Inventors of the Month - March 2017

This article was posted on: March 24, 2017

Jonathan Caldwell and Joseph Tolley


The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation recognizes Jonathan Caldwell, visiting assistant professor of music, and Joseph Tolley, an undergraduate student majoring in computer engineering, as Inventors of the Month for March 2017 for their invention “LyraScore,” disclosed to Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties Inc.

LyraScore is a system originally designed to enhance large ensemble music rehearsals. The system allows for unique, licensed parts to be distributed electronically to all members of the ensemble, eliminating the need for paper part distribution and controlling access to licensed material. All members of an ensemble are able to access their unique parts with their own annotations from a tablet or computer on- or off-site.

During rehearsal, the conductor can annotate the score, share it with the ensemble in real time, and move from one section or piece to the next – even turning the pages for the ensemble. Individual musicians can practice with the aid of an audio recording, metronome, and tuner, as well as record their own practice sessions for playback. All material is saved in a database which is pushed to devices when a member logs in. All files are saved temporarily on the tablet or computer and erased once the member logs out of the system.

While the system was originally designed for music rehearsals, the capabilities of the system have wide-ranging implications in both music and non-music environments as well as academic, business, and government settings. In particular, the system is useful and enabling in any document-sharing environment, especially where controlled access to the source material is advantageous or necessary. This system could also be used to prevent unauthorized access to controlled materials, such as classified or secret documents, and also to prevent edits to such documents that have been made during a controlled-access review session. Further, the system could be used to physically limit the accessibility of such controlled materials within a physical location, such as an approved meeting room or virtual meeting space.

Inventor Jonathan CaldwellJonathan Caldwell is visiting assistant professor of music and conductor of the Wind Ensemble at Virginia Tech. Prior to this appointment, he held positions at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point and in the Wake County Public School System in North Carolina. In addition to the wind ensemble, he also teaches music education courses including rehearsal techniques and lab ensemble. He holds a doctorate in musical arts and a certificate in music theory pedagogy from the University of Michigan, a master’s in music from the University of Maryland at College Park, and both a bachelor’s in music and an M.A. in teaching from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Joseph Tolley is an undergraduate student majoring in computer engineering who also finds time to study music. He served as the trombone section leader in the 2016 edition of the Marching Virginians and has been a member of the Virginia Tech Trombone Ensemble as well as the Virginia Tech Wind Ensemble.

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