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About Noteflight

Who we are

Noteflight, LLC is located in Boston, Massachusetts, and is dedicated to reinventing the way that people create, share and use written music. Our product doesn't merely improve on other music notation software: it lets written music take advantage of the full power of the web as we know it today. Noteflight is a powerful full-featured application to edit, display and play back music notation in a standard web browser, integrated in an online library of musical scores that anyone can publish, link to, or embed.

Where to find us (physically)

We're located in Boston's historic Seaport District at 25 Thomson St. Drop in and say hello if you're in the neighborhood! There's an ongoing stream of stuff about us at our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

The Story of Noteflight

In 2007 we looked at where notation software was, and saw that applications for writing music were stuck in the past. We wanted to accomplish a few important goals:

Make it easy to create and share written music online. People who make music -- amateurs and professionals, students and teachers -- want to share that music with others, sooner or later. But most software for working with notated music treats the Internet as an afterthought: it's geared to saving your music on your own computer's hard disk, not to sharing your music with other people. It's painful to share musical scores online today, and as software inventors, we knew how much better it could be. People expect to be able to do their creative work wherever they go, and a crop of new browser-based applications make it incredibly easy to create and publish word-processing documents or spreadsheets online. We feel musical documents should be just as accessible.

Empower developers to build a new world of musical and educational applications. Applications today should be not only powerful tools, but building blocks that can be combined in ways that their creators have never foreseen. A truly powerful musical application should be extensible without having to open it up and change the code. Adding new instruments and symbols, or embedding in a page and building new kinds of connections with other content -- all of these things should be possible. A great tool lets creative people not only use its built-in capabilities, but extend them and freely reorganize them in new ways. As Bertrand Meyer, a pioneer of software thinking, once put it: "Real systems have no top".

Encourage a vibrant community of users by keeping the basics free. Music notation software vendors continue to charge high prices for boxed software, CD and DVD distribution media, and printed manuals. Then once you buy something, you're basically stuck with it until the next major upgrade cycle comes around, at which point you pay again. All this for the ability to do something very fundamental: to work with notated music on a computer. In this era, basic software shouldn't cost that much either to produce or to use, and improvements should be available constantly, not on a yearly basis. A healthy, large, diverse community of users creates the most value for the world and for our business.

From these observations flowed a set of clear directions: Put a repository of musical information on the web, along with tools to create it, publish to it, read it, listen to it, and search it. Give those tools a user interface that's drop-dead simple, hooked up to features that are powerful. Allow musical scores to be linked to and bookmarked just like any other web pages. Allow music to be embedded in anyone's web documents, like any image or video, and controlled with JavaScript. Gather music from people across the globe, and give it back to them whenever and wherever they need it. And provide all this at no cost for a basic level of service, with premium services and add-ons for those who want and need them.

That's what Noteflight is about.

Our Team

Our team includes:

  • Joe Berkovitz, President. Joe has been immersed in the software world for 30 years, and is also an active composer and pianist. Most recently VP of Engineering at the innovative e-commerce company Allurent, Joe was also Chief Architect at startup Ruckus Networks, and as a Senior Architect at ATG he led the development of a number of pioneering software products. Joe is a frequent and sought-after speaker at conferences on the Adobe Flash and Flex platforms and has contributed a substantial number of open-source projects to the Flex development community, ranging from pattern-based application frameworks to code coverage tools. Back in the misty dawn of time, he studied at New England Conservatory of Music.
  • Elizabeth has extensive experience in the commercialization of emerging technologies. She worked for Philips Electronics in Holland in the 1990s; upon returning to the USA, she held senior management positions with technology front-runners such as ATG, m-Qube (Verisign), Third Screen Media, Fenestrae, Unwired Appeal and co-founded RazzberrySync - a mobile content company. Most recently, Elizabeth held the position of VP of Global Strategy at Ansible Mobile. Elizabeth has worked with industry-leading brands, carriers and agencies to help develop their marketing and advertising strategies. Elizabeth holds an International MBA from Nijenrode University in the Netherlands and a BA from UC Berkeley in International Relations.
  • Enrique Guardia, VP Operations. Rick has been helping software startups create and deploy great software for over 25 years. Most recently at Allurent, Rick has directed software operations, product development, engineering and manufacturing for companies such as Kurzweil Computer Products and Articulate Systems (now divisions of Nuance) and Unveil Technologies (now part of Microsoft).
  • Nathan Abramson, Architect. It's hard to get a capsule bio out of Nate, because he's so modest. On the other hand, it's also hard to write a capsule bio on his behalf, because his achievements are so outsized, so impressive and so numerous. Let's just say that Nate's been a seminal inventor and contributor to what we think of today as application server technology: he was at the center of a group at ATG that created the first generation of sites that were real interactive applications, not just static pages. Of course he hasn't stopped inventing amazing stuff, and so we're incredibly lucky to have him on our team today.
  • Mike Keirnan, Architect. Mike grew up in New York, and loves dogs more than computers — but only just. An MIT graduate and serial software startup deck hand, his first job was a plucky little database company later bought by Sybase. His warrior coding spirit never flags, and has been revitalized over the years by C++, Java, Flash, the cloudburst of cloud applications, and now Ruby On Rails. He loves learning and constantly rediscovers the joy in programming anew.
  • Daniela Procupez, Designer. Daniela hails from Argentina, and has a unique design sense that blends the aesthetic and the functional. Besides her work in software, she is also a very talented visual artist. She might be very distantly related to Joe - it turns out that Procupez and Berkovitz are actually the same name. Who knew?

Our Advisory Board

The Noteflight Advisory Board includes:

  • Donald Byrd, Ph.D. is Senior Scientist, Adjunct Associate Professor of Informatics and Adjunct Associate Professor of Music at Indiana University. Don's 1984 dissertation, Music Notation by Computer, is so well-regarded that as of this writing, some 24 years later, notation-related websites still list "Don Byrd's PhD thesis" among the books they carry. Byrd went on to use his own music-notation program, one of the first of its kind, to create the musical examples for Hofstadter’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid. Since then, Byrd has worked extensively both in industry and academia. He was also one of the principal sound designers and sound-design software developers for the Kurzweil 250, arguably the first synthesizer able to reproduce sounds of acoustic instruments convincingly. He likes to climb steep walls, both natural, artificial and conceptual.
  • Ingrid Monson, Ph.D. is Quincy Jones Professor of African-American Music at Harvard University. She specializes in jazz, African American music, and music of the African diaspora. She is author of Saying Something: Jazz Improvisation and Interaction (1996) winner of the Sonneck Society's Irving Lowens award for the best book published on American music in 1996. Her most recent work is on Freedom Sounds: Jazz, Civil Rights, and Africa, 1950-1967, (2005). Professor Monson has published articles in Ethnomusicology, Critical Inquiry, World of Music, Journal of the American Musicological Society, and Women and Music. She is also a trumpet player.
  • Alex Ruthmann, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Massachusetts - Lowell. His research and teaching interests focus on creativity- and technology-infused music teaching, composing curriculum and pedagogy, and non-traditional music, arts and media courses in K-12 schools. He is widely known for his work adapting online social technologies to support music learning and teaching. Alex’s curriculum work and research is published in Research Studies in Music Education, Music Educators Journal, Making Music with Technology and Music Education with Digital Technology. Ruthmann is Chair-Elect for the Creativity Special Research Interest Group for the Society for Research in Music Education and is Managing Editor of the online, open access International Journal of Education & the Arts. An active blogger, Alex invites you to view his current projects and collaborations online at http://www.alexruthmann.com/.
  • Rick Treitman, Entrepreneur in Residence, Adobe Systems and the Founder and former CEO of Virtual Ubiquity - the creator of the Buzzword online word processor. At Adobe, Rick is responsible for Acrobat.com, a set of online services for document-centered collaboration. In the high tech field for over 30 years, Rick founded Virtual Ubiquity (acquired by Adobe in 2007) on the belief that web-based applications will create new channels of collaboration and that a great word processor had yet to be built. Rick is also an avid kayak paddler and builder.

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