companion app for earthsea

(sorry for the poorly lit iPhone photo)

This project started with me wanting to get better at playing chords on the grid layout of earthsea, and struggling to figure them out on the fly. So I built a tool to practice, and thought other folks might find it useful too.

In particular I wanted to build up my muscle memory for common chord shapes in various voicings, which seaflex helps with. Options for scale, scale guides, voicing complexity, as well as two-handed vs one-handed play are available in the params page.

Instructions for navigating the app structure are on the norns display.

Just tapping out chords all day can get a little dull, so there is a game mode where you can go for a high score, which is based on speed and accuracy. Separate high scores are saved based on your combination of initial settings (number of hands, voicing complexity, scale type, light/dark mode).

At any time you can toggle between light and dark modes. Chord shapes are displayed in light mode only. In light mode, to advance chords or finish a round (in game mode), all the lit keys must be pressed (and no other keys). Whereas in dark mode any voicing of the chord or chords displayed on screen will be accepted, meaning if all the keys (and no others) belonging to those chords are pressed, anywhere on the keyboard (i.e. any octave), the chord(s) will advance.

The norns encoders don’t do anything except modify a few parameters of the PolySub engine.

Some code has been copied over from the earthsea implementation shipped with norns 2.0.

I’ve got no significant future developments planned at the moment, but I’m open to suggestions! If you’d like to add your own scales, chords, or voicings, it’s as simple as changing a few constants at the top of the seaflex.lua file, no real Lua knowledge required.


norns 2.x


The app is mostly self-documenting, just follow the instructions onscreen.


v1.0.0 - Download


wow i had just started trying to work on my earthsea chops “the old fashioned way”—just playing scales and starting over every time i mess up—this week. get out of my brain, but thank you!

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for some mysterious reason i read this as “sexflea”

seriously: really fun that you are digging into, eh, “gamified” music-theory training applications :+1:


Sex positivity thread at the forefront of your mind, @zebra :joy:


so can we officially call norns a gaming platform now?

lots of thanks for this, definitely struggled the same with chords on Earthsea and it’s great to have a direct way to learn.


this is a really cool idea and much appreciated, been wanting to improve my earthsea fluency for a while!

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