At eTonal Media, Inc, we build web-based, interactive learning, community, and commerce experiences for musicians. Our learning sites feature our patented LessonEngine technology, which allows anyone to create interactive, customizable, musical instructional material. Our commerce sites provide an immersive shopping environment, providing customers with a variety of ways to browse and search for items of interest.
In early June of 1998, two New York University grad students sat down at the Bendix Diner on the West Side of Manhattan to architect their joint graduate thesis. As an experiment, Christopher Sung and Sean Kelly, being both avid guitarists and programmers, decided to create a unique community-based website to cater to the two strongest characteristics inherent to guitarists: their desire to get better, and their generosity in sharing what they know. The result of this meeting was the conception of the WholeNote.com website, and the birth of the remote publishing and sharing of musical instruction on the Internet.
To provide a corporate structure to support the business possibilities of WholeNote, eTonal Media, Inc. was formed as a Delaware C corporation in January, 1999. The WholeNote brand was trademarked, and a US patent was issued for the LessonEngine technology that powers the remote authoring and publishing of musical instructional material on the WholeNote website.
In the summer of 1999, WholeNote.com was officially launched, using server space generously donated by the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University. The site was an immediate success, resulting in numerous awards, coverage in Guitar Player Magazine and other industry publications, and being named “Best Community Website” at the 1999 Invision Awards presented by New Media Magazine.
In late November of 2000, eTonal unveiled its first endeavor in e-commerce, ActiveMusician.com, featuring over 30,000 products for the amateur and professional musician. To date, ActiveMusician now carries over 125,000 musician products, as well as online lessons, articles, and buyers guides.
In September of 2009, eTonal ventured into the toys & games sector, with an additional focus on musical instruments for children with FunkyKids.com, utilizing a new lightweight, customized framework for better user experience and lower maintenance and operational cost.