Palco Play & Learn

In 2017 we have a new focus that ties us back to our origins. Our platform is undergoing a transformation to become a repository of high quality music learning materials that double as tools for documenting musical traditions from around the world.

Just like the Encyclopedia of Life started with a single species, we are going to tackle one genre at a time, beginning with Latin American rhythms. Our goal is to provide you with the immersive experience of being an apprentice, on location, interacting with local experts so you can play with professionals and learn from the masters.

Beta version coming soon

We’ve been very busy strengthening our developing team and building the alpha version of Palco. After much consideration we settled for Grails and are very excited with all the features of the newly released version.

In the next few months we’ll be looking for some beta testers. If you’re an arranger interested in selling your original creations to the world or a musician looking for high quality scores and parts, leave us your email and we’ll keep you posted on our progress.

The foundations of Palco include a system for cataloguing music from all continents. There’s a lot of work to do but we’re standing on the shoulders of people like wikipedians who have done an extraordinary work categorizing music. I’m fond of this brief but interesting page about the Genealogy of musical genres. Other jewels include Every noise at once and the collaborative effort to document music genres: Know your genre.

Bogota Music Market: connecting musicians

For second consecutive year the Bogota Chamber of Commerce organized Bogota Music Market #BOmm2013, a 2-day networking event to promote the growth of the music industry in Colombia.

One of the guest speakers, Geoff Ellis, who created Scotland’s biggest festival “T in the Park” spoke of the opportunities for Colombian bands to perform at international music festivals. He shared that in the past five years or so, people in the UK have become more receptive to music in languages other than English, particularly if the music has folk roots and meets high musical standards.

Some of the bands worth considering are Aguasalá, a young all women percussion and voice ensemble; Cimarrón, with 20 years of experience and performances in innumerable venues like the Smithsonian Folk Festival; Herencia de Timbiquí, winners of the Viña del Mar International Song Festival; and Puerto Candelaria with 30 world tours including SXSW in 2013.

Geoff emphasized the importance of renovation. In his opinion, T in the Park is ever more successful after 20 years of existence only because part of the revenue is invested in reinventing the festival. That also applies to the bands that they invite to participate.

Bravo Bravura!

We welcome the work of Daniel Spreadbury improving and standardizing music fonts.

Daniel, who comes from Sibelius and is now at Steinberg, has proposed a new standard for how musical symbols should be laid out in a font (you can read more about that in the Standard Music Font Layout page: SMuFL). He has also created a new music font, called Bravura to demonstrate the standard. Bravura is an OpenType font implementing almost all of the glyphs in the Unicode Musical Symbols range. It’s bolder than other music fonts and has a classical look. We like that it’s easy to read on paper and screens.

Bravura, currently in pre-release version 0.1, is free to download thanks to Steinberg that made it available under the SIL Open Font License. As Daniel suggests “please consider allowing others in the community to benefit from any improvements you make by allowing Steinberg to improve the core font, rather than choosing to create a derivative font.”

Hear Daniel on the SoundNotion podcast from May 2013.

Our focus

Steve Jobs had a very clear focus; he said: “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.”

At Palco, we know there are 1,000 things that can be done with the technology now available to manipulate music notation in the cloud and we’re happy to see several people tackling some of them. Our focus right now is in creating the best platform for arrangers to upload their creations and for musicians to be able to quickly find the arrangements they want and adapt them to their own needs.

In practical terms, that means an easy to use interface to upload and edit the arrangements directly in the cloud and a superb cataloguing and search system that allows for the discovery of music via different avenues.

The music notation landscape is changing…

… and we wanna be part of it!

Music notation has been alive in the software world with some pioneers like now forgotten Mosaic from MOTU, survivors like Finale and Sibelius, industry standards that have been out since 1988 and 1993 respectively, and open source options like MuseScore. All fine tools for the job!

But web 2.0 features that have been available for images, video and text for a while have been slower to appear for music notation. Finale and Sibelius did take some baby steps with web pluggins, and more recently apps like Tonara, PiaScore and iSheetMusic are filling the mobile space.

However, it’s efforts like Noteflight’s “music notation for a connected world” that get us really excited about the future of music notation. At, we plan to take advantage of standard music notation for the web to give arrangers an outlet for their creations in a way that best suits the demand by musicians around the world.