Chordion is a music creation app for iPad that makes it easy for non-musicians to make music, yet includes advanced settings and modes for experienced musicians to get even more out of Chordion.

Chordion is setup with a keyboard on the right and big chord buttons on the left. Holding down a chord will either play through the notes set up in the arpeggiator or strum a chord, depending on the settings (arpeggiator is default). The keyboard is also setup so that only notes that are associated with the chord and key you're playing in for will be available. This means that anything you play will sound good. Hitting the play button will play a drum beat for you to play your music with.

Right out of the box, Chordion is ready for music creation, but the main screen is completely customizable. These settings include which key and scale to play from, how many chords are displayed (7, 12, 14, or 24), and the range of the keyboard. You can also create custom beats with the drum machine using kick, snare, closed hi-hat, cowbell, clap, and cymbal as well as customize the arpeggiator. For even more control, you can adjust the reverb, envelope, timbre, tremolo, wah, vibrato, and delay.

Chordion also allows you to record you music and supports MIDI which lets you play other instruments using Chordion's interface.

The good

  • Simple enough for anyone to make music, yet advanced enough for an experienced musician to enjoy
  • Play chords with left hand and melody with right hand
  • Keyboard notes changed based on what chord you're playing
  • Record your creations

The bad

  • No local storage. Must save recordings to iTunes, Dropbox, or SoundCloud.

The bottom line

I grew up playing piano and a little guitar and consider myself an intermediate-level musician. Chordion is a great music app that lets anyone, even young children, pick up and immediately create music that sounds good. And those who have more knowledge of chords, scales, and beats, can make custom adjustments and use a more complicated setup for even more control.