William & Mary

Ethan Roday: Towards a mobile music writing experience

Too often, those looking for electronic music score writing solutions are constrained by clunky, 1990's-era desktop applications that are neither intuitive nor exciting to use. In addition, these applications have steep learning curves, which dissuades new composers from becoming proficient at creating scores. Writing music is an organic experience; a direct expression of the composer's artistic intent. No cluttered interface or user manual should get in the way of that process.Ethan

With that philosophy in mind, I've set out to design a new kind of music notation app from the ground up. Rather than have a screen filled to the brim with toolbars, my interface intelligently presents options to users only when they need or ask for them.

It will be implemented as a mobile-optimized web app with cloud storage. That is, all changes to scores are automatically synced to an external server. This simultaneously allows for offline editing, automatic backup and recovery, and future extensibility for native applications on iOS, Windows 8, and Android. In addition, a robust sharing interface allows composers to selectively share their scores with other users of the app. Currently, the preferred method of score sharing is exporting as a PDF and emailing which, besides being ugly, quickly leads to version fragmentation, plagiarism, and other issues.

The app is currently in the beginnings of implementation, and the goal is to have a basically functional service by the end of the semester.