Sibelius Software Teams With In The Chair To Create Next-Generation Learning Environment

Sibelius Software Ltd., developer of the world''s leading music notation software, and the innovative Australian company In the Chair today officially announced a partnership to create In the Chair 2.0 – a new musical instrument learning product slated for a fall 2006 release that will harness the power of new technology to provide students with a better environment for their learning and better feedback on their performance.

In contrast with other systems available on the market, In the Chair 2.0 will offer rich media content – including streaming video of a conductor directing the specific piece of music a student is practicing, and an orchestra with real instrument sounds instead of synthesized tones generated by a computer sound card.

In the Chair offers an online "flight simulator" for musicians – an immersive experience that lets students perform along with an actual band or orchestra. The real-time video of the conductor, combined with the notation, teaches students the discipline necessary to play with an ensemble at real performance tempos. The system is currently available for clarinet, flute, trumpet, violin, cello, recorder and saxophone, and more instruments will be added to the fall 2006 release of version 2.0.

Thanks to collaboration between software engineers from the two companies, In the Chair 2.0 will blend Sibelius Scorch technology – the standard for web delivery of sheet music – with the In the Chair engine that made its debut in early 2005. Scorch is an interactive web browser for the display and playback of musical notation, and as part of In the Chair 2.0 it will power the online experience and enable users to import musical scores into the application without prior markup from a massive range of commercially available material.

In the Chair accelerates the music learning curve by teaching accuracy as students master ensemble play in an engaging, inspirational and visual setting. While they play, students receive immediate feedback on their tone, timing, pitch, and dynamics, through a feedback panel, on the score itself and in the form of a friendly tutor's voice. In the Chair gives students a numerical grade for each performance, as well as detailed text-based feedback on graphs. Teachers can use In the Chair to track their students' practice, determine where and why they are having problems, and help focus on problem areas. In the Chair 2.0 will add the ability to e-mail performances or burn them onto CD for instructor review, as well as a recording/playback function for the student's own use.

"Providing beginner musicians with on-demand access to a varied library of real performances to help them learn ensemble performance is truly a world-first opportunity," said Jeremy Silver, CEO, Sibelius Software Ltd. "Students will feel that they are actually sitting in with the band or orchestra instead of simply reading sheet music off of a computer screen."

In the Chair holds worldwide provisional patents on its system for judging a performance of a musical instrument in real time, and has patents pending on its ability to keep a score in time with a real musical performance across a network, allowing users to play live in a performance from anywhere in the world.

The collaboration between Sibelius and In the Chair, which will create a new version of In the Chair's practice system, is slated for worldwide release and distribution for Windows XP in fall, 2006. The system will be available for Apple platforms at approximately the same time.

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