Tonara for iPad Listens and Turns Musical Score Pages Automatically

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    Tonara, introduced this week at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, is a digital sheet music app and store for the iPad. The app doesn't just display sheet music, but it listens to users as they play, and automatically turns pages as the song advances.

    It also records performances so users can review and share their performances. From Tonara's website:
    Tonara works with any acoustic or electronic instrument, and the Tonara store currently includes pieces for piano, violin, cello and flute. The company says it is talking with a number of music publishers regarding licensing content and hopes to have many more songs for sale soon.

    Tonara is free on the App Store and additional songs are available for $0.99 via in-app purchase. [iTunes]

    Article Link: Tonara for iPad Listens and Turns Musical Score Pages Automatically
  2. macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2011
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    This is awesome. I would have killed for an automatic page turner when I still played piano.
  3. macrumors 6502


    Jul 3, 2008
    This was the first thing that popped into my mind when the first iPad was released. Just brilliant.
  4. macrumors 68000

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    Excellent idea .... but ....

    I suspect this won't work very well if you're playing with an entire band or orchestra, because the sound of the other instruments will confuse it.
  5. macrumors 6502


    Oct 2, 2008
    I suspect you didn't watch the whole video, because they cover that in it.
  6. macrumors 68020

    Dec 25, 2006
    This is really cool! It would have been a really nice refinement though if they made it so when you approach then end of a page, it slides over slightly a little bit slowly, and gives you a peak at the next page, and then once on the next page it finishes the slide over to the next full page. I think that would be even nice than just a harsh cut to the next page. It would make it more seamless as if the music were arranged in layout book form instead of one page at a time. :cool:
  7. macrumors 6502


    Nov 24, 2009
    NEW Jersey / USA
    That would be a nice feature, the change is pretty abrupt. I think people subconsciously look ahead on sheet music as they're playing so it would be an important addition.
    While they're at it, they should use Wifi or Bluetooth to manage 2 sheets of music across 2 iPads. ;)
  8. macrumors 68020

    Dec 25, 2006
    Nice. That is a good idea too :) I went to their site and emailed them my idea as a feature request in an update. You should email them too!
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2011
    wow thats just awesome, and I don't even know how to play any instrument fully!
  10. macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2008
    agreed, and I don't know how to play any instrument at all!
  11. macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    Why not just realize that the concept of "pages" is dated and instead make it just scroll along with you? Like, as you finish one line it scrolls another onto the screen?
  12. macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2007
    I'd guess because it's the way hundreds of millions of people are used to reading music.
    One super long running staff might be confusing.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2008
    Scrolling music

    I don't disagree with jbaker, but a display that scrolled up line by line (or system by system for pianists or choral singers)would work quite well.
  14. macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

    Jan 7, 2006
    SUCKS... I've been learning/studying for 18 months. Now they come out with this and by the time it gets all the music online, I'll have memorized everything I want to learn. Why couldn't this have happened a year ago? It would make my 100pp. of sheet music so convenient.

    Ah well. Maybe if I pick up new songs in the future. Brilliant software; I just hope all music works through it within a few years. Revolutionary music organization!
  15. macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2011
    Son, what you have to understand about classical instrumentalists, such as piano players, is that those weird things that they do that may seem dated are the only way 99% of those musicians will ever agree to do it. From a tech perspective, yes, there are better ways, but for musicians, it's more than having the best technology to help them. It's purer and simpler than that. Some might not understand from the outside looking in.
  16. macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    And I would think that you could track the music easier. You can see which row of music you are and associate it with what you are playing.
  17. macrumors regular


    Mar 3, 2009
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    ok, at 55 I'm gonna learn to play something-go technology!
  18. macrumors regular


    Jul 17, 2002
    Cape Coral, FL
    Nice... Just played through the violin piece... Only problem is a need to be able to add fingerings, slurs, bowings, etc. But I would buy more pieces even so but there are barely any available so far.
  19. macrumors 68000

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    re: video

    Actually, no, I hadn't watched the video yet when I posted my original comment but I think it largely still stands. I'm impressed with what they showed -- but it's one thing to screen out "white noise" like people clapping or whistling, or even drums beating, and another to accurately track all the notes played from one instrument while another similar instrument is playing another part of the music.

    I bet this would fail if you had two piano players trying to use it side-by-side, playing different pieces of music, for example?

  20. macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    At first this sounds good. But there is no way to import your own sheet music. It only page turns music you buy from them. Most people have a huge investment of time learning to play music they own. No now would want to have to learn new version of songs and what if you don't like it.

    So, good idea but of zero use until it can import scanned sheets and Music XML files and other music people already have.

    leo people like to write on their music, small pencil marks or a music teacher will make marks for the student. this is not going to work without an import feature.


    One could close mic the pianos (mic hung inside the case) and then feed mic cable to iPad.

    They make clip on mics the fit on the bell of brass instruments too. and directional mics. Recording engineers have been solving these problems for years.


    Yes a hard cut over to the next page is a deal killer. Pianists solved that problem years ago by having two pages up at once.

    But in the electronic age why have pages? Keep say four staffs on the screen then scroll up when you get done with 3rd staff. So all your music is on one long "page" Like they did 2,000 years ago.
  21. macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    Yup, it's a good start, and the easiest refinements would be simple to implement - in particular an option to remove the marker line showing you where you are (which may be reassuring, so that you know it's working, but is also very distracting) and also a way of setting how far ahead it turns. Most musicians playing that Mozart would have been reading at least a bar ahead.

    The technological issues of following in a noisy/multiple instrumented environment however I suspect have not yet been entirely addressed. In the example shown, the texture is totally monophonic until just before the page turn, and even then what we are shown is the violin page turning: the violin being the prominent instrument of the two in terms of volume, pitch, and tonal markers.

    Still, a great start.
  22. macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2011
    90% of notational software out there either scrolls downward, or left to right. To the people claiming that the concept of scrolling notation is not the "norm," for someone tech savvy enough to use an iPad for its ability to portray sheet music (you know, instead of buying the sheet music?), I'm pretty sure they would also be looking for scrolling.

    As a musician, this app seems awesome, but I won't be purchasing it simply because it lacks this feature. I can just as easily plug the notes into GarageBand on my Air, and play along to both scrolling notation, AND be able to follow by ear as I play along to MIDI.

    This would have been a nice app a few years ago, but frankly, it's a bit too little too late, in my opinion...
  23. macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
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    Dated or not, this would've been great in band and chamber group practice. It was always a pain in the ass to flip the damn page. If we were lucky, I or the partner had a rest, so neither of us had to stop playing.
  24. macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2009
    Having called the glass half empty prematurely, I realize you have to maintain that position ;)

    One common thumb rule for any machine recognition ( speech, music, text etc. ) is, the accuracy is much better for things that sound complicated to us. Machine can perform well as long as there is enough contrast between what it wants to recognize and the rest.
  25. macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2010
    Another way of doing it would be like the old MusicPad Pro - there was an option to effectively tear the page in half so that it will bring up the top of the page whilst you are playing the bottom, so it turned the top before the bottom... worked really well and I am sure the iPad would do it even better!

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