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Large touchscreens are expensive to manufacture, and there just isn't much of a market for tablets without touchscreens.

That being said, I think Samsung is working on a larger Android tablet, and other companies may be looking into it as well.

Originally Posted by Nikolas
Originally Posted by Andromaque
There are tablet computers that are larger than the ipad.
Didn't know that (obviously)...

In which case why stick to an ipad and not get one of those? I mean even if flash is dying, it still has some power left and the fact that adobe and apple never found a way to communicate and agree seems bad for both companies!


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Thanks for all the replies!

Originally Posted by Kreisler
The cons are huge, though. Standard scores are 9x12", far larger than an iPad. And a tablet big enough to handle a 9x12" display ends up being a lot heavier than carrying around a lot of scores (especially adding in the foot pedals and power adapters, etc...), so there goes that argument. Plus, I do a lot of work with contemporary music, so most of my performing is of works that are under copyright, and some are oversized (landscape 11x17" sometimes.)


Yeah, that's pretty much my biggest concern alongside the time spent in scanning in scores. I guess that 11X17" is the thing for composers these days. I almost feel like I can't remember the last time I saw a new piece in 9x12...

Also here's the BIGGEST problem: I own a Kindle, so it's more or less illegal for me to buy an iPad. laugh

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I haven't tried this, but my teacher has. He says trying to turn pages with a foot switch drove him crazy (since pianists' feet are busy doing other things).


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I'm using my iPad right now as I'm writing this in my easy chair. I love using it for a variety of things including storing a lot of public domain sheet music which I am reviewing. There is also a kindle book reader feature in the ipad that I love to use to use to read books I store.

It has a lot of useful multiple purposes. However, I would not recommend it solely for the purposes the OP is talking about. I feel the screen is too small to read when I'm playing pieces. It's impossible to deal with the standard oversized sheet music.

I'm holding out until the technology improves with the size of the screens. However, it can be useful for a variety of other things including reviewing music on YouTube. I'm a professional writer, and I find it very convenient and helpful with my work in a variety of ways.




Last edited by griffin2417; 04/23/12 11:06 AM. Reason: Typo

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I experimented with iPad for half a year. At first I thought it wasn't bad as I could carry loads of scores around, and the notes were big enough to be read from a comfortable distance (especially once you are familiar with them). Then I got chronic dry eyes. I don't know if thats related, but I will never read from the iPad again.

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iPad or world peace, hmm.

Look up the Asus EP121 or similar Samsung tablet. The Asus has a 12.1" screen and is essentially a laptop in a tablet. I use it for sight reading new pieces downloaded from the internet. I also strip white space borders from around PDF files, using MusicReader, to allow the music to zoom better. I have also used AirTurn with the tablet, but can be confusing if your feet are already occupied by two pedals.


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Originally Posted by Brendan
A little info on myself: I'm a professional pianist, and I typically play 30-40 collaborative/chamber recitals per year in addition to solo recitals, etc. I've been giving serious thought to buying a Tablet device (probably an iPad, but I'm still researching) and an Airturn . I'm going to play devil's advocate and throw out the cons, so tell me if these are unreasonable/unfounded:


Hi Brendan. I've been a professional classical collaborative pianist ever since my student days at Curtis 25 years ago (yikes, has that much time gone by already??) I've been using computers to read music for 12 years and developed the AirTurn as a result of coming up with ways to turn pages hands free. Having recorded for Sony Classical (you can find about a dozen of my collaborative CDs on iTunes), performed in Carnegie Hall (both the main hall and Weil Recital hall), and worked collaboratively with a number of top level classical musicians, I can say unequivocally that working with digital readers and hands free page turners has enabled me to enhance my musicianship, speed up my learning of scores, and made me a far more effective, efficient, and "in-demand" collaborative pianist. Let me try to address some of your concerns below:

Quote
1. It would be nice, but I don't really need it. I've survived this far on originals and photocopies, so why bother?


Have you tried turning paper pages silently for a professional recording? It's an incredible pain in the you-know-where, and extremely difficult in a high-stress situation.

I was recently asked to help with a major recording project for a colleague at the last minute. This person is one of the horn players of a major symphony orchestra, and I was being asked to accompany about 100 excerpts and solo works for a major video lesson series. They FedEx'd me a 50 pound box of scores and manuscripts - even the box had a warning label not to pick it up without assistance! How in the world was I going to lug that through the airport? Fortunately, 99% of the scores were downloadable from IMSLP, and they all went right into my iPad zippity zip. Walked into the session with a 1.5 device for all the repertoire, and made the producers - and my colleague - mightily impressed.

Quote
2. Not everything is available in .pdf, specifically contemporary instrumental sonatas, vocal works, and chamber pieces. This means more time spent scanning in the music and uploading it to the device and less time practicing 7/16 bars. Conversely, what is available on IMSLP and other sites isn't always of the highest quality.


When I'm working with contemporary composers, they're more than happy to email me PDF versions of their scores, which is very easy to do using Sibelius and Finale. Yes, for other scores, I have to scan them, but I only scan what I need for the time being, and fortunately once it's scanned, it's there forever. I'm still using scores I scanned 12 years ago, and while it was a bit of a hassle back then, I've found myself scanning far less frequently now that my library has been built up over time.

Quote
3. The worst case scenario - what if my device or the pedals crap out onstage and I don't have the originals handy? Doesn't carrying around the originals and the tablet defeat the purpose?


I've been working off of digital scores for 12 years on a daily basis in countless rehearsals, lessons, performances, and recordings. I can count on 3 fingers the times that my system failed on me (fortunately never during anything major), whereas the number of times I had forgotten paper scores before I went digital or experienced human page turning snafus could fill volumes! If you take the time to understand what *could* go wrong (screensaver or power off setting needs to be turned off; wifi needs to be also turned off; make sure batteries are charged ahead of time; etc. etc.) just like violinists bring extra strings in case something breaks, once you learn to prepare yourself ahead of time and take the time to understand your digital reader, you'll find that your digital systems are far more reliable.

Early on when I was starting off with my digital readers, I actually invested in 2 computers at a time, and was always carrying paper copies of the music just in case. After about 2 years and nary a hitch, I eventually got lazy and just brought the backup computer, leaving the paper music behind. A year after that, I didn't even bother with the backup computer smile

Quote
4. The display size is comparatively small, so for piano trios, quartets, and other chamber pieces, I'd be squinting at my part.


That is true, unfortunately, especially if you're using iPads. I've actually performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony using miniature scores, and found that they were actually larger on the iPad than the paper versions, so that was kind of nice. Tablet PC's with 12" screens are just about the same size as regular paper, so they tend to be the best portable viewing option. There are apps and programs that enable you to read half a page at a time, so that does help with the zoom (and with a page turning pedal, it's really not a big deal to turn pages more frequently)

Quote
5. Backlighting is tiring on the eyes. I'm at the piano pretty much all day, so this is more of a physical issue. I could adjust the brightness, but this would affect the clarity.


forScore for the iPad has a neat feature where you can set a gradient effect on the screen that makes it very easy on the eyes. BTW, I'm on the computer up to 12 hours a day, between office work and reading music, and I still don't wear glasses...but I think that's just due to me being a freak of nature wink

Quote
If anyone has experience with this sort of thing, input would be appreciated. I'd like to get some feedback before spending $700-$800 on what might be a luxury item.


Some more collaborative situations where being digital has been immensely more helpful than paper:


  • Auditions and competitions - I used to have to carry boxes and boxes of music for various instrumental auditions at Curtis, where I'd be spending 8-10 hours a day over a period of several days accompanying hundreds of auditionees and having to scramble to find this or that concerto. Nowadays, I just do a text search on my iPad and pull up any piece from my 6000 score digital library within seconds.


  • Annotations - I helped a violinist prepare for the Queen Elisabeth violin competition using a Tablet PC and an AirTurn page turning pedal. He was struggling to learn the required contemporary piece. With the Tablet PC, he was able to not only read his own solo line, but the piano line as well, since page turns were no longer an issue. I also taught him how to use varying colors and highlights to mark up the difficult rhythmic spots. With digital scores, you can use multiple colors and highlights and notation stamps to mark up your music without hurting the paper, and everything can be easily erased. It's a scientific fact that you learn better using bright, contrasting colors. Grey pencil markings around black notes simply do not register as fast or as effectively as the bright colors you can use in digital readers.

    By the way, the violinist went on to not only win the Queen Elisabeth competition that year, but also the prize for best performance of that contemporary piece. I rest my case wink


  • Presentation - because no one sees me using my hands to turn pages, or rely on another person to sit next to me to take care of that task, the audience can just focus on the performance and not get distracted by those ancillary actions. In fact, my iPad and AirTurn are so discreet, that many times people either think I've memorized everything, or they're left wondering how in the world the pages are being turned!


  • Having everything with you everywhere you go - one of my biggest nightmares as a traveling collaborative pianist was opening my gig bag and realizing that I left this or that important, irreplaceable score at home, hundreds or thousands of miles away. I can't tell you how many embarrassing situations I found myself in because of my absent mindedness (Hilary Hahn could tell you one of those painful stories, as could Aaron Rosand...) Nowadays, every piece of music I play simply comes with me - no more searching, packing, or worrying! And as a precaution, I will either email myself digital copies of the recital program, or load them onto Dropbox online as a backup in case my iPad gets lost, stolen, or destroyed.

    One time, I was accompanying some cellists for the Naumberg competition. One cellist was in a desperate panic - he had just flown to NYC from Germany, but his pianist was being detained. I asked him what his repertoire was; fortunately, I had everything loaded up on my Tablet PC at the time, so I was able to jump in and help out smile More work for me!

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Thanks for all that, Hugh. Very convincing, for almost everything. I can certainly relate to the silent page-turning when recording point - I've had to do elaborate paste-ups to avoid the page flap while doing a recording and it's a major pain. But these are still my main issues:
Originally Posted by Hugh Sung
Quote
4. The display size is comparatively small, so for piano trios, quartets, and other chamber pieces, I'd be squinting at my part.
That is true, unfortunately, especially if you're using iPads. I've actually performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony using miniature scores, and found that they were actually larger on the iPad than the paper versions, so that was kind of nice. Tablet PC's with 12" screens are just about the same size as regular paper, so they tend to be the best portable viewing option. There are apps and programs that enable you to read half a page at a time, so that does help with the zoom (and with a page turning pedal, it's really not a big deal to turn pages more frequently)
(You actually played from a miniature score??!! The mind boggles!)

Originally Posted by Hugh Sung
Quote
5. Backlighting is tiring on the eyes. I'm at the piano pretty much all day, so this is more of a physical issue. I could adjust the brightness, but this would affect the clarity.
forScore for the iPad has a neat feature where you can set a gradient effect on the screen that makes it very easy on the eyes. BTW, I'm on the computer up to 12 hours a day, between office work and reading music, and I still don't wear glasses...but I think that's just due to me being a freak of nature wink
The fact that you don't apparently have any vision issues (lucky you! smile )means that this may work for you, but I'm almost 100% certain it wouldn't work for me and my eyes.

So I'll keep following the developments, in the hope that before my playing career is over I'll be able to feel the benefits of this, but in the meantime I've just bought a new wheely-case to transport all my music for competitions etc. I guess that will have to do for now. smile


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check out OLED screens,the wave of very "near" future, the resolution is amazing..

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My major issue with the iPad for sheet music is the size od the screen. I don't think I'd have much problem getting accustomed to the page turning.



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While this is a comment from a violinist as opposed to a collaborative pianist, Giora Schmidt in this video makes an interesting observation regarding the size of the iPad screen. While it is on the small size, the quality is so good that it makes reading much easier than he had expected. This video was shot several months ago talking about his use of the iPad 2 in performance. The iPad 3 screen is much, much better and clearer - I'm going to venture to say that it's even clearer than paper in many cases, but you'll all have to be the judge of that yourselves.


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He must have hawk like vision! a pianist is sitting closer to the music than he is in the standing postion! smile

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My two cents (dollar in economic times). I have an Acer 500 (Android) and just bought the page turner. I like it. At the age of 61 I don't have the greatest vision, but after several days of getting used to it, it works for me. I have discovered that after a work is really in place to perform, memorization has already taken place. How can it not? So, the tablet is the reassurance I need to perform. It's apples and oranges (get it??????). For some people it works, for others it doesn't, but I do think the next horizon will have larger screens, more comfortable foot control and continued improvements. I found that unlike many people, I don't place the page turner near the pedals. Too easy to hit it by mistake. So have I practiced several ways and discovered nearer the piano bench and I use my heel not my toe. J

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Originally Posted by jtattoo
My two cents (dollar in economic times). I have an Acer 500 (Android) and just bought the page turner. I like it. At the age of 61 I don't have the greatest vision, but after several days of getting used to it, it works for me. I have discovered that after a work is really in place to perform, memorization has already taken place. How can it not? So, the tablet is the reassurance I need to perform. It's apples and oranges (get it??????). For some people it works, for others it doesn't, but I do think the next horizon will have larger screens, more comfortable foot control and continued improvements. I found that unlike many people, I don't place the page turner near the pedals. Too easy to hit it by mistake. So have I practiced several ways and discovered nearer the piano bench and I use my heel not my toe. J


Kind of like this? This was with the AirTurn AT-104 with 2 Boss FS-5U pedals - my way of demonstrating how to use one foot to press two pedals at the same time:


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Thanks for the reply, Hugh. What tablet do you use?

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Of course for every page-turn Mr. Schmidt, violinist, has to make, the pianist has to turn pages three times as often. If the pianist is accompanying a chamber work, perhaps four, five, or six times as often as any of the other performers.

Regards,


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Originally Posted by Brendan
Thanks for the reply, Hugh. What tablet do you use?


I'm currently using an iPad 3.

In the past, I've used several Tablet PCs ever since they first came out on the market around 2000. Here's a video review I made a few years ago for my last tablet pc, a Lenovo X200 that I think you can still get today:



You can see me demonstrating some really old tablet pc's (no longer available) for reading music in this video (this was way before AirTurn came into existence):



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I don't try to use the left foot to try to multi-task. I have enough trouble just walking LOL If my left foot is needed for the una corde pedal, I simply the memorize the passage around it and wait till it is free. J

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Originally Posted by BruceD
Of course for every page-turn Mr. Schmidt, violinist, has to make, the pianist has to turn pages three times as often. If the pianist is accompanying a chamber work, perhaps four, five, or six times as often as any of the other performers.

Regards,


That's exactly why a hands-free page turner is so helpful for pianists!

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I've always been wondering whether it is possible to make a software, which would recognize the music played and turn pages automatically. It should be easier than the speech recognizing technology, so why not?


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