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Practicing has never been this fun—or this cool! Sing or play your instrument with a real orchestra listening and responding to you. Read more

Boston, MA Music
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on March 26, 2014.

Practicing has never been this fun—or this cool! Sing or play your instrument with a real orchestra listening and responding to you.

Boston, MA Music
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About this project

Sing with Cadenza!

There are more than 50 million vocalists in the US alone, and we can't wait to open up Cadenza to them! So, we have been hard at work researching how to make Cadenza work with the sound of a human voice, which is a tough technical challenge.

Free to sing your way ...

What you see in our video is a test of Cadenza accompanying a singer! We're several months away from making it work even more seamlessly, and we've already licensed a large catalog of pop songs, showtunes, Disney songs, classical works and many more types of songs.

We can't wait to empower singers of all kinds! With Cadenza you'll have the freedom to sing with your own interpretation, backed by rich, real musical accompaniment.

Why we're doing this

We're on Kickstarter to develop Cadenza for iPhone and iPad! Cadenza is an app that enables musicians to play concertos, sonatas and chamber music accompanied by a real orchestra following their every move. We're also building an app just for singing.

At Sonation, we create technology that empowers authentic musical expression. We are developing Cadenza to support musicians by making practicing more fun and rewarding. 

Your Kickstarter pledge will help keep young musicians engaged in music!

Prototype of Cadenza for iPhone
Prototype of Cadenza for iPhone

Cadenza is unique—It's the only app that listens to you, anticipates how you’re going to play, and adapts to you in real time. And the precision is uncanny. The app learns from you, fitting your playing better each time.

Cadenza is the only technology that uses recordings of real live musicians and orchestras, not digital instruments. Playing with Cadenza is the best way to play music how you want, with your own expressive nuances, surrounded by a rich world of responsive orchestral sound.

We’ve tested Cadenza with hundreds of musicians from the following institutions:

  • Berklee College of Music
  • Eastern Music Festival 
  • Interlochen 
  • Jacobs School of Music 
  • Juilliard
  • Manhattan School of Music
  • Mannes
  • Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
  • New England Conservatory 
  • Peabody Conservatory 
  • San Francisco Conservatory 
  • San Francisco Opera Orchestra
  • Tanglewood

And we've heard your feedback:
You want this app on your iPhone and iPad!

(Can't wait? Try Cadenza right now on Mac here.)

In our conversations with musicians, we’ve heard two requests loud and clear: 

We hear you! 

The goals of our Kickstarter are twofold: to bring Cadenza to iOS, and to add more of the music you want. We are striving to make this app the best experience possible for musicians everywhere. 

We will use the Kickstarter proceeds to fund iOS development and to expand the repertoire of available music. A meticulous process is required to convert recordings of orchestral and chamber music into a format that is playable on Cadenza.

Prototype of Cadenza for iPad Mini, showing instrument selection screen
Prototype of Cadenza for iPad Mini, showing instrument selection screen

How Cadenza works

1. Select your instrument

  • Cadenza currently works with the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, bassoon, oboe, trumpet, and french horn.

2. Choose your music

  • There are currently about 50 musical works in the Cadenza library, including concertos, sonatas, and chamber music.
  • These recordings are missing the solo part—that's where you come in! 
  • Choose from works by composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Bruch, Brahms, Mozart, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi and more.
  • All of our currently available music can be seen here.

With your support on Kickstarter, we will be adding a lot more music! Check out what we plan to add on the Expansion List.

3. Play it your way!

  • Plug in earbuds or speakers, start playing your instrument, and the orchestra will be right with you.
  • For music where you come in first, the orchestra will wait for you to begin.
  • Slow down, speed up, hold that fermata—you’re free to play it your way!
  • Cadenza adjusts to your changes instantly and gets better with each play.

4. Record yourself

  • Record your rehearsals and mix your recordings with basic controls.
  • Share your recordings with family and friends!

5. Complete control

  • Decide where you want to start and stop. Take it from the top, or start from specific points like 4 measures before B.
  • You can adjust the volume, tuning, and following sensitivity of the orchestra.
  • After you play a passage the way you like it, you can train Cadenza to play it that way again the next time.

App Features

  • Works with nine different solo instruments
  • Over 50 pieces of standard repertoire
  • Includes PDF sheet music for solo part
  • Play along with orchestra that adapts to your way of playing
  • Train Cadenza to be more accurate 
  • Export recordings with basic mixing features
  • Connect with musicians around the world who share your interests
  • Create your own sections to rehearse (upgrade required)
  • Adjust accompaniment tuning (upgrade required)
  • Turn off adaptive accompaniment for practicing (upgrade required)

About Sonation

At Sonation, we believe that music begins with you. Our mission is to enhance, empower and celebrate your musical voice and talent. We are a three-person team of musicians with diverse backgrounds. Our expertise ranges from computer science, math, digital audio production, and software design to music performance and composition, business strategy, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Our company was born out of the Deans' Cultural Entrepreneurship Challenge at Harvard University, a contest spearheaded by Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Project. Out of 70 contestants, we finished as runner-up! We are currently in residence at the Harvard innovation lab.

Our Team

Chris Raphael (left) is our CTO and inventor of our core technology. A former professional oboist, Chris has been working on practical technology to help musicians for two decades. He is one of the world’s leading experts in automatic accompaniment.

Ann Chao (center) is our CEO, a former strategy consultant and Harvard MBA. An amateur pianist and flautist, she has been passionate about arts from a young age. She worked on the executive strategy team at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. 

Paul Smith (right) is our CMO, a tech entrepreneur, cellist and former student of Leonard Bernstein and Celibidache. He founded and led a SaaS startup out of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab, as well as the Fauxharmonic Orchestra, a digital music production company that serves media producers and composers.

Why we need your support

We are a small company that was founded in the summer of 2013. We've been visiting musicians at the top orchestras, conservatories and training programs in the world to get their reaction and feedback. We promised many of them that we would build Cadenza for iPad and iPhone, and we've been hard at work doing just that. 

We are well on our way to completing the app, but the Kickstarter funding will help us get there sooner and give us the ability to add more of the features you want:

1. Sharing and community-building. 

  • Incorporating a way to create and share recordings of your playing, including posting online and use for auditions
  • Establishing and nurturing a community to connect with other Cadenza musicians and meet with musicians nearby who share your skills and interests

2. Give you the music you want.

  • Right now our library is comprised of about 50 major works, but musicians have asked us to provide much more than that—especially shorter and easier pieces.
  • Since each musical work has its own stylistic nuances, we take great care in fine-tuning each accompaniment before it is available to our users. This ensures each piece is ready to play as soon as you download it. 
  • We use recordings of real musicians playing (not synthesized sound), and each piece is flexible so that Cadenza can follow the soloist without compromising sound quality or the inherent expressiveness of the recorded accompaniment.

For a list of music we are planning to add, see the Library Expansion List.

With your pledge of $299 or more, we will add a piece of your choice from the expansion list within two months of the iOS launch. If you do not see the piece you want, please contact us at suggestions@sonation.net and we will discuss ways to accommodate your request.

The rewards

 Teachers offering lessons for this reward level include:

Trumpet - Tom Smith, New York Philharmonic - profile
Violin - Nicholas Kitchen, New England Conservatory - profile
Viola - Hsin-Yun Huang, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center - profile
Viola - Victoria Chiang, Peabody Conservatory, Aspen - profile
Cello - Johannes Moser, International soloist - profile
Cello - Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, International soloist - profile
Flute - Judith Mendenhall, Mannes School of Music - profile
Oboe - Nathan Hughes, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra - profile
Piano/Chamber Music - Ju-Ying Song, Mannes School of Music - profile

Risks and challenges

Our team is very committed to making Cadenza the best that it can be. We have already created a fully-functional version for Mac, available for download from the Mac app store.

Although we have successfully tested the core functionality of Cadenza on iOS devices, we may encounter minor challenges in making the app operate seamlessly on both iPhone and iPad.

Other risks include the remote possibility that Apple will not approve the app (although our Mac app has already been approved), and that we will not be able to add all the music from the Expansion List in the planned timeframe.

We are working hard to address these challenges quickly and efficiently to ensure that we deliver Cadenza on time.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    27 backers

    APPLAUSE: Email announcement when the app is launched. Thank you!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    27 backers

    PRELUDE: 1 free music track (a great gift for a musician friend!) + Cadenza sticker.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    102 backers

    MINUET: Free upgraded app with advanced features (includes the ability to customize practice ranges, adjust accompaniment settings and more) + Mac version (including upgrade) + 1 free track + sticker.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    15 backers

    VOICE REWARD: Free upgraded app + Sonation water bottle for thirsty rehearsals + 1 free track + sticker

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $49 or more

    44 backers

    RONDO: 3 free tracks + handwritten card + upgraded app + Mac version (including upgrade) + sticker.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $49 or more

    6 backers

    VOICE REWARD: 3 free tracks + handwritten card + free upgraded app + Sonation water bottle + sticker

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $99 or more

    17 backers

    QUARTET: iPad or iPhone case with Sonation logo + everything from RONDO level.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $199 or more

    12 backers

    RHAPSODY: Customized Cadenza track jacket or hoodie + everything from QUARTET level.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $199 or more

    2 backers

    VOICE REWARD: Everything from $49 voice reward + 1 hour of vocal coaching from a professional trained at a top school (take your pick of opera, jazz, classical and pop)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $299 or more

    5 backers

    CONCERTO: Sponsor the expansion of our library! We will fast-track the addition of your choice of music from the Expansion List + everything from RHAPSODY level.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $399 or more

    1 backer Limited (24 left of 25)

    SYMPHONY: Dedication to someone you know (for example: Vivaldi's Four Seasons, dedicated to John Smith) + everything from CONCERTO level.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $399 or more

    0 backers

    VOICE REWARD: Everything from $199 voice reward + add your favorite song to Cadenza for voice (subject to licensing approval if non-public domain)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    SYMPHONY OF A THOUSAND: Private lesson in person or on Skype (depending on availability) with one of our affiliate teachers at a top music institution + Skype with the Sonation founding team + everything from SYMPHONY level.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $3,000 or more

    2 backers Limited (1 left of 3)

    WORLD PREMIERE: Thank you for supporting us so generously! We'll treat you to a private concert using Cadenza in your home with a professional musician from a top school + your name in the credits as a top supporter + invitation to meet with the Sonation team in Boston (travel and accommodations not included) to have a dialogue about the future of musical expression empowered by technology.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)