Glenn Gould's Vision Inspires New Kind of Music App - Free iPhone/iPad App Makes Classical Music Cool for Smartphone Generation

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An idea legendary pianist Glenn Gould had more than forty years ago is the inspiration behind a new music app developed by two musicians living in Gould’s hometown of Toronto. Launched now to celebrate the iconic pianist’s 80th birthday year, Piano Invention is a free iPhone and iPad app that offers an intuitive way to play and create piano music.

PIano Invention - technology inspired by Glenn Gould

Piano Invention Screenshot

"We're using today's mobile technology to realize Glenn Gould's vision and engage a whole new generation" Shaun Elder, Creator, Piano Invention

A new music app brings an idea Glenn Gould had in 1969 to life on technology created by one of his biggest fans, Steve Jobs. Piano Invention - technology inspired by Glenn Gould - has just been released in the iTunes App Store.

The free iPhone/iPad app lets users play and create music intuitively by tapping and swiping objects in an engaging illustration. A recording tool lets them build up pieces in layers. They can share their music with friends and family on social media.

Gould shared his vision in a 1969 CBC interview: “I think we’re going to make kits, and I think we’re going to send out these kits to listeners, perhaps to viewers also, as videotape cartridge gets into the act, as I think it will, and we’re going to say, ‘Do it yourself. Take the assembled components and make of those components something that you genuinely appreciate’”.

The free iPhone/iPad app PIano Invention includes two songs/scenes: Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, and Bach’s Prelude in C. More songs are available for purchase from within the app.

Students aged 4 to 14 at The Royal Conservatory, Gould's alma mater, test-drove Piano Invention. “The app encourages you to play with sound and gain an awareness of different kinds of musical resources”, says Jennifer Snow, Chief Academic Officer, The Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program. “There’s a puzzle-like quality that makes you want to find the connections between the elements."

To celebrate Gould, who would have turned 80 on September 25, 2012, Piano Invention invites listeners around the world to create a short piece using the app, and post it to Glenn Gould @80 Online Tribute (from within the app).

The Glenn Gould Estate has authorized Piano Invention to use the tagline “technology inspired by Glenn Gould”.

To view a preview video, visit To download the free app, visit

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Shaun Elder
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