu G; Sello J; Anatrini A; MacCallum J

author count

  • 2

Other Profiles

International Standard Book Number (ISBN) 13

  • 978-3-00-066930-9

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 56

end page

  • 62