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ODLA: fast and intuitive music writing

Digital music writing requires an excellent knowledge of music notation software. ODLA was designed to work as an interface to make music writing easier. For everyone.

Among many other cool things, the Eighties witnessed the diffusion of personal computers and the proliferation of the related applications; one of the most popular applications was, of course, music.

Programmers developed pioneering software for music notation and musicians – the end users – were therefore able to create and edit music digitally for the first time in history.

At the beginning, music notation software did not offer more than just the possibility to write and print on paper. It took a while before the various digital formats we are familiar with today (MIDI files, .wav, .mp3, etc.) entered the market and thus allowed to perform advanced operations of score manipulation.

This was the time when the activity of digital music notation was defined as we know it today: alongside the software (which meanwhile had evolved in terms of performance), and the traditional computer keyboard for information input, MIDI keyboards – which were able to interface directly with the program – appeared. Other kind of tools (such as active pens) appeared too, but this happened just recently.

A different music

Today, as several different software are available on the market, different approaches to digital music writing and production exist too.

Music production shifted towards digital but in many cases – for instance when music must be recorded by ensembles or soloists, or when performing live concerts -, real scores are still needed. Until today, in order to be printed, scores have been edited using traditional QWERTY or electronic MIDI keyboards and a music notation software.

ODLA was created to be a valid alternative to traditional keyboards: it makes music writing more intuitive while focusing on the user experience. In the end, ODLA greatly simplifies the use of music notation software.

Designed by musicians, ODLA meets the needs of both music professionals and enthusiasts. The keyboard’s writing and editing functionalities allow complex processing without significant slowdowns; the interaction with notation software is facilitated through the innovative ODLA staff: this is an input system with an embossed staff that, fostering a tactile experience, recalls the traditional aesthetics of musical writing.

Music for all

Due to its unique features, ODLA can be also an important tool for visually impaired or blind musicians. Unlike traditional visual impairment aids, ODLA accessible version streamlines device-software interaction and makes music learning more intuitive, generally favoring usability for this kind of users.

Functionality keys are ergonomically distributed around ODLA’s embossed staff, and can be easily memorized by a visually impaired or blind user. In the accessible version of the keyboard, a voice-over guide helps users during their creative process.

ODLA was designed in order to let copyists, composers, music lovers, students – every kind of music production enthusiast – write a digital score quickly and intuitively, avoiding the obstacles that, in the past, made digital music writing such a complex process.