Help me digitize my sheet music!
September 6, 2019 9:46 AM   Subscribe

Seeking opinions and experiences on tablet + app combos for downloading/searching/viewing piano sheet music. Also wondering if foot peddle page turners are worthwhile. Wishlist: Ability to easily share my sheet music library with my mom!

If I get an extra large tablet, will I be able to comfortably display/read two pages of sheet music at a time? Is it worth the larger tablet size, or does a quick page turn feature make this need irrelevent?

I often download music from INSLP in PDF format, so a music library application that works well with PDFs (and/or other sheet music file types??) would be ideal!

Thanks in advance :)
posted by tealcoffeecup to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Nahre Sol has a couple (that I can find quickly, maybe there are more) of videos relevant to this:

How I Mark My Scores with ForScore (iPad)
Why I Love Using the iPad
posted by thelonius at 10:32 AM on September 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

i am a very busy amateur cellist with terrible vision and switched from sheet music to a 12.9" iPad Pro and Apple Pencil with ForScore and a PageFlip Firefly a year ago. i can't recommend this combination enough. ForScore is constantly improving and their included annotation tools (up/down bow, thumb position, dynamics, slurs, harmonics, etc.) are SO USEFUL. it also allows setlist creation, which helps to keep parts organized for particular concert cycles. The Apple pencil lets me scribble in fingerings, bowing/fingering changes during rehearsals, and whatever else the conductor throws at us. There's also a built-in tuner and metronome!

IMSLP has an app that works just ok. for music in the public domain (more than 100 years old), it's simple to find a part and download the PDF and then export it directly to ForScore. you can also download parts from the IMSLP website and export them easily to ForScore.

i haven't ever tried to use two pages at a time, but a pedal will make it easy to turn pages quickly. i recommend the Firefly because it's got tactile feedback. i tried another pedal before this one that didn't have the feedback and it was terrible.

i no longer have to tote around an increasingly tattered pile of music, nor do i have to lug around a stand light so i can see. for music less than 100 years old, i use a tiny handheld scanner to create my own PDFs from sheet music and that works fine. another bonus: an ipad won't blow away in a breeze while playing outdoors.

if your mom also has a tablet, it's easy to share via AirDrop. if she doesn't have an Apple tablet, you can upload PDFs to a Google Drive and she can access them that way. ForScore also works on Android and really is the best tool out there for music on a tablet.
posted by hollisimo at 11:51 AM on September 6, 2019 [5 favorites]

I went paperless for sheet music several years ago when extra-large tablets were rarer than they are now, and were out of my budget. I do ok with what I got (the largest Nook of the time), but larger would definitely be better! I use MobileSheets Pro and overall am pretty satisfied. File handling can be a little confusing though... like, let's say you have a friend who sends you multiple PDFs at different times all called songs_from_friend.pdf, you'll want to rename those files before importing or you may end up with no idea what's where.
posted by inexorably_forward at 6:27 PM on September 6, 2019

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