Impro-Visor Icon


Leadsheet notation with auto-generated playback, improvisation advice

4.9 Stars (33)
329 Downloads (This Week)
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Impro-Visor® is a music notation tool for producing monophonic lead sheets, specifically intended to help the improviser. Chord symbols are used to generate backing tracks automatically. Improvisation advice exists in the form of note coloration, database of licks, and automatic lick generation from grammars. Grammars can be learned automatically from transcriptions. Styles can be edited and created by the user. Other features include generation of roadmaps for understanding keys and idiomatic chord progressions, chord voicing keyboard, MIDI and MusicXML export. See for general information, including tutorials. Support and additional resources are through the user group
The most recent source code, since summer of 2015, is housed here:
This started when SourceForge was down for over one week during an active development period.

Impro-Visor Web Site


  • Impro-Visor = Improvisation Advisor, focused on leadsheets with monophonic melody
  • Music notation using point-and-click, with visual harmonic hints and advice
  • Uniform interface on all major platforms (Windows, MacOSX, Linux)
  • Huge store of musical knowledge about chords, scales, licks, etc.
  • Music saved as text files, can be entered as text if desired
  • Auto-generated accompaniment from chord progressions
  • Roadmap generator (showing keys and chord bricks)
  • Automatic grammatical inference for melodic styles
  • Automatic lick generation from grammars
  • User-specifiable accompaniment styles
  • MusicXML import thru MuseScore
  • MusicXML and MIDI exports
  • Active trading of "fours", etc.
  • MIDI import (single track)
  • Easy, fast chord entry
  • Style editor


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User Ratings

ease 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5 4 / 5
features 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5 4 / 5
design 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5 4 / 5
support 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5 4 / 5
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User Reviews

  • 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5

    I really love the software but let me also offer some constructive criticism to the developers here, so that your program can be improved over time: 1---the new versions (6 and 7) with the virtual keyboard are how we actually think when improvising so this a major improvement over the earlier versions, but could it be made to work a bit faster than it does?? 2--sometimes when you give it chord input that it doesn't understand the program crashes horribly and takes your files with it. I was working on a file for almost 3 hours today, and had an original file stored on my phone cause I was working in a public lab, and I should've saved frequently but didn't but then also when I tried to save it went back to my original file and blew that file away too, really bad!! Luckily, still have the original on my home PC, but these bugs with the chord data need major fixes or something, cause the program just locks up horribly with them. 3--Also, if you just want to do octaves with no harmony, or right hand harmonization, it still can't be done with this, but seems like just having a unison bass traveling with the melody line should be a simple thing, and one much wanted, or to do just 2 contrapuntal lines there. 4--maybe improvements in certain sounds like the pianos or the drums. The bass sounds are great here though....but just so we don't have to keep exporting to mixcraft or Ableton, which takes a lot more technical know how, and makes your program less stand alone. Like I said though, even having such an aid to my hearing things is a vast improvement to my horrible music instructors in the 70s and 80s and I also like having the ability to think through compositions and then actually make recordings to entertain myself with too, without having to haul my piano out and set that up in very limited space and hurt my back practicing and such, AND the ability to speed things up with the program and make my own home recordings with "audacity" is awesome! so thanks.....

    Posted 03/29/2016
  • 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5

    This is a remarkable program, useful for so many things. First, Impro-visor allows you to easily enter any chord sequence. Once entered, you can play the sequence back at any speed in a wide variety of styles. The styles menu allows the addition of rhythmic percussion and a baseline according to your tastes. This alone is a great feature, perfect for practicing melodic accompaniment and more importantly, working on improvisation. Before discovering Impro-visor, when practicing improvisation, I would look for backing tracks on Youtube. These were available in a variety of keys and styles, but mainly isolated to a chord or sequence of chords linked to a particular scale. With Impro-visor, I can easily construct any sequence of chords, even for entire songs, which allows me to practice improvisation in a very focused manner. The second feature of note (haha), is the ability to construct complete melodic sequences. This can be done interactively. However, Impro-visor also embodies machine learning algorithms that can, given the chord sequence, automatically suggest a wide variety of improvisational ideas. The tutorial documentation was good, and I had no trouble learning how to use this program. On the downside, there are a few important bugs. The program occasionally has some issues with playback going dead for a few bars, and it has also locked up on me a couple of times.

    Posted 08/14/2015
  • 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5

    Really helpful program with a lot of different features

    Posted 07/06/2015
  • 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5

    This program has so many different tools to choose from! They are all helpful and fun.

    Posted 08/08/2014
  • 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5

    This is a great learning tool!

    Posted 08/08/2014
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Additional Project Details

Intended Audience

Education, End Users/Desktop

User Interface

Java Swing

Programming Language




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