I’ve always been obsessed with music. And also, strangely, with music notation – the dots on the page which are like magical signs, able to unlock all the emotion music awakens in us. This obsession has carried me through my life – as a four-year-old violin student, a choirboy and organist through to a baritone, a music copyist, percussionist and conductor.
It was as a conductor, preparing editions and parts for performance, and as a tech hobbyist, that I became more and more aware that music printing and sharing was kind of broken. What if I wanted to see my music larger or smaller? What if I wanted to import markings from my colleagues on the fly or wanted to see other people’s parts in sync with mine? What if I wanted to hear performances in sync with the printed notes, see alternate versions, right on the page or to suggest a correction to the publisher for adoption?
All these frustrating thoughts coalesced, prompting my own lightbulb moment: I was conducting opera in New York in 2010, right at the time the first iPad was launched. I queued with everyone else at the Apple Store for my own iPad, and I could see instantly that, with this device, it would be possible to connect many different kinds of musical experience together.
This was the seed for Tido. I spent the next couple of years in my own mental lab, thinking about how it might be possible to integrate notation with audio, then video, then text… My imagination proliferated, to the point where I realised that the iPad could make all this possible, but only if I could design an architecture where these elements could be intelligently linked, then aligned.
I took my idea to my friends at Edition Peters, and for the next two years we talent-spotted across the globe. We hauled hackers out of bedrooms in Seattle, we hunted engravers and techies across three continents, and together we assembled a unique collective of visionaries and crazies, all of whom shared our intensity and conviction. Now, in 2016, we are at the moment where the flat world of traditional music publishing yields to an enriched, multi-dimensional space. Music, in all its volume and power, can unfold to meet and to nourish us, and to connect us with each other.
Brad Cohen, Founder
(Photo credit: Carolyn Chard)