StaffPad live demo at Microsoft developers conference


StaffPad founder David William Hearn gave a live demo of his new app on Wednesday at Microsoft’s Build 2015 conference in San Francisco, for software and web developers using Windows.

David shared the stage with none other than Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, demonstrating StaffPad in front of thousands of viewers watching in person and online. David worked on an orchestral score — “This is no nursery rhyme,” he said — and had to educate some non-musicians on some musical terms: “Slur means play it like you’re drunk – I’m going to get in so much trouble for that.”

More to the point, David explained why he developed StaffPad for Surface and Windows: “It’s really the only platform that we could do this for, because it really understands the difference between my fingers and the pen.”

David showed remarkable poise with Nadella and a crowd of thousands, including accommodating a last-minute schedule change, so we’ll forgive his extra note values at the end of a bar — the likely cause of a copy-and-paste glitch, which he handled in stride. More amusing was the real-time tweets he was getting during the presentation, which he eventually switched off. Hey, that’s why it’s a live demo!

Read our full review of StaffPad, and watch the 4-minute presentation here:


You can also hear a short piano quintet that David composed especially for the occasion.

Updated 2:00 pm with more information about the presentation and a link to the performance of David William Hearn’s composition.


  1. Steve Philipp

    David William Hearn is a bad bad man, putting all sorts of crazy make me wanna buy a Surface Pro thoughts into my head ;-) I even have to give kudos to the evil micro-empire if they alone have developed a product capable of supporting this type of application.

    Nice job with StaffPad. It really looks like the holy grail of music notation. Write it with your pen, and the software does the rest. I’m very impressed.

  2. Bob Ross

    According to DWH…new update of StaffPad available today! (5/5/15)

    Great timing for all those Surface 3s available today!

  3. berthold carriere


  4. adriana figueroa mañas

    hi!…what kind of libraries can you use in the pad, to make the music to sound?

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