Freeing Music From The Page: A Q&A With iSheetMusic’s Matthew Sutton

iSheetMusic is a music app that works for both the iPhone and iPad. One of the company's founders, Matt Mostad, was struck one night by the fact that he couldn't remember any tunes to play at a beachfront guitar pull. Why weren't there tools on his iPhone to help him remember the chords to that Stones song he loved. So Mostad came to his friend Matthew Sutton, who'd worked on the technical side of the music industry for many years, with the idea for a sheet music app. We spoke with Sutton about how iSheetMusic works, what else the company is developing, and how the sheet music publishing industry is transitioning to the digital space. How did development start with iSheetMusic. We were focused on the iPhone to begin with and it really made us stretch [the concept of] what sheet music is. How do you approach sheet music. It can't just be a piece of paper shrunk down to fit on an iPhone screen. [That's] useless. I started working on an idea to extract the music from the paper, breaking it down into measures. The elemental piece of music is the note and the measure, and then the page. So we created an app that displays music on any size screen. How does the app work. We [created the app] by reading the digital data files rather than taking notes from a PDF file onto the screen. All of our music is based in digital data so we can read it out, extract it; we can pinch, zoom, and change orientation. Most importantly, we put a metronome in, so it can count and keep the beat for you and turn the page. What was the process like for licensing music for iSheetMusic. We started talking to Hal Leonard and Alfred Music about licensing their libraries, which... Sign In to Keep Reading

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