Another approach to digital music reading: Chromatik

This evening, I was reading links connected to the most recent post at Technology for the Classical Singer, interacting with feedback from Loren, who I've had the pleasure to have some interactions with over the past two years. One of the responses to Loren's posts was from Chromatik, so I went to check out what Chromatik was all about.

It turns out that Chromatik is a digital music reader that has a number of unique features, including annotation, bluetooth page turning, searching my measure number or rehearsal letter, and more. The service is based around human-to-human interaction via technology, so a student can record themselves and then submit their recording to an instructor; and the instructor can annotate the sheet music while listening to the recording, and return it to the student. The instructor can also use the service to distribute music to a choir, band, or orchestra. You are supposed to be able to link mp3s to songs so that students can hear what they are supposed to sound like.

I signed up for a beta account, so I hope to be able to report on the service soon (if the terms of using the beta allow for reporting).

It turns out that Chromatik was used by American Idol this year. I looked on Twitter, and a lot of people noticed the use of the iPad on American Idol, even if they didn't know it was Chromatik. Examples:

Here are a couple of videos about the service. The second is an interview with the founder after the service was featured on American Idol. I have some additional comments after the break:


Again, I have not (as of yet) used the service. I like some of the ideas here, and I'm looking forward to trying it out. Some scattered thoughts:

  • I'm not sure if there is a way to link or use hotspots to jump in non-linear music with Chromatik. I'd be surprised if there wasn't.
  • There is an iPad app for Chromatik that is coming soon and is in testing mode.
  • I really like the interaction between humans that is featured with Chromatik; at the same time, I'd like to see a mixture of forScore, unrealBook, SmartMusic, and Chromatik. I like all the PDF features of forScore and unrealBook; I like how SmartMusic can assess accuracy of pitch and rhythm before I listen to student responses; and I like the distribution aspects of Chromatik as well as the ability for the instructor to write on the music and to send that feedback to the student.

So we'll see what Chromatik is all about in the future–I look forward to using it.


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