HELLO STAGE BLOG

When Classical Meets Technology

With technology taking over the world one click at a time, it’s only natural that the classical world of music would want to follow too. Or is it?
We understand that it can be challenging to leave behind your trusted techniques, and more specifically the physical items you hold within your hand, sheet music pen and eraser for example. However many classical professional such as conductor Jeffrey Kahane, pianist Hugh Sung, and violinist Ray Chen have begun to discover that moving on into the new era of innovation comes with massive benefits for classical music. Switching from paper to digital scores will save classical musicians precious time and resources.

Think about it, conductors no longer having to travel with those big heavy binders full of scores or world-class pianists no longer needing to sit with an extra someone to help with those dreaded manual page turns whilst performing.

In 2015, the launch of the 12’9 iPad Pro became a real game changer. Musicians finally had the opportunity to use the most reliable tablet, in the format of A4 sheet music. Combined with the high sensitivity iPencils and the excellent Bluetooth page-turners that exist on the market, the hardware is finally ready to let classical musicians embrace technology and use music reader apps.

But when it comes to larger groups, like orchestras, the way still has to be paved. Logistics are way more complex, hardware investments are higher, and time is precious. They need external help.

We provide a software, but not only this, we also provide a holistic consulting platform to assist orchestras in their transition to digital scores. From score digitation to live performance on tablets.

Our aim shouldn’t just be about reaching out to the musicians of today, it should also be about accompanying the musicians of tomorrow. The future leaders. That’s why we need to work hard at uniting with youth orchestras from around the world to begin bringing this awareness and understanding of how technology can better their musical practices both during rehearsals and performance.

One great example here is a project that we held with 45 Yorkshire Young Sinfonia orchestra members, who completely swapped sheet music for digital scores and shared their annotations in real-time for the very first time. David Taylor CEO of the orchestra made a statement saying that “it would be almost impossible to go back to paper” sharing with us his 8 reasons to go digital.

But we ask, which out of the generations is the toughest of critics to crack? The younger generation are indeed born into the ‘smart’ life with gadgets pretty much sewn to their hands. Seeing a future without digital scores is almost impossible for them. Whereas professional musicians are used to the core elements that paper provides such as the smells and the sounds of the pages physically being turned. This is the challenge that we come up against daily, yet step by step, slowly we are gaining the trust of professional musicians and world class orchestras everywhere. Opera de Rouen was the first orchestra in the world to conduct a live concert using iPads with Newzik and Laurent Petitgirard in fact, became the first-ever conductor to use our 42-inch digital screen during the Orchestre Colonne concert. Perhaps the best way for us to truly illustrate and express our passion would be via our video, this we hope will explain our vision a little further.

But what about the Classical Publishers?
Indeed, this is a crucial question. No digital music material, no digital revolution. Well, since the hardware and software is now rock-solid, publishers are finally taking a step into the world of score digitization by cooperating with us. Today, pioneering publishers like Donemus rent PDF scores by sending them via email. But tomorrow, orchestras will be able to rent a PDF with one click, via his iPad. The PDF will automatically expire after the due date - like a movie one would rent via the iTunes Store. Not to mention the opportunities that Blockchain Technology will bring to content owners. Smart contracts will enable any individual or corporate publisher to instantaneously receive his royalties, after each single purchase.

So we know that classical is definitely meeting technology. It will take time, but all the indications are green and good to go. To be part of this digital revolution, join us, follow us, contact our team and be involved in this liberating brainstorm.

Download the Newzik app here.


Newzik is an all-in-one digital music reader solution, built to meet the classical and orchestral musicians’ needs.
Author: Sponsored by Newzik
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