Category :

Hot Topics in the Industry

Digital Sheet Music: The Times Are A' Changin

Digital Sheet Music: The Times Are A' Changin
Written by Yair Lavi, CEO of Tonara - September 10th 2012

As an up and coming independent artist, chances are you’ve fully joined (or at least embraced) the digital revolution. Long gone are the days of analog multi-track cassette recorders or the need for workstations that filled up an entire room. New digital technologies, powerful affordable computers and the rapid rise of mobile tablets have given birth to a mind-boggling array of innovative music products and applications for creating, recording and sharing your music.

As a musician, chances are also good that there was a band or artist that influenced you. Every successful musician can point to several groups or styles that helped shape his or her music tastes and career. So, as much of your time is spent writing and performing your own music, what do you do when it’s time to play those tunes from the famous bands and recording artists that have always inspired you? Sure, you can pull out the dusty old stacks of music books you’ve had since the 80’s or head to the music store for new songs, but just as with other aspects of the music industry, there are also powerful new platforms pulling sheet music into the digital age.

Interestingly, sheet music is one area of music that remained untouched for hundreds of years. While e-book readers have become highly popular platforms for you to enjoy Bob Dylan’s biography or peruse the latest issue of Rolling Stone Magazine, musicians are still largely using printed music scores to bang out that old Beatles favorite or take a stab at Beyonce’s latest hit. The same goes for the sheet music publishing and distribution side. Music print publishers are seeking out new sales channels that meet consumer demand for digital products and solutions.

Early attempts to modernize the sheet music industry included scanned PDFs, which eventually lead to apps that allow musicians to play along with digital scores. The most recent advances in digital sheet music take the music playing experience even further with interactive elements. For example, Tonara, the sheet music app we developed actually listens to the music you’re playing, shows exactly where you are in the score and automatically turns the pages for you – even if you slow down, speed up, stop, or make a mistake. Tonara’s innovative polyphonic technology allows for example, you to play the piano and someone else to sing while each of your scores listens to and follows you both.

The exciting part about the continued convergence of music and technology is that we’re seeing just the tip of the iceberg. The digital music hardware and applications available today are only a taste of things to come. New portable media devices and applications powered by increasingly advanced algorithms and even artificial intelligence will continue to provide new and creative ways to learn, play, record, produce, distribute and enjoy music in all its many forms. Although Dylan was talking about social upheaval in his iconic 1964 album and song, when it comes to music/tech, the times certainly are a-changin’.   

You can learn more about Tonara by visited their website here.


Ancient Toltec Wisdom For the Modern Day Musician

The Value of Keyword Research for Artists

The Lazy Way To Sell Your Music Online

Is Music Business Automation The Next Step?

I Prefer The Foolish

Easy Tips For Getting Retweeted

Twitter -vs- Facebook - What's a better site for musicians?

Why You Need To Teach Music Lessons

Pragmatic Epiphanies

Implied Power

Artistic Terrorists

Top 15 most popular musicians on social media

How to Determine Artist Advances

The Trend

What is a 360 Deal?

The Essence Of Viral Stories

What Needs Does your Music Fill?

Was This Musician's Plan Ethical?

Significance of Branding as Recording Artists

You Learn To Be An Artist

How Artists Can Unlock Their Creative Potential

Do You REALLY Need a Record Deal?

Importance of Branding as Record Artists

What Every Musician Ought To Know About Publishing

Arrogance, Is It Crippling The Growth Of Indie Artists?

Hip Hop: Who are the highest earners & record holders?

5 Strategies That Guarantee Success

Fan Engagement for Independent Artists

How Creating a Set List is Exactly Like Creating a Mix Tape for Your Girlfriend

Using Your Fans to Get More Photos and Videos During Concerts

The Benefits of Crowdsourcing Your Music Production

To Self Publish Or Not Self Publish.... That Is The Question

How Are Musicians Using the iPad?

Spotiwhy? : Are Subscription Music Services a Sustainable Business Model?

Is "Singer-Songwriter" a Genre?

7 Social Media Mistakes Musicians Should Avoid

The Science Behind Why People Share Music

Which Music Discovery Platform Has the Biggest Audience?

10 Essential Apps for the Touring Band

Can You Master the Guitar in 10 Days? Why Does Anyone Think You Can Master Facebook in 10 Days?

An Argument Against "Pay What You Want" Pricing

YouTube's Dirty Little Secret

Psy Makes $8 Million By Giving It Away

Crowdfunding: Things That Will Piss People Off

Should You Give Your Music Away For Free? Thank You Amanda Palmer.

Amanda Palmer's Mistake (and Why it Will Hurt Working Class Musicians)

How To Skyrocket Your Twitter Promotion

Tips For Finding New Fans On Facebook

The Digital Music Battlefield

Music Licensing In The Digital Age

Will Music Streaming Services Save The Recording Industry

Why You Should Be Using Kickstarter

Signup Free