Parr Interactive helped launch the very first website for Musicnotes.com in 2000, an ecommerce company based in Madison, Wisconsin providing digital sheet music and traditional music books. Parr assisted the publisher with branding, style, prototyping, UX focus-groups, messaging, email and PR. Since we’ve launched the Musicnotes brand, it has continued to be a leader in the digital sheet music industry.
While the battle of Napster and MP3 swapping rages on, online sheet music store Musicnotes.com has joined force with music publishers, including Warner Bros. and Mel Bay, to take the lead in protecting the copyrighted works of artists and composers.
Through distribution agreements with numerous publishers, Musicnotes.com offers ten thousand digital sheet music titles ranging from James Taylor to Christina Aguilera. The Musicnotes Viewer automatically downloads in less than 10 seconds and allows musicians, educators and fans to instantly see, hear, and print free sheet music samples via the Internet. Customers can then purchase and download the entire piece of sheet music using a secure online commerce engine.
The free Musicnotes Player enhances the shopping experience by allowing customers to interact with a selected piece of music. The music notation and lyrics light up in time with the music, synchronizing note-for-note with either a MIDI performance or a real performance played from a CD. The user can change the speed of the piece in order to practice at any pace. As an educational aid, every symbol on the music page is linked to a music encyclopedia which enables the user to select a symbol, such as a guitar bend, and specifically hear it or learn how to play it.
Musicnotes.com’s Founder, Thomas Hall, has developed and refined the technology over the past 18 years. While teaching at Princeton University, Hall created MusE, an electronic music engraving system that became the base technology for Musicnotes.com. In a pivotal development three years ago, Hall and co-founder Walter Burt created technology that was able to compress the digital files, including all the multimedia data that makes the music interactive, to a size that could be delivered rapidly over the Internet.
Musicnotes.com has close contacts in the music publishing world and understands the critical role that copyright protection plays in the success of a music publisher. “We have a strong respect for the value of a copyright,” remarks Kathleen Marsh, President of Musicnotes.com. “The technology that Tom and Walter developed has secure safeguards built-in through encryption codes guaranteeing that all royalties will be paid directly to the appropriate people, both the creators and publishers of these pieces.”
The web site allows customers to browse or search by title, lyric, composer, keyword, arranger, artist/group, or by instrument. Christopher Parr states, “Our goal ultimately is to have the world’s most popular and interesting music digitized, catalogued and instantly available to every music maker that has access to the Internet.”
Additionally, if a customer can’t find what they are looking for in digital format, Musicnotes.com provides an extensive selection of over 200,000 traditional music books and single sheets.