Hidden answers

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This page is about creating a specific type of exercise. If you are preparing your own exercise, we recommend you read Setup basics first.
In terms of setup, hidden answers are an extension of other types of exercises, either melody, rhythm, or MIDI keyboard. More thorough explanations are provided in the respective articles about each type of exercise.

Exercises with hidden answers require students to figure out what notes they should perform next, even though the notes are not shown in SmartMusic. Various musical situations make it possible for students to determine what should come next:

  • sequence continuation;
  • canonical imitation;
  • specific chord resolutions.

Exercises with blanks that are not for one specific right answer are covered in the Open-ended exercises article.

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A sequence continuation assignment for MIDI keyboard, submitted by a pianist at the end of the second semester, Schulich School of Music, McGill University. Even though the answers are not visible to the student, they are still in the computer file, so SmartMusic is able to assess the entire example.
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A canonical imitation assignment submitted in a fifth-semester elective course, Schulich School of Music, McGill University. The student sees no notes at all, but is given instructions to imitate the lead voice a bar later and a 5th lower. Where the music is hidden, assessment shows only red (wrong) notes. The assessment is empty here because the student has sung no wrong notes; her only mistake was an omission at the end of m. 8.


Computer assessment is possible for exercises with hidden answers. Assignments for voice or other single-line instrument would being with the same setup procedures as melody exercises. In Classic SmartMusic, assessment of hidden answers is also possible with MIDI keyboard input. Acoustic piano input is also possible in Classic SmartMusic, but without assessment, so answers would have to be verified by listening (see Multipart exercises).

Assessment of hidden answers requires that answers are entered but then hidden from view in the source notation file. In Finale, this is done with a Staff Style such as “Blank notation: layer 1,” or by individually hiding notes in the Speedy Entry tool.


Hiding answers has the effect of hiding some of the visual assessment as well. Wherever the music is hidden, green notes to show correctly performed answers are suppressed, as are black notes that would show where the student did not perform. Only red notes show up on screen, indicating where the student performed a note that was definitely incorrect. Students do not get very much information about their performance accuracy with this method, but they are also not shown the correct answer for the hidden music as soon as they record one take.

Additional examples

Please share your examples here.