So I spent most of yesterday working in front of my computer and have now created the good part of an iBook which functions kind of like a large hub, giving access to a large proportion of all the resources I am making.
One of the greatest challenges I have faced in the creation of this glorious, trianglar featuring piece of iBook has been finding a good way to play a composition whilst simultaneously viewing its score. It sounds really simple but unfortunately, with the way that iBooks likes to work… You have to have a few tricks up your sleeve.
Here are the two ways that I have used to view a score in iBooks while listening to audio:
- The first way is to use the Scrolling Side Bar widget:
From there you can click and drag the page thumbnails (in red box below) from the score in Preview straight into the Scrolling Side Bar in iBooks author.
Make sure though that you aren’t dragging them into the main window of the project, but you’re actually placing them directly into the Scrolling Side Bar otherwise they’ll just be on the main page.
From there you can resize them within the Scrolling Side Bar and make them scroll from top to bottom. This technique is only good for scores that have a small amount of instruments though, because if your score has instruments that fill up the entire page (and that page is only showing say 4-5 bars of music), then you will find that you are constantly scrolling to keep up. Not very fun.
But that’s where you’ll need the second technique.
2. The Gallery Technique:
Similar as before, instead of choosing the Scrolling Side Bar Widget, grab the Gallery from the widgets list and place it in your ibook.
From there, drag the score pages as seen in the first method and resize them in the Gallery Widget. It’s pretty neat because when you click and drag the following pages, it just automatically adds it on the end. As you view the score while listening to the audio, all you have to do is swipe left and right. I recommend making the score as large as possible though. Another touch is to make the background just slightly transparent using the inspector (I think I used about 85% Opacity).
As for the rest of the ibook, it’s all taking place now which is great. I’ve even tried to colour code the pages that feature the different learning experiences: Performance (Purple), Composition (Green), Analysis/Musicology (Blue) and Aural (Pink).
I’ve also tried to make any hyperlinks in the iBook seamlessly work with the aesthetic. For example, one of the activities I have written involves students picking a minimalist composer from the page and doing some research on them. Instead of providing their names and then having the students then go and search them up, I decided to just bypass that process by providing the composer’s pictures and when tapped, it instantly Google’s their name and the student immediately finds out who they are. I know that it’s kind of choosing the composer based on their looks but there’s not much of a work around that… It’s more about the functionality.
As for the composition tasks, I have at least two more to create. For the first one, I made a worksheet in Sibelius that follows on from the previous class’s content and provided it in the iBook using the PDF Bookry Widget (with accompanying instructions). The others will possibly follow a similar format, we will see.
Hopefully by the end of today I might have a completed iBook! That’d be nice..