INTERVIEW: BIG EAR GAMES - Because Music is Social

August 17, 2019
INTERVIEW: BIG EAR GAMES - Because Music is Social
Aviv Ben-Yehuda - Founder/CEO of Big Ear Games

I had the pleasure of speaking with Aviv, the founder of Big Ear Games, a game developer company that brings music closer to you. It was founded in 2017, and since then, their app has taught many how to listen, understand music, and create perfect harmonies.

Aviv Ben-Yehuda - I studied music since early childhood, and after pursuing a medical doctor degree, I started shifting slowly but surely back to my first love - music. I turned out to be a music teacher, and by meeting so many students and music fans, I realized that so many people hesitate to be creative with music.

So many times I've heard: "I am not musical", which was ridiculous. I felt that the tools we are using to encourage people could be improved, especially with the fun elements and simplification of the logic of music.

GameBuz - Big Ear - Play With Music was the first game you developed. I had a chance to play a bit, and I must say it was a fun experience, not many games make you use your sense of hearing this much. How did you come up with the concept for it?

Aviv Ben-Yehuda - And that's exactly what we do in Big Ear - Play with Music. Users construct popular songs from their very fundamental building blocks (notes), by building more complex building blocks (chords, phrases, etc.), like musical LEGO.

Popular songs are an essential motivation factor because people love to engage with songs that they know and have meaning for them. The building blocks concept ("LEGO") is something that I used a lot while teaching improvisation, for example. Then we have a composer tool (sequencer), simple and effective, to build your own songs and share them (musical messages).

Making tunes of your own is a very personal process, and sharing the results with others is a meaningful social act. That's why we have this sharing feature right from the start - because music is social!

There are also new features coming up:
•Multiplayer - making music together;
•User-created content - creating music puzzles.

GameBuz - What are your plans for the future? Are you going to make something similar for PC and Consoles as well, or are you going to stick to mobile apps?

Aviv Ben-Yehuda - Our mission is to create a set of games and apps to engage music fans and learners with the different aspects of music: fun, creativity, and learning. So, for example, hyper-casual games are part of the plan. We are planning on desktop and console versions as well.

GameBuz - What was the most challenging problem you had to deal with so far?

Aviv Ben-Yehuda - We are now in our seed round fundraising, which is very challenging!

The gaming industry can be challenging at times, but every effort you make is greatly rewarded. Aviv has shared with us what to him is the most rewarding part of the game making process.

Aviv Ben-Yehuda - Most rewarding part of the game making process is to see how engaging the game is. Part of our target group are kids and they are known to have little mercy...

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GameBuz - Do you have any advice for young developers entering the Gaming Industry? What about young musicians picking up an instrument for the first time?

Aviv Ben-Yehuda - For young developers, the number one advice is - focus; simplifying as much as possible and testing as early as possible in order to learn from real users (yes, even if it feels "not ready"). I believe that those are not new but still neglected too often.

For young musicians who pick up an instrument for the first time, I would suggest giving time to the fundamentals of how music works and train the ear, which is what Big Ear - Play with Music is all about! Sometimes learning to play the instrument itself is slower than what you expect, so taking time for the other aspects could be rewarding.

GameBuz - Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?

Aviv Ben-Yehuda - Welcome to exploring music! You probably had this idea at some point, now is the time!

Big Ear - Play With Music is available on Google Play and the App Store, so go ahead and give your support by downloading it!