Muse Group formed to support MuseScore, Ultimate Guitar; acquires Audacity


The company that already owns the music notation software and online catalog MuseScore and the Ultimate Guitar community and guitar tab catalog has announced its acquisition of Audacity, the popular free audio editing software. Together with its support of the assignment management platform MuseClass and song learning and effects app Tonebridge, the new company is known as Muse Group, it announced in a press release this week.

Muse Group and its five brands: Ultimate Guitar, Audacity, MuseScore, MuseClass, and Tonebridge

Muse Group, according to the release, “provides digital tools, resources, and content to musicians at each stage in their personal development. Executive roles and company leadership of Ultimate Guitar will transition into similar roles in Muse Group with no other major structural or operational changes within the individual portfolio companies.”

Ultimate Guitar was founded in 1998 by Eugeny Naidenov, and he will continue on with the company in the role of Muse Group chairman. “This move is a natural progression in our evolution as a company, allowing us to better support a collection of brands aligned around a shared purpose – to continually improve the quality of life for the ordinary musician,” Naidenov said.

Ultimate Guitar acquired MuseScore in 2017 and announced that acquisition publicly in February 2018. “Our acquisition of MuseScore was simply a first step beyond the guitar segment,” Muse Group CEO Michael Trutnev said, “and as we moved from guitar tabs into music notation and recently into education with MuseClass, it became clear that our current goals and future ambitions can be better served by organizing support for our brands under a new structure.”


In a video posted today on his popular Tantacrul YouTube channel, Martin Keary announced the move and gave an overview of the history of Audacity, including interviews with some of the key people involved in the project. Martin, who was previously head of design for MuseScore, will continue that responsibility in an expanded role as head of creative tools for Muse Group, to include MuseScore and Audacity.

We spoke with Martin Keary and Daniel Ray, Muse Group’s head of strategy, on the Scoring Notes podcast in July 2020, and we will look forward to learning more about their new and upcoming plans in the future.

Daniel Ray “muses” about Audacity and StaffPad

On the Scoring Notes podcast, Daniel Ray talks with us about MuseScore, Muse Group’s acquisitions of Audacity and StaffPad, and what it all means for his company, for users, and for the entire industry. Listen now:

Scoring Notes
Scoring Notes
Daniel Ray "muses" about Audacity and StaffPad



  1. Ka-Lo

    Audacity’s looks are a bit outdated but besides that it’s a solid and very well working application. Getting ‘bought’ by a commercial enterprise though is probably not good news. I can imagine they’ll milk the market with the usual tricks, hey, it’s free but with limited this and that and if you’ll pay only 5.99 / month… and so on ;-( I hope I’m wrong, alas, I doubt it.

    1. Dan Kreider

      That was my exact thought. I hope it stays totally free.

    2. David MacDonald

      That’s something I’m definitely not worried about. Two reasons: First, they haven’t done this with MuseScore. The revenue from it comes only from their cloud services (which cost them money to maintain). Second, Audacity is released under a GPL license, so they’re not allowed to sell it.

      Also, “looks outdated” is the most dramatic understatement I’ve seen in a long time.

      1. Gantz43

        They can sell it, they just have to give the source code with the binaries.
        Or they can sell you a subscription like Red Hat does with Linux

  2. Daniel Ray

    Audacity will remain 100% forever with no feature tiers or limitations.

    Just as with MuseScore, users can expect optional cloud services (file storage, sharing, etc.), but such capabilities are optional and the software is fully-featured and fully-functional without this.

    Though Muse Group as a concept is quite new, it is same philosophy, same model, and same team as Ultimate Guitar.

    What you should expect from Muse Group moving forward is pretty much what you have seen with MuseScore since the acquisition.

    As we continue to make acquisitions, we will not likely change existing business models very much. We’ll try to make as much as possible as free as possible (while respecting rights holders), and will heavily invest in product development, rapidly expanding product teams with the best and brightest we can find.

    P.S. – We’re hiring :-) –

    1. fwolf

      Well, as Audacity is GPL v2 OR LATER, like lots of the libraries its using – if you do not plan to get faced with rampant forks, you wont be able to NOT keep it Open Source. And of corpse, not being sued over copyright violations of the respective developers of the libraries in use. Except if you completely rewrote EVERYTHING. FROM SCRATCH.

      Thus we ponder what exactly it is you “aquired”..?

      cu, w0lf.

  3. Ka-Lo

    Well, I’m happy to hear all them good news! I want to believe ;-) It’s the ‘we made an acquisition of something that one can’t sell’ that’s confusing….

  4. Gibson DelGiudice

    Boy, the majors are gonna be pissed when (not “if,” but also probably not immediately) Musescore and Audacity beat them to the punch with full work-flow integration…

  5. Philip Rothman

    If you would like to learn more about MuseScore and Muse Group’s philosophy and product strategy, please check out the Scoring Notes podcast episode from July, embedded at the end of this news article. Daniel Ray and Martin Keary are very forthcoming about their approach. We hope to have them back on the show soon to talk about the latest news!

  6. Thiago Moraes e Silva

    I am glad it will continue open-source, ty to everyone behind this acquisition.

  7. Dark Monarch

    They already integrated telemetry using Google Analytics and Yandex Metrica, so I don’t think I will use it in new version because I’m sick of Google or other big tech siphoning data

    1. Matt

  8. Dave Lewis

    I have already stopped using Audacity and will now not use MuseScore, I will not use your products at any price, I would rather give up my computer and start gardening, private means private if you can’t understand that let me make it clear you have purchased a dead program namely Audacity, all my friends including myself have stopped using it.
    Good luck on the data collection.

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