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MelodieXpress Note Reading
MelodieXpress Note Reading
by Amagination (2010)
Player Count
1 to 8

Player Ages

Playing Time
5 minutes
  • Card Game
  • Music
  • Educational
  • Designers
  • Amanda Just
  • Paul Edgar
  • Mechanisms
  • Set Collection
  • Cooperative Play
  • Memory
  • Pattern Building
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Simulation
  • Artists
  • Beth Lang
  • Family
  • Music Making & Makers
  • Rating: 0/10 from 0 users


    MelodieXpress - is it music poured into a game? ... or is it a game filled with music? It’s so hard to know!


    At its heart MelodieXpress is a game about music. Actually it’s a whole lot of games about music. MelodieXpress uses a series of card games to teach the elements of music theory, and to teach the players the skills of sight-reading and composing music.

    The pack includes playing cards based around music notation - notes, clefs, key signatures, and accidental notes - as the basis for games and activities. While the overall intention it to foster musical knowledge and skills, the focus within the games is upon fun and enjoyment.


    The Note Reading pack is the first of the MelodieXpress sets. It includes 104 cards including the treble, alto and base clefs, and 52 crotchet notes - 4 cards for each of 13 notes.

    There are rules for 12 games included within the pack, and players are free to develop further games and activities utilising the flexibility of the cards. The guidebook introduces the basics of music notation and theory then leads on to the rules of the games.

    The Basic Games

    The 5 basic games introduce the notes and their naming to the point where players can instantly recognise and name the specific notes from the cards. These games utilise the crotchet notes and the clefs.

    These basic games are designed to so that they can initially be played using a subset of 4 notes (16 cards). This allows players to become familiar with the notes and their names, then expanding to include additional notes. A clef is used next to the game board to define the specific notes (so with the treble clef play starts with middle C, D, E and F, while with the alto clef the same cards would be E, F, G and A). As players become confident and adept at naming the notes additional cards are introduced to expand the games and add complexity.

    ‘Introducing the Notes’ and ‘Flash Cards’ are the initial games and provide a first experience of notes and naming. They are followed by the classic ‘Snap’ and ‘Memory’ games adapted to be played using the music cards. While the players compete to win the games, the focus is upon ready recognition and matching of the notes on the cards. The final basic game - ‘Making Melodies’ encourages players to construct combinations of notes. It is also an opportunity to play the music from the cards for those players who are learning an instrument.

    The basic games are fun and enjoyable in their own right, but also provide a platform for building an understanding of musical concepts and notation.

    The Advanced Games

    The 7 advanced games build upon the recognition and understanding of notes gained in the basic games. They focus upon sequences and progressions of notes and introduce the next level of sight reading. The later games also introduce the use of key signatures and accidental notes (sharps, flats and naturals) to further extend the game-play and learning.

    ‘Row’ and ‘Reach for the Stars’ are played by combining cards onto sequences of notes. Players place cards from their hands to build sequences of notes, either individually or in common. ‘Scale the Mountain’ extends on this by introducing key signatures, and requiring players to build sequences to complete the major scales. As play moves around the table individual players take turns to build upon the scale, or to introduce a new key signature and rearrange the sequence to match the new scale.

    ‘Chord you do it?’ and ‘Chords Aplenty’ focus upon players building three note sequences of chords to score points. Game-play is dynamic and can involve the trading or transfer of cards between players.

    ‘Rows and Scales’ and ‘Rows and Scales Advanced’ round out the advanced games, providing interactive games of sequencing and matching cards. Players seek to build sequences from scales and chord, utilising the note cards and accidentals to build legal sets.

    Taking it Further

    The game system is flexible and open ended. The variety of cards allows players and teachers to develop their own games and activities beyond those provided in the pack.
    Additional games will also be published on the MelodieXpress website, sharing new games and activities as they are developed.

    The MelodieXpress System

    MelodieXpress is a fun, educational and easy way to learn to read music.
    Using the approach that we learn best through play, MelodieXpress uses games and activities to introduce the key concepts of musical notation and music theory. This step-by-step approach allows you to learn at your own pace, while the games provide an enjoyable way to learn and consolidate your knowledge of music.

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