EXPERIENCE CHORAL MUSIC. ANYTIME. ANYWHERE.
Our quality assurance team never had so much fun testing and providing quality assurance to an app, as they did with carus music. The sounds of Bach and Mendelssohn-Bartholdy were floating lightly in the air, joyfully accompanying us throughout the creation process. But let’s go back to the beginning.
Founded in 1972, Carus has become one of the leading publishers of choral music worldwide. Besides high quality sheet music of nearly 30,000 pieces, Carus holds first-class recordings mostly in their own label. Carus greatly emphasizes the legibility of notes and prepares the pieces with significant attention to detail. This is well received by choir directors and singers, making the family business evolve steadily.
Despite their success, managing director Johannes Graulich is aware, that the sheet music industry must find a convincing answer to today’s digital transformation. He therefore came up with the idea of synchronizing the notes and recordings, and providing them in one app along with the ability to rehearse with one’s own voice. Carus expects to not only raise the bar for mobile voice rehearsal with this innovative solution, but also become a leader in the mobile domain of choral music.
SPRYLAB holds extensive experience with digitalization projects in the publishing field
Carus decided to work with SPRYLAB due to the extensive experience in the publishing industry as well as the Purple DS®, its own publishing solution for managing apps and app content. Moreover, our music-loving co-worker Franz Schubert not only provided a name that suggests domain expertise, but also strategic and technical consulting, that goes along with our passion for implementing projects.
Until now, choir singers could only practice with sheet music and a matching CD. carus music, the choir app, allows for a whole new choral experience on smartphones and tablets, where notes, recordings and vocal coaching smoothly merge into one. The app enhances the quality of personal preparation for choir singers and moreover allows people, who are insecure in reading sheet music, to have a whole new approach to choral music. The better the choir singers are prepared individually, the more fun it is for the choir director to master the subtleties of interpretation.
The focus was on the high quality standards
Carus has very high quality standards for all its products, including the app. The original issues are conjoined only with first class recordings of internationally renowned artists and are moreover expanded with a practice coach for the individual choir voice. The coach consists of a piano accompaniment for the different types of voice: soprano, alto, tenor, bass. Users can download individual pieces on their smartphones or tablets and choose to practice either the entire piece or separate parts.
The app shows one page of sheet music at a time anlong with a marker that indicates the exact position of the recording being played. Together with the coach, the playback of music pieces can be slowed down to 70%, which significantly facilitates learning new pieces and practicing the more difficult or faster parts. The pages scroll automatically and can also be controlled by the user. In addition, the playback can be started at any point by tapping on any bar. Users therefore have a simple yet a very comprehensive navigation option.
The implementation of the app
The base of carus music, the choir app, is created with Purple DS®. Purple DS® is a powerful app production and management environment, which enables leading publishers and agencies to produce digital content. Carus utilizes the app content management system Purple DS® Manager in order to independently manage the issues, add new music pieces and adjust the in-app purchases.
Carus developed and patented a completely new technology that allows synchronizing the marker, the recording and the coach. An engine was developed and integrated as a module in Purple DS® so that contents produced by Carus can be played in the app.
This module allows Carus to continually produce and update new apps and issues. Furthermore, Carus has access to all the configuration options of Purple DS® and can thus take advantage of the new capabilities for its own app. This offers substantial benefits: the Purple DS® Manager runs in the Purple DS® Cloud, a highly scalable and fail-proof backend which uses the Amazon cloud services. This technology was used in order to accomplish faster and cost-effective implementation.
The future of carus music
A wide selection of available music pieces is already planned and put into implementation. The infrastructure is constructed in a way that allows Carus to add and manage new pieces into carus music independently, without any additional technical help.
Launch der App
carus music is now available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. During the introduction period from 15 April to 31 May 2015, the entire Bach motet “Sing unto the Lord a new song” BWV 225 is available for free for all voices. Carus music app trailer features the world-renowned choir director Helmuth Rilling.