Sonoton

Company History

Today, with more than 35 agents worldwide, SONOTON is the largest independent production music library in the world.

In Germany, SONOTON represents 60 international labels, and over 100 albums from these labels are added each year.

Hundreds of composers and producers from around the world contribute their talents to SONOTON, adding more than 70 new albums to the catalogue in varying musical and compositional styles every year.

Founders and owners Rotheide and Gerhard Narholz tirelessly manage a highly efficient and motivated team of professionals in the company’s technology, sales, creative and logistics departments, and guarantee the highest results.

Gregor F. Narholz, rising star in the Hollywood film scoring business and already a veteran TV and library composer with numerous accolades, ensures that the next generation of the Narholz legacy lends youth, vitality, vision and continuity to the ever-expanding company.

2015

All our partners and everyone here celebrated the 50th anniversary “Sonoton – The First 50 Years” with a huge party and guests from all over the world. Also, Gerhard Narholz, co-founder of The Sonoton Music Library, receives the prestigious Hall Of Fame Award from the First Annual PMA Mark Awards for his lifetime achievements. The international repertoire exceeds 112.000 tracks and is still growing.

2014

The number of production music albums now available in the SONOfind Music search programme has exceeded 6.800 albums in Germany and Austria, and internationally 1.900 albums of the very best in current and traditional music styles.

2013

The all-new trend-setting SONOfind music search programme with state-of-the-art technology was launched in April 2013, together with a SONOTON website re-launch in a new cool design. Also released is the updated MusicStation including 2,000 CDs plus SONOfind, packaged in a 500GB hard drive.

The number of CDs now available in the SONOfind search programme has exceeded 6,000 in Germany, and internationally 2,000 CDs, of the very best in production music.

2012

The successful SONOfind Similarity Search option was made available for the SONOfind APP. There was a major relaunch of our online sound effects shop www.sonosoundfx.com. Our US Director Elisabeth Oei celebrated her 20th year with SONOTON. German and Austrian clients were now able to apply for licences online. SONOTON repertoire in Germany and Austria grew to exceed 300,000  tracks.

2011

With over 87,000 tracks and 1,960 CDs Sonoton is consolidating its position as THE international market leader in the world of production music. New on the list of recent developments include the SONOfind App being available for Android mobile phones, and ground-breaking innovations for SONOfind Online such as the "similarity search", and graphical WAV images whereby a track's progress can be monitored.

In 2011 19% more tracks were auditioned and 10% more tracks downloaded from SONOfind Online than in 2010.
Positive progress from the best for the best!

2010

Sonoton is the first European production music library to release its SONOfind music search progam as an APP for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. This means that SONOfind, the most comprehensive production music search program around, is now available online, offline and mobile. SONOfind is there for you, whenever you need it, and wherever you are. Our 2037 composers worldwide are constantly working for Sonoton to provide the essential diversity and quality of music productions needed by users across the media world. "The Hurt Locker", winner of 6 Oscars and 6 BAFTAs in 2009 (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) features a Sonoton track by Norman Candler, "Your Smiling Face", during an important dramatic scene.

2006

With the HD MusicStation, SONOTON is the first music library to present its entire repertoire of more than 130,000 titles on a hard drive as an offline search programme.

2001

SONOTON opens a new digital 5.1 music studio and presents the first library DVD with 5.1 mixes of large orchestral recordings.

1998

SONOTON is the first music library to introduce an online music search programme and to make its entire repertoire accessible via the Internet. It will take other libraries years to develop online search programmes to compete with the success of SONOFIND.

1997

SONOTON creates its own sound effects series, SONOspheres, which focuses on longer atmospheric sounds and effects, fully recorded in Dolby Surround Technology.

1995

SONOTON begins operating its own music studio. Productions from all over the world can now be mixed at SONOTON’s own facility, thus ensuring a state-of-the-art production of the highest quality.

1985

SONOTON becomes the agent for the Swedish DIGIFFECTS Sound Effects label and turns it into the most successful sound effects series in Germany.

1987

SONOTON establishes the CNS label (COMMERCIALS NON STOP) which publishes thousands of tracks especially produced for television and radio commercials and promos.

1993

SONOTON establishes itself in the US market, and expands its visibility by licensing music in numerous, highly successful Hollywood film and television productions. The SONOTON representative in the USA, ASSOCIATED PRODUCTION MUSIC (APM), appoints Elisabeth Oei as special “SONOTON US Director” to support the German-based company on becoming the leading US brand. SONOTON commissions US producers and composers to create CDs specifically tailored to the needs and requirements of the growing US market.

1992

SONOTON is the first music library to present its own music search programme, SONOfind, on floppy disk. Later, SONOfind is expanded for PC and MAC and also provides search functionality on a track-by-track basis (SONOfind PLUS).

1991

SONOTON offers its worldwide customers the famous SONIA Classics, a huge collection of classical works on CD, for synchronization purposes.

1984

SONOTON is the first music library to recognize the revolution of the digital era and produces library music on CD.

1981

SONOTON establishes its unique SAS ethno label (SONOTON AUTHENTIC SERIES) which publishes authentically produced and recorded music from more than 100 countries and cultures of the world.

1975

SONOTON becomes the market leader for library music in Germany and introduces the British KPM label to the German market. More international labels follow.

1973

EMI buys BERRY MUSIC, the former SONOTON agent in the UK. This marks the birth of SONOTON’s own record label. SONOTON raises the bar and sets new standards, musically, technologically, and creatively. The unicolored album covers for library music LPs are replaced with individually designed, full colour covers.

1970 - 1980

Using the pseudonym Norman Candler, Gerhard Narholz composes, arranges and conducts over 20 LPs with his large string orchestra, the MAGIC STRINGS, on the labels DECCA/TELEFUNKEN and KING RECORDS, and conquers the world! In 1971, Norman Candler receives the “3 Star Award” from BBC London for “Best Album of the Year”. SONOTON produces Easy Listening Music for the INTERSOUND label with world-renowned musicians such as Nelson Riddle, Billy May, Ted Heath, Acker Bilk, Xavier Cugat, Horst Jankowski and Franck Pourcel. SONOTON continues to expand its territories to include 30 foreign representatives worldwide. In many countries where library music is unknown, SONOTON does pioneering work through its local agents.

1965 - 1970

SONOTON continues to develop the library business in Germany. The initial TV-specific music catalogue is expanded and is now comprised of a wide range of musical styles and application options. Leading German and foreign composers write and produce for SONOTON. The British BERRY MUSIC company publishes SONOTON productions worldwide on the library music labels CONROY, STUDIO ONE and PROGRAMME PRODUCTIONS. SONOTON invents the “underscore” (an alternative mix without lead instruments which otherwise may compete with voiceover), a practice that is now copied by music libraries all over the world. SONOTON produces Easy Listening Music for the Japanese market which is published on POLYDOR and KING RECORDS.

1965

Rotheide and Gerhard Narholz establish SONOTON as a company in Munich, Germany.
Gerhard Narholz, songwriter for artists such as Petula Clark, Bill Ramsey and Heidi Brühl, and composer for German feature films and television series, provides specific film and television music as background music, thus introducing and reinventing library music (WEINBERGER or CHAPPEL) in Germany.
Rotheide Narholz, originally trained in the travel and tourism industry, develops and grows the infrastructure of the young company. In the following years she supervises the development of data processing with proprietary software, devises the SONOfind music search programme (the first of its kind), initiates the SONOTON web site and introduces the HD MusicStation.
Thanks to her enthusiasm and vision for technology and innovation, SONOTON develops into a pioneering full-service music company and a high-tech leader in the music library world.