As musicians, sometimes we look for new ways to improve the way we make music, perform and experiment. Sometimes our exploration can take us to mobile apps, which can offer a wide range of functions and tasks such as Enote. Enote is an app that offers digital sheet music with the ability to access a big library of interactive sheet music via the app that may change the way you perform.
Among the features are instantly transposing it, switching between movements or measures, turning pages, changing the size of scores, and printing them of course.
One of the founders of Enote, Boian Videnoff, who is also the chief conductor of the Mannheim Philharmonic said:
“I had been complaining to Josef about why digitalisation wasn’t happening in the music world, and he was making fun of me having to drag a whole suitcase full of scores with me when I travelled. We decided together to tackle the problem,”
Josef Tufan is an IT management consultant, and co CEO of Enote.
How is Enote Innovating?
Before the app, the only real “digital sheet music” interaction was through pdf, but that wasn’t really any different from the original paper experience, in fact, it’s more limited, and the only thing you could do was zoom in and out and store it in any plattform, which is great but not really innovating or transformative experience.
As said before, there are a few things that Enote can do, but one of the most useful functions is being able to inmediatly transpose a notation thanks to optical music-recognition technology. This is something that would otherwise take some time to do, but thanks to the app you can do this in no time.
It’s also just the beginning, as every new creation has the potential to evolve, and improve all of its features over the years.
A Well Recieved App
Of course one of the applications of this new software would be in music education. As education in general gets used to a more digital enviroment, there is no reason as to why it should be different in music. This app helps with this transition, making a few things easier for those getting into the world of music.
In an article with the Guardian, it shows some of the support the app is having from a few recognized musicians including a statement from Daniel Barenboim:
Its supporters from the world of music include the baritone Thomas Hampson, the cellist Mischa Maisky, the violinist Lisa Batiashvili, and Michael Barenboim, the violinist and concertmaster of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, who is the son of the conductor Daniel Barenboim and the pianist Elena Bashkirova.
“Everyone in the music world is talking about it and I’m sure we’ll all be using it sooner or later, including my father,” the younger Barenboim told the Guardian. “It will be a gamechanger for musicians. The possibilities are very exciting, especially for the field of music education.”
AI in Music
It’s interesting to see that even though it’s happening now, the world of classical music has been very hesitant towards the implementation of new digital and technological inventions.
The team that worked on the app was full of historical musicologists, AI expertes and mathematicians in order to achive the precision necessary for the app to work.
It was a hard task because it involved programming the ability to learn and recognize every little thing from the music that was written down as if the AI was a musician, this means, that there is a sort of sensibility that was needed for this kind of task.
In the end it all came out perfectly and after five years, the world’s first library of native digital sheet music, has finally been realeased.
There is quite a lot of experimentation with AI in music, in fact, there are full AI music albums. But this is another thing completely, not just because of the little margin for error, but the difficulties of replicating the way a skilled musician would modify and interact with a piece of music.
We’ll have to wait and see how much this app evolves and how it could improve other areas of music such as music education.