The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, the legit musical licensing company whose properties includes classic tuners such as “The Sound of Music,” has paired with Real Music Solutions to offer products that will provide electronic backup to orchestras performing R&H-licensed shows.
Move could stir up some controversy, since Real Time and its Sinfonia tech — which allows a musician playing one musical keyboard to electronically enhance a live band — was a factor in the Broadway musicians strike over “canned music” in 2003, when union-picketing halted biz on the Rialto for four days.
But the tools offered by R&H and Real Time likely will be used mainly by amateur and student groups, which already work with limited orchestral resources and aren’t required by unions to employ a certain number of musicians in their pits.
Two new computer programs are rehearsal aid AccompanEase and InstrumentalEase, which can electronically augment an orchestra during performance.
Shows for which the tools are available include “Sound of Music,” “Annie Get Your Gun” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”