Music scores can be photographed or scanned in to create digital sheet music – normally in PDF format. However, it is not possible to subsequently change or alter the presentation of the piece.
Zurich startup Scorepad has now developed technology that allows music scores to be converted from standard PDF format into the open file format musicXML. This is reportedly a dynamic alternative to PDF, as this format allows the pages of sheet music to be automatically turned or amended.
ScorePad developed this technology together with the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). Sheet music is read by machine through an algorithm and then converted using deep learning technologies. The new technology is offered as an app, which allows users to send their sheet music to ScorePad in a PDF format. They then receive an interactive musicXML file in return. According to a startupticker.ch article, this new app has been available in the Apple app store since the start of July.
ScorePad hopes to become for sheet music what Spotify is for music streaming – a central interface between users and publishers. “We offer technical support to music publishers and see ourselves as their partner in selling digital sheet music in the musicXML format,” says Erik Saager, Chairman of the Board at ScorePad , about the platform. Partnerships have already been formed with six music publishers.
ScorePad intends to raise further capital to continue with the technology’s development. “Now that the app has been launched, we have reached a point of being attractive to external investors,” explained Erik Saager.