Best Apps for Reading Sheet Music Digitally
Have any of you used both Musicnotes & Forscore who could offer a comparison of what features you liked about each? Forscore is only available on iOS. I'm debating whether to get an ipad or surface for performing music and teaching. Thanks.
I have both a Surface and an iPad Pro. The iPad Pro with ForScore wins hands down. (I got the Surface first; it was a gift and I hoped to use it for music, but I hated it almost instantly. I actually resorted to using my finger with ForScore on an iPad Mini over dealing with the Surface. Then I bought the iPad Pro + Apple Pencil.)
Thanks a lot Lydia. Your comment was very helpful
The largest iPad Pro is generally the preferred hardware. However, it is not that large in comparison to paper scores, and even the iPad can crash with Forscore.
I have no personal experience with all of this, but, at a Washington Bach Consort concert, I did talk at some length to the violone player about her set up, which she showed me in some detail. She had the iPad Pro with Apple pencil and used ForScore. It looked great!
We see a lot of live chamber music here, and even though a majority of folks still use sheet music, I think the 12.9" iPad is by far the most common device I see. In terms of size, remember you will not need your margins on the iPad, and most sheet music print I see is something like 13-14 inches, not a huge difference.
You can also rig up the interface so it shows a half-page at a time. Or maybe that is the Henle app. Anyway, flexibility is possible.
I bought a Surface Book when they first came out, because it could provide an almost full size view of music. (I also had use for the actual computer.) (An IPad of similar size did not exist then.) It has worked faithfully for years for me.
One question I have is: Is it worth so much money (equivalent to at least 10 sets of very good strings!)? So far my decision is: Not for me.
I recall pianist Christopher Riley (host and accompanist on the PBS program "From The Top" circa 2006-2007) read music from a tablet (turning pages with a wire-connected foot pedal). That inspired me to purchase a wired foot pedal to link to my newly acquired 13" MacBook - but I never linked them (a laptop - on its side - was not compatible with a portable music stand). I just continued to collect music scores into that a successive laptops and print them.
Just saw the Boston Symphony Orchestra play last Tuesday--a few folks using the iPad Pro 12.9. Not distracting at all, in fact for the brass, as they were only using tablet stands, it made it so that none of them were blocked visually, which was nice to see. Given the lighting on a professional concert hall stage, the "glow" from the devices is not noticeable at all.
Albrecht, I can't see everyone wanting to do this, but in my daughter's last orchestra performance, she and her stand partner each wanted their own fingerings (on a really tough piece), and since her stand partner is already using an iPad, she decided to just use her own. They didn't have this, but I see chamber groups using compact iPad grippers that replace sheet music stands and reduce the floor space needed and visibility.
An iPad Pro 12.9" will sit just fine on a standard Manhasset stand, no worries about knocking it over. Or you could buy a tablet holder, which is nice if you're playing chamber music and want your colleagues to be able to see more of your body.
I use the android app Mobilesheets on an android tablet. It works really well for me. It is the third app I tried and this one is the most complete and friendly for me.
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