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Tech Garden startup, iMuzik, targets launch this year

By Journal Staff


SYRACUSE — A startup company based in the Syracuse Tech Garden is developing a digital music stand with a 20-inch touch screen.

The product will allow musicians access to a library of scores and sheet music. The stand will also be WiFi capable and allow collaborative networking with others. The company will start by offering music that’s now in the public domain, which includes thousands of pieces.

The sheet music will be uploaded to the device, known as the MyMuzik stand, via the company’s website. It will be displayed as a digital image.

The stand will include a foot pedal that will allow for hands-free page turning. The software powering the device will also include features like zoom, rotation, scrolling, and allow for annotation.

A conductor of a full ensemble using the product could even send messages and notes to all the devices at once, according to the company.

The stand is aimed at organized ensembles and professional musicians, says Alice Yu, interim director of marketing and development at iMuzik, LLC, the company developing the stand.

While there are plenty of iPad apps available to handle digital sheet music, iPad screens are small. Musicians are accustomed to having full-size sheet music spread across a stand, she notes.

The MyMuzik product seeks to replicate the same dimensions as an actual, physical page of music. IPads, Yu says, are more suited for hobbyists or traveling musicians.

Professionals, she adds, never asked the iPad question.

“Serious musicians get it,” she says. “An orchestral score is huge. It’s tough to shrink that down.”

The hardware for the product is ready now, produced by computer manufacturer Seneca Data of Cicero. The software should be ready to go in about a month, iMuzik CEO Robert Jandura-Cessna says. 

IMuzik plans to test the product with musicians of Symphony Syracuse — a group of musicians that formed after the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra suspended operations and filed for bankruptcy in 2011. He is hoping to organize a concert using the MyMuzik stands this summer. 

Jandura-Cessna founded the company in March 2011 after working on the idea for several months. After studying abroad and running a small business in Poland for more than two years, he says he returned to the U.S. and founded iMuzik to unite two of his passions. 

“Business is something I’ve always done and I know it’s something I’m going to pursue for the rest of my life,” Jandura-Cessna says. “Music is also.”

He funded the startup of iMuzik with money left over from his business, a lingerie shop he started in Krakow. The company has also received some financial support from family. 

IMuzik is now working with CenterState CEO in a new program aimed at helping the business find debt and equity financing, Jandura-Cessna says.

IMuzik held an event at the Tech Garden in December to help develop its software. About 20 coders, software developers, and designers came together for the two-day event, Hacking-4-Muzik.

 The group split into two teams that spent 54 hours hashing out their own versions of software to power the stand. Two members of the winning team continue to work on development of the software, Jandura-Cessna says.       

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