Tunescribers Selected to Transcribe Sheet Music for New Production of 1980’s Rock Musical

PITTSBURGH, PA – ( has been selected by a group of students at Case Western Reserve University to prepare all the sheet music for the first-ever production of Elite: The Musical, a rock musical written in the 1980’s.

Elite: The Musical is loosely based on the classic 1980s video game Elite. The musical was written in 1989 by songwriter Aidan Bell and lyricist Brian Phillips but was never performed.  It tells the story of three space travelers hunting down the infamous space pirate Cleavers who hasn’t been seen in twenty years. Characters in the music include galactic police, a hired assassin, an aging bounty hunter, a beautiful but deadly hitchhiker, a drug-addled space trader, a half-human half-amphibian who owns a string of sketchy nightclubs, a warlord, and an assortment of shopkeepers, thug, pirates, cutthroats and nightclub patrons. 

The only known recording of Elite: The Musical is a rough studio performance recorded in the late 1980’s on 90-minute audio cassettes (listen on YouTube here).  The show’s orchestra needed high quality sheet music, so the producer, Steve Kerby, selected Tunescribers to create an orchestra score.  To create the final product, the Tunescribers team is first creating a PAV (piano and vocals) version of each song for review by songwriter Aidan Bell.  The PAVs then are then being converted to full orchestra scores for a wide range of instruments including percussion, bass, strings, synth brass, rhythm and lead guitars, piano, synth keyboard, flute, alto sax, and vocals.  The complete transcription project will take roughly five months.

“This is the most ambitious transcription project we’ve ever done,” says Jeff Pepper, founder and CEO of Tunescribers.  “The music is extremely complex and we’re working from single-track, 30-year old cassette tape recordings. However, we are extremely fortunate to have the music’s original composer involved with the project to review our work and help us through some of the murkier sections.”

Producer Steve Kerby says, “It’s easy to become content in college theater doing the same old productions, but we decided to take some risks and produce this energetic sci-fi musical about space pirates. Tunescribers has been a huge help to our team in getting this production off the ground.”

Tunescribers, founded in 2016, has grown rapidly and is now one of the music industry’s leading transcription providers.  The company’s transcription team does not use automated transcription software which is still too unreliable for most projects; they listen to each song and convert it note-by-note to written musical scores. But although the transcription process is manual and labor intensive, the company’s website is the only fully automated website in the industry.  Customers visit the site and simply enter the YouTube web address for each of the songs they’re interested in.  For each song, the website automatically retrieves the recording from YouTube, allows the customer to move sliders to specify the starting and ending point for the transcription, and then instantly calculates the price. The customer then provides any additional information that might be needed and places the order.  Staff at the Tunescribers office assign the job to members of the company’s worldwide transcription team, and within a few days, the customer receives complete sheet music in PDF format, as well as MP3 audio files and editable MusicXML files.

Tunescribers can also transcribe music from MP3 files, MP4 files, and other online sources such as SoundCloud for songs that are not available on YouTube.

Jeff Pepper, the company’s founder and CEO, previously started and ran two successful tech companies: ServiceWare Inc. which went public on the NASDAQ in 1998 and employed over 250 people, and Touchtown Inc., currently the nation’s largest provider of community engagement solutions for the senior living industry.

For more information about the Elite musical project, contact Steve Kerby or Jeff Pepper at 

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