About

What is Chordify?

Chordify is an online music education service — made for and by music enthusiasts — that transforms music from YouTube, Deezer, SoundCloud, or your private collection into chords. Our service automatically recognizes chords from an audio signal and aligns them to the music in a simple and intuitive player. Chordify uses cutting-edge technology to help both novice and trained musicians play the music they want to play.

Technology behind Chordify

Since Chordify launched we’ve done our best to safeguard the simplicity and usability of the website and the app, but there is some complex technology behind Chordify. To make it comprehensible we can break it down into two processes: we need to know the chords of a song, and we want to know the position of the chords on the beat of the song, i.e. chord recognition and beat tracking. How does that work?

We start off with a song’s audio — a digitized waveform that describes deviations in air pressure over time that we as humans, in the end, perceive as sound. It is close to impossible to observe any meaningful information about chords or beats in a song’s waveform directly. Therefore, we convert the audio into a representation that reveals some insights into its musical content: a spectrogram. A spectrogram is a time-frequency representation that already gives us a better idea of the musical content in the given audio. Still, both chord recognition and beat tracking are challenging tasks, even on this representation.

To solve them, we use deep neural networks. You can think of a deep neural network as a robot that you program to have a certain input-output behavior. For example, you ‘feed’ it a spectrogram and ‘ask’ it to return chords, or you feed it a spectrogram and ask it to return beat positions to you. Initially the robot really has no clue how to recognize a chord or how to detect a beat and therefore just gives you random outputs.

So, you start to train the robot by showing it vast amounts of spectrograms of songs along with the chord labels that you would expect it to recognize. And of course, you can do the same for beats. This way, the robot will eventually learn how to recognize a chord or how to detect a beat — i.e. find its way from input to output.

After showing the robot enough examples (thousands and thousands of songs), it will know how to perform its task on audio that it has never seen before, and that’s when we release it on our website and app, to show off its newly learned skills to all of you! Now you know the gist of the process. There’s a little more going on under the hood, but explaining that will make this story needlessly complicated. Read on to meet our team.

 

The Chordify team

 

Eleanor Faas Office Manager

With her communication and organizational skills, Eleanor manages our Utrecht office and prevents chaos from ensuing in the daily hustle and bustle at Chordify. She also knows the ins and outs of the music industry, often has good hunches about legal matters and is obsessed with sports and traveling.

Martijn Brekhof Android Developer

Martijn loves writing software. He took his first steps in programming by writing games in BASIC for his Atari 600 XL. At Chordify he secures the smooth runnings of our Android app. In his free time he plays in a Dutch pop-rock band and spends time with his kids. 

Jihad Waspada Front-End Developer

As a front-end developer, Dewey delivers a smooth experience for our users. With a background in computer science and a passion for programming, he knows the coding business like the back of his hand. He’s also fond of biking, gaming, (Dutch) architecture and urban planning. 

Jorine Witte Head of Content

Her on-top-of-things attitude makes Jorine a skilled marketer. Besides Chordify she also works for music festival Eurosonic and has initiated multiple cinema events in Groningen. On weekends, Jorine likes to explore the outer corners of her spectrum of talents, with her campy synthesizer tunes.

Tijmen Ruizendaal  CTO \\ Co-Founder

Tijmen implements his passion for music and technology at Chordify, where he’s CTO and co-founder. He plays drums in two bands, DJHAGY and Car Pets, and also played in a band with Bas during the early days of Chordify (that’s how they met!). Whenever he’s not coding or jamming, he solves physical puzzles at the boulder gym.

Matúš Tejiščák  Back-End Developer

A true computer whiz kid, Matúš did a Ph.D. in compilers and before working at Chordify he wrote software for embedded devices. Like many of us at Chordify Matúš plays an instrument, so when he’s not at the office cracking code, he kicks back with his bass to play some jazzy tunes.

Delia Fano Yela Research Scientist 

Delia is a research scientist at Chordify. Coming from an electronic engineering background, she decided to follow her musical curiosity and recently got her doctorate in computer science. She’s interested in music information retrieval, machine learning and graph theory. Code is, however, not the only way she interacts with music as she is also a vocalist.

Sinja Pergande Communications Officer

Her “mild” coffee addiction keeps Sinja on her toes and on top of our communication. Her studies in international communication have taken her all over Europe before finding her place at Chordify. She’s all about that rockstar lifestyle, so on weekends you can catch her with a cold beer, writing lyrics and practicing her guitar skills.

Robert Nabbe Customer Support

We say customer support, but Robert’s activities transcend this title. He’s also a translator, editor, proofreader, bug reporter, and off-the-cuff Slack troller. Besides, he holds a master’s degree in sound and music technology and is a musician who knows Chordify like the back of his hand, so he can readily answer all your questions.

Patrick Loonstra Designer

In his free time Patrick is a designer and at Chordify he is … well, a designer. He takes care of Chordify’s look, feel, and clarity. His hobbies are hiking, camping, and cooking outdoors. He also loves making maps, and every week he crafts a newsletter chock-full of inspiration for designers and design-minded people.

Jonathan Driedger Head of Research

Jonathan, a.k.a. “the man behind the algorithm.” He holds a doctorate in music information retrieval and is skilled in the computer-aided analysis of music. He doesn’t have to leave the house for a jam session, because he and his wife love playing music together.

Kirill Dumchenko Academy Content Creator

Kirill is Chordify’s academy content creator. Being a professional musician and music teacher, he brings more than 12 years of experience to the table. At Chordify, he explains theoretical and practical music matters. Besides that, Kirill leads the music project The Skypainters and performs in different venues and festivals.

Abel Pruim Medior Online Marketeer

Abel learns by doing. His job experience as an SEA specialist has bolstered his online marketeering skills, which he now uses to make sure musicians are able to find Chordify in the Google Play Store and App Store. As it happens, it was this combination of music and technology that drew him to Chordify in the first place. 

Elena Vielva Gómez iOS Developer

Having Elena on board is good news for every iPad and iPhone owner, because she makes sure our app runs smoothly on those devices. She applies all her knowledge from computer science and educational app building. After cooking up code for Chordify, she relaxes by watching other people work in baking shows.

Henry Churchill Customer Support

When our users have questions about features, buttons, payments or other stuff, they come to Henry. Besides doing customer support for Chordify Henry also composes music. When he’s not office-bound he likes to go to gigs, and plan trips – traveling Europe and America are high up on his bucket list. 

Jon Spruyt UX Designer

Like any good UX designer, Jon could make a door without a handle easy to open. At Chordify he uses his talents to make Chordify easy to use and approachable; for “chordiveterans” as well as “chordinewbies.” We can always count on him when it comes to bolstering the office’s musical pallet with afrobeat, jazz or funk. 

Willem van Mill Business Controller

Willem is our trusted Business Controller, which means he, well, controls our business. With more than 25 years of experience, he skillfully stays on top of how Chordify can and should operate as an organization. Next to Chordify and his own consultancy firm, Willem also runs a boat charter company, so it comes as no surprise that in his free time, he likes to go sailing.

Dion ten Heggeler  CBDO \\ Founder

Dion is one of Chordify’s co-founders. Admittedly, he’s not the best guitar player, but he can orchestrate a business strategy like Beethoven composes a symphony. As a skillful communication designer with over a decade of business experience and a passion for discovering emerging music and musicians, he’s the right guy at the right place.

Wouter Hemel Growth Marketeer

Wouter’s a quotidian life hacker, but at Chordify he focuses on growth. He aims to understand what people like about our service, so we can optimize the Chordify experience. As a founder of two companies in entertainment and financial product comparisons he brings a stack of industry know-how to the table. 

Teo Lazarov Copywriter & PR 

Yes, Teo creates content, which means he writes, a lot, about music, and all things interesting. He’s been a journalist since 2006, working for different magazines, newspapers and online media. He also founded his own magazine, DATmag, for creative entrepreneurs. In music, his weapon of choice is a bass guitar.

Bart Laan  Front-End Developer

Like many at Chordify, Bart combines his passion for music with his tech savviness. He studied artificial intelligence and in his spare time he shreds the guitar in the progressive rock band Skylake. On weekends and holidays, he practices his fingers and grip with rock climbing and bouldering.

Gijs Bekenkamp CMO \\ Co-Founder

Head of marketing and co-founder Gijs spent ten years of his life playing drums in a band with Bas. He doesn’t play anymore, but he still loves the beat of regular A/B testing and KPI crunching in the morning. When he’s not mastering scalable plans, you can find Gijs running half marathons or sipping a beloved sauna flip.

Ans de Nijs Front-End Developer

Being a fan of Pikachu doesn’t really help Ans with her tasks as a front-end developer. Luckily, she doesn’t need any help with that, because she has a master’s degree in information studies and a bunch of experience under her belt. If you hear Disney tunes coming from the kitchen, it might be Ans sneaking in a little karaoke practice. 

Jeroen Bransen Back-End Developer

Jeroen is responsible for the back end of Chordify and codes mostly in Haskell. He holds a doctorate in functional programming and is a fan of the Dutch band Golden Earring. He’s always up for hackathons, bouldering, hiking, solving logical puzzles and spending time with his kids.

Pieter Nomden Finance

Pieter manages our administration, bookkeeping, and all financial things with the indispensable support of Maaike, our office manager. He’s also a beer aficionado, a frequent visitor of basketball games, and his pinball machine only needs a few extra nuts and bolts before being operational again.

Pierre van de Velde Front-End Developer

He is Pierre, our front-end developer at Chordify. After studying in Paris, he took off to the low countries and began working in Amsterdam. He loves climbing and playing guitar, science and science fiction, books and video games, food and beers. But most of all, he likes to share those hobbies with his homies!

Maaike de Haas Office Manager 

“Lively up the office” is every office manager’s mantra. The sum of Maaike’s daily tasks at Chordify form the backbone of our healthy office. She is responsible for the administrative and organizational activities. Above all, she is always on the brink of picking up an instrument and learning how to play it.

Ewan Scholte Online Marketeer

“Ain’t no business like the advertising business, cause the advertising business don’t stop.” And Ewan knows all about it. With his marketing insights, he safeguards the Chordify experience and makes sure our advertisements are unobtrusive and interesting. Besides that, he likes the good life, playing football and watching movies at the cinema.

Jorn van Wijk Back-End Developer 

As a back-end developer Jorn makes sure Chordify’s database and underlying systems operate smoothly. After finishing his master Programming Technology at Utrecht University, he thought working at Chordify was the perfect way to combine his love for music and programming.

Bas de Haas  CEO \\ Co-Founder \\ Computer Music Research

Bas wrote the first version of Chordify’s algorithm and after finishing his doctoral thesis in computer science in 2012 he didn’t want his work to get lost in a dusty closet with other dissertations, so he put together a team of music enthusiasts to create Chordify. Bas is passionate about music, playing guitar, new technologies and entrepreneurship.

Rob Wegter Copy Editor & Translator

Rob takes care of translating and proofreading the writing output of Chordify’s content team. In his free time, he likes bouldering, watching films and series, and cycling. He’s also an amateur guitarist, so he knows a chord or two.

Ilse Niessen Online Marketeer

Ilse studied international communication and did a major in marketing. She’s a skilled marketeer who knows what our users want and how to approach them. At night she caters to the techno-minded as DJ ELIZA. She has a chronic candy addiction and loves French art-house cinema.

Rik van Toor Back-End Developer

Rik started building websites at the tender age of ten, long before he ever obtained his master’s degree in computer science. These days, he looks after and improves Chordify’s servers as a Back-end developer. When he’s not immersed in programming, Rik plays guitar for various bands and enjoys live music.

Rommie Schilstra Designer

Rommie keeps Chordify looking polished and pretty, with more than eight years of experience as a designer. Because she loves combining her passions, she also designs and screen prints (music) posters. In her free time, Rommie loves dancing and ice skating, and knows that the finer things in life are best to be enjoyed with your loved ones. Cheers!

Contact

We would be happy to hear from you. For our most frequently asked questions or suggestions, head over to our Support page.

Chordify offices

Headquarters
Chordify B.V. Zuiderpark 14
9724 AG Groningen
The Netherlands

Utrecht Office
Boothstraat 2A
3512 BW Utrecht
The Netherlands

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