I'm happy to announce that my iPad music learning startup Etude has been acquired by Steinway & Sons.
When they approached me about the idea of working together, it seemed like an odd idea. What would a piano company in New York want with an iPad app?
It's not the usual acquisition story for a software business, but Steinway is more of a tech company than one might expect. They practically invented the modern piano and have been patenting improvements to it ever since. They're pretty much the Apple of the musical instrument world.
The main reason for acquiring Etude is that Steinway is thinking about how people will learn, perform, and create music in the digital era. Etude is another step in that direction, and I couldn't have wished for a better group of people to work with to continue the app's development.
Which brings me to my next announcement...
INTRODUCING ETUDE 2.0
I'm also announcing the second major release of Etude. It's the first "Steinway-ified" version of the app, but it's way more than a re-branding.
The biggest request from users was for more music. This update brings a brand new music store with thousands of songs to learn, with everything from J.S. Bach to Justin Bieber (yes, it actually has the beibz).
Etude 2 also features a new way for beginners to see music and not to mention tons of little UI improvements that make everything much smoother.
Etude 1.0 was a long, solo slog, but since coming to Steinway, I've been lucky to be able to bring in and work with with several very talented engineers and designers to build version 2.
Ben Englert and Jon Toohill tackled the technical challenge of sanitizing, converting, and engraving music originally created in other formats. They also helped build the backend for the new store. Kevin Murphy helped with app UI and with QA, noticing bugs that only a cellist would. The incomparable Jesse Benett-Chamberlain designed the new user interface, icon, and site.