Tonara, the interactive sheet music app for iPad that listens to you as you play a score and automatically turns the page for you, just announced that it has raised a $4 million Series A round led by Carmel Ventures, with follow-on investments from existing seed investors including Index Ventures, Lool Ventures, Eilon Tirosh, Rami Lipman and other angel participants.The company says that it plans to use this new round, which follows a $750,000 seed round last year, to “invest in ongoing technology innovation, secure additional partnerships with sheet music publishers, and pursue strategic marketing initiatives.”
The company also today announced a partnership with print music publishing giant Hal Leonard. Hal Leonard is not exactly a household name in the tech world, but the company currently offers about 200,000 publications and products. Thanks to this new partnership, Tonara can now start rolling out music from popular artists under the Universal, Sony and EMI labels. This, according to Tonara, means that its users will soon be able to purchase sheet music for songs from Adele, Usher and the Beatles in the app. The service currently offers a number of free scores and charges between $0.99 and $2.99 for additional ones.
Tonara currently offers music for piano, violin, cello, flute and voice, but the company plans to support more instruments in the near future. As our own Ingrid Lunden, who has a bit of a background in classical music, tells me, “when you’re learning a piece of music it can be complicated enough focusing on getting everything right and keeping in time and even the best-laid-out music can have a frustrating page turn in it. I love the idea that you could get rid of that issue, just like that.”
At last year’s TC Disrupt, the judges were somewhat skeptical that Tonara would be able to make deals with sheet music publishers. Today’s announcement clearly shows that the publishers have understood that the app opens up a new market for an innovative product like this (and that there is a clear opening to serve iPad-owning musicians with an app that can take some of the hassle out of sheet music).