Local Inventor Signs Contract With Emi

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The millions of songs soon to be available in Kevin Bailey's musical library won't fit on an iPod. Instead, they appear as digitized sheet music.

A decade ago, Bailey, co-owner of Payson Music Center, developed Paperless Sheet Music, a DVD that displays musical arrangements and turns the page automatically, according to the tempo of each song. The patent has been pending for nearly a year.

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Put a Paperless Sheet Music DVD into a computer, television or PlayStation and play along with digital sheet music that automatically turns to the next page.

In April, Bailey signed a three-year, worldwide contract with music industry giant EMI World Entertainment Group.

"When this first came out, we didn't really have a music catalog," said Bailey, who initially used public domain songs.

"Now, I'm licensed to take anything EMI has in its catalog, make a musical arrangement for it and put it onto a DVD."

While the paperwork is being finalized, EMI granted Bailey immediate access to more than 2,700 songs.

To increase his selection, Bailey sends EMI a monthly list, requesting about 50 songs. After receiving approval, Bailey works with independent composers to arrange them.

"I use Billboard charts and take the most popular songs I can get my hands on," said Bailey, who also has deals pending with Sony/ATV Music Publishing and EMI CMG Publishing, which specializes in Christian music.

Bailey, who plays piano, organ and keyboard, designed Paperless Sheet Music after struggling to play and turn pages of sheet music at the same time.

"It's hard enough to play the notes and keep rhythm by tapping your foot," Bailey said.

Separate discs, containing 10 pre-selected songs for piano, guitar, saxophone, clarinet, flute, trumpet, violin and vocals, retail for $21.98 each.

Current DVDs include Christmas carols, patriotic tunes and several volumes of country and classic rock, Bailey said.

"We also have a DVD of old TV themes and another of old movie themes like ‘Dr. Zhivago,'" Bailey said.

By the end of August, customers will be able to customize DVDs, choosing the songs and the order in which they wish to play them from an online catalog, Bailey said.

Virtual music lessons are another feature available in time for holiday shopping, Bailey said.

A recording of an instructor will appear at the top of a split screen, with a lesson underneath.

"When you have the time, you can do it in the comfort of your own home," Bailey said.

"You can go as fast or slow as you want. If you don't get it, you can listen to it over and over again until you do."

For children, animated cartoons will teach lessons, Bailey said.

"Children are motivated by cell phones," Bailey said. "These days, everything is video."

Five lessons cost $21.98, about the same price as a typical half-hour lesson, Bailey said.

He is also working on increasing image clarity and expanding the number of songs that will fit on a disc, using Blu-ray technology.

At the end of July, Bailey will present his invention at a trade show, sponsored by NAMM, the International Music Products Association. Artists such as Carlos Santana and Stevie Wonder will mingle among more than 80,000 registrants, according to the NAMM Web site.

Tiffany, Bailey's wife and Paperless Sheet Music marketing manager, said they are looking to spread Paperless Sheet Music worldwide.

"We want to share music with the world all over again," Tiffany said.

"Music is a universal language," Bailey added. "All we have to do is change the titling."

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