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#2014823 - 01/15/13 09:16 AM Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software  
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Javi Cazua Offline
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Hi!
I'm considering buying some kind of device to put on my music rack, for my music sheets (most of which are PDFs).
I'm also interested in applications to help me improve my pianist skills (Like improving my sigh reading, ear training, pressing the right key at the right time, how to position my fingers, music theory, and all that stuff...). I'm asking both questions here, because some learning applications only exists for certain devices or platforms.

Do you have any experience/opinion as to what would be the best option for those things? I wanted something the size of a Music Sheet (about 13 inches I think), but I think they are only selling 10 inches tablets in general. Is that good enough? What do you think it's best? an iPad? an Android? a notebook? an LCD monitor connected to a desktop? something else?

What do you think are the best and more fun applications to improve pianist skills? (My piano does have MIDI). I'm looking for applications that I can use at home by MIDI, and also for something I can do on the bus to work on an phone or a tablet.

Thank you very much!

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#2015051 - 01/15/13 06:44 PM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Javi Cazua]  
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LoPresti Offline
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Originally Posted by Javi Cazua
Do you have any experience/opinion as to what would be the best option for those things?

What do you think are the best and more fun applications to improve pianist skills?

Hi Javi,

I do have a suggestion that will help with ALL the skills where you want improvement. It is called a Music Teacher. They come in various shapes and sizes, and some are stronger in certain musical arenas than in others. All are available right in your area. That is THE BEST way to learn anything!

If you have trouble finding a good one, let us know where you are located.

Ed


In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.
#2015117 - 01/15/13 09:50 PM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Javi Cazua]  
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We can all help you, tell your specific information.

#2015208 - 01/16/13 01:07 AM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: LoPresti]  
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Javi Cazua Offline
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Originally Posted by LoPresti
Originally Posted by Javi Cazua
Do you have any experience/opinion as to what would be the best option for those things?

What do you think are the best and more fun applications to improve pianist skills?

Hi Javi,

I do have a suggestion that will help with ALL the skills where you want improvement. It is called a Music Teacher. They come in various shapes and sizes, and some are stronger in certain musical arenas than in others. All are available right in your area. That is THE BEST way to learn anything!

If you have trouble finding a good one, let us know where you are located.

Ed


I don't think a teacher would fit on my music rack...

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#2015230 - 01/16/13 02:24 AM Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Javi Cazua]  
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LoPresti Offline
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Javi,

No electronic gadget or software program is going to teach you to play the piano, MUCH LESS intruct on the wide range of topics you mention in your original question.

If you want to learn music, get a good teacher. If you want to learn software, that is a different matter.


In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.
#2015263 - 01/16/13 04:19 AM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: LoPresti]  
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Dave Horne Offline
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Originally Posted by LoPresti
Javi,

No electronic gadget or software program is going to teach you to play the piano, MUCH LESS intruct on the wide range of topics you mention in your original question.

If you want to learn music, get a good teacher. If you want to learn software, that is a different matter.


Thanks you for taking up the good fight.

I've agreed with everything you've written ... and you've saved me the time of having to write it.



website | mp3\wav files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
#2015473 - 01/16/13 02:01 PM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Dave Horne]  
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Stephen Hazel Offline
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Hi Javi.

At the moment ipads lead android and windows tablets.
You can midi your digitial to your ipad MUCH easier than to
an android tablet. I'm a software dev and would love for
there to be better midi devices for android tablets.
I'll probably have to build one, though. I plan to port my
program to android starting end of this year on a Nexus10(BIG screen:)
- it'll take a while...

ipads have plenty of decent apps for showing pdf sheet music.
Get the latest model if possible - resolution is CRAMPED on
the older models.
And there's Home Concert Xtreme and Synthesia.
(HCX does sheet music at least - Synthesia's still needs quiiite
a bit of work in my opinion aaand it's falling bar notes
just won't help you on an acoustic)
My own program is windows desktop only.
You should consider a desktop still because the software is
much better and you get 1920 x 1080 - maybe even double for
dual monitors)


Originally Posted by Dave Horne

Thanks you for taking up the good fight.



It's not a fight.

I don't think anybody is saying that software should replace a teacher.
That would be PRETTY dumb.

But software can help you out during daily piano practice when the teacher ain't there.
It can store ALL of your sheet music in one teeny box.
It can turn pages for you and keep notes on what you need to practice next.
It can make sure you play every dang note and point out when you're
playing the wrong ones.
It can record your practice in teeny little midi files for you to listen to and verify that, yes, you keep screwing up THIS bar and regardless of what your emotional brain thinks, you NEED to practice that bar slower.

software is to teachers as digitals are to acoustics.
A tool that'll help you out if you choose to use it.

Last edited by Stephen Hazel; 01/16/13 02:03 PM.

http://PianoCheetah.com - my weird piano practice program
#2015529 - 01/16/13 03:47 PM Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Stephen Hazel]  
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LoPresti Offline
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Hi Stephen,

I have the feeling you know quite a bit about the technology, and shall willingly defer to your advice there. I was responding, and Dave would have responded, to the part of Javi’s post that implied he wanted to learn various aspects of music, including “when to press the key down.” To us, that further implies a certain level of musical development, where one can really benefit from a good teacher.

I am especially glad that you enumerated all the ways you think a good software program can “help” a student. In fact, each of those ways, except for “store ALL of your sheet music”, and “It can record your practice . . .”, has a great possibility of HURTING the student’s learning, by taking away internal development of critical skills, like careful listening, accurate counting, and even the coordination and timing involved in physically turning the pages.

You are right - It is NOT a fight. However, the use of technology in helping students learn music must be applied very judiciously.

Let’s see what Javi’s teacher had to say about what technology to purchase: Javi?



In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.
#2015550 - 01/16/13 04:12 PM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Javi Cazua]  
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I'm sure that there are some software programs - or perhaps I should say I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there may be some software programs - which will indicate if you have pressed the right note at the right time.

I doubt, however, that there is software that is going to teach one what is generally termed "musicianship," i.e. critical listening, phrasing, subtle expression, pedaling, for example, or software that is going to be interactive to the point of suggesting improvements in touch, phrasing, use of rubato and dynamics, in short: all the things to go into a "musical" performance.

Regards,


BruceD
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#2015551 - 01/16/13 04:18 PM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Javi Cazua]  
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Nikolas Offline
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I'll just say that by simply recording myself and my partner in piano, the duets prior to the real acoustic recording in a midi keyboard, we got some great views on what exactly we were doing and were able to fix it.

Of course we both know music so it's not like learning, but the help was there...

#2015591 - 01/16/13 05:06 PM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Javi Cazua]  
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Stephen Hazel Offline
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Ok, maybe it is sooort of a fight...
Many pianists look down on piano software.
That shouldn't be.


I have used software and it has certainly not hindered
me from developing critical listening skills.

Has a metronome hindered you in developing timing skills?

Have you successfully used one of these software packages
and found it to hinder these things?


I've also seen quite a few teachers who have not experienced them
and pronounce them not useful just because they themselves
have learned with an acoustic and paper sheet music and just
aren't interested in any other ways.

I'd also say it's not a good idea to get technology recommendations
from your average piano teacher.
My teacher can teach piano great.
But her only computing device is an iphone.
She hates windows with a deep deep passion.

So, you should go to a piano teacher to get yourself on the right
piano path. But don't expect them to know computer operating systems and
have a broad knowledge of all the software packages available.
You're going to have to figure that out on your own.
In the same manner that you decide which songs you like,
which sort of pianist you want to be, etc.

Piano is not a one size fits all thing.

Not everybody wants to be a professional classical
concert pianist on an acoustic using paper sheet music.

I want to be an average pop player/composer(eventually)
on a synthesizer with electronic sheet music.

And I'll use any other tool that'll help.
(And have weekly piano lessons).

These things aren't mutually exclusive.
It's not optimal to have only an acoustic.
It's optimal to have an acoustic and a digital.

It's not optimal to have JUST a piano teacher.
Use all the other things that'll help you, too.



http://PianoCheetah.com - my weird piano practice program
#2015603 - 01/16/13 05:18 PM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Javi Cazua]  
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bennevis Online content
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Methinks that the OP will get more joy if he posted this in the Digital Piano forum, where all the computer nerds and software geeks are. There is one thread currently running where I just about understand one word out of every three..... wink

And to think that my 'piano' is actually a DP....... cry


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
#2015671 - 01/16/13 06:48 PM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Stephen Hazel]  
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Dave Horne Offline
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Ok, maybe it is sooort of a fight...
Many pianists look down on piano software.
That shouldn't be.


I use software to facilitate notation. I use, on occasion, a metronome (on beats two and four in 4\4) to keep me honest.

The original poster will learn _faster_ with a good teacher. That's the difficult part though, to find a good teacher.

Beginners will benefit more with a real person next to them. I've made my living from playing and had several bad teachers ... one had an honorary doctorate. I only learned how to play with the least amount of effort when I was 28, that's more than 30 years ago. I rather doubt a software program could correctly teach technique. I could explain in lengthy detail how to correctly physically approach a keyboard but there's always the risk that the information is not correctly transferred. A real person next to you ... one who knows how to teach, is the best bet.

I've met players who spent a lot of time with Jamey Abersold and that kind of 'music minus one' program. While those programs have their merits, you'll learn quicker with real live players ... players who are better than you and who can (hopefully) explain their approach.

I have nothing against technology. I just think a beginner is not in the position to know what he or she needs to approach this learning process.

You can read theory textbooks and teach yourself theory. I have no qualms about that. You will, however, learn correct technique faster and better with a good teacher next to you.




website | mp3\wav files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
#2015704 - 01/16/13 07:41 PM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Javi Cazua]  
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Stephen Hazel Offline
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Who said software was =BETTER= than a piano teacher?
Who said software should teach technique?
It certainly wasn't me.

Also, who says Javi needs a teacher?
I don't think you can assume he's teacher-less from
these few sentences.


http://PianoCheetah.com - my weird piano practice program
#2015740 - 01/16/13 08:37 PM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Stephen Hazel]  
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Dave Horne Offline
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Originally Posted by Stephen Hazel
Who said software was =BETTER= than a piano teacher?
Who said software should teach technique?
It certainly wasn't me.

Also, who says Javi needs a teacher?
I don't think you can assume he's teacher-less from
these few sentences.


Stephen, relax ... you're reading much too much into what I wrote. smile



website | mp3\wav files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
#2015753 - 01/16/13 09:03 PM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Stephen Hazel]  
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Originally Posted by Stephen Hazel

Also, who says Javi needs a teacher?
I don't think you can assume he's teacher-less from
these few sentences.


This is what he wrote...it certainly sounds like he either does not have a teacher, or is brand new to the piano: (emphasis mine)

Quote
I am also interested in applications to help me improve my pianist skills (Like improving my sigh reading, ear training, pressing the right key at the right time, how to position my fingers, music theory, and all that stuff...).


Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.
#2015844 - 01/17/13 12:22 AM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Javi Cazua]  
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Stephen Hazel Offline
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ok, my apologies for freakin out.

I think it's just a personal problem of mine.
It bugs me that my own piano teacher is not the least bit
interested in the software side of things and I really kinda
need that (for me). I'll probably look for somebody more into
pop and composition, too.

I feel pretty strongly that software for piano practice is useful.
And I've spent a lot of years studying both the piano and
software to help with piano practice. So that's where I'm comin' from.

Sorry for soundin' pretty harsh up there.


http://PianoCheetah.com - my weird piano practice program
#2021431 - 01/26/13 01:37 AM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Javi Cazua]  
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Javi Cazua Offline
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Thank you very much for your help!

#2022248 - 01/27/13 04:27 PM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Javi Cazua]  
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While I'm sure there is a lot of merit to the idea of getting a teacher, I also thought the original question was interesting. I've specifically been looking at this part of the question lately:

Originally Posted by Javi Cazua
Hi!
I'm considering buying some kind of device to put on my music rack, for my music sheets (most of which are PDFs). . . I wanted something the size of a Music Sheet (about 13 inches I think), but I think they are only selling 10 inches tablets in general.



The problem is that it seem like there are no tablets currently available that would give you the same screen size as an 8.5 X 11" paper. Assuming that there is a ½” margin all around, you need a 7.5” X 10” tablet. Obviously, this is a 4/3 aspect ratio, and if you do the math it means that you need a 4/3 aspect ratio screen with a 12.5” diagonal measurement to get this size.

However, if you look at the available tablets, any tablet larger than 9.7” diagonal seems to have wide screen, or 16/9 aspect ratio. The largest one I have found is the Toshiba Excite 13, which has a 13” diagonal measurement. But, since this is a wide screen 16/9 aspect ratio, it means that the screen dimensions are 11.33 X. 6.37. This means that if you scan a page of music into it, it will be quite a bit smaller than the original size, but will have space left over vertically.

I’ve been using a Music Pad for some time, but this is really not a good solution either. While the screen is the same size as a sheet of paper, the resolution is very low. In practice this means when scanning or exporting music from Finale, you have to start with a higher resolution and then import it into a photo editing program like Photoshop and go through a number of steps to get it to the proper resolution without losing staff lines or other details. It ends up taking so long that is not useful for importing fake books or music downloaded from IMSLP. So, I only use it when I have a bunch of music for a series of shows and it is worth taking the time to go through all the hoops to get it to display properly.

Know some guys who bring a laptop to the gig and then use a large widescreen monitor, like a 24”, to display two pages side by side. But that seems kind of a hassle to me.

If anybody knows of any practical solutions to these issues, I’d like to know.

#2022254 - 01/27/13 04:36 PM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Javi Cazua]  
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Referring to the score display question only: I've used an LCD screen which works well. Here are some pointers-

http://www.joflaherty.org/electricscore/elecscore.html


Jack
#2022574 - 01/28/13 03:03 AM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: joflah]  
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Great stuff, Joflah!

I especially liked the way you used an old keyboard to get the page turn footswitches.

For poeple not quite as tech savvy as Joflah, there are at least two companies that make blue tooth page turners footswitches for a Benny and some change.

http://airturn.com/
http://www.pageflip.com


A cool mike stand mount for an I-Pad is here: http://www.thegigeasy.com/

I-Pads are, of course, 4/3 aspect ratio, so they are the right dimensions for displaying sheet music. But, they are a bit small for an old near-sighted guy like me to read. People with really sharp eyes may like them.

K.

#2022936 - 01/28/13 05:04 PM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Okiikahuna]  
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LoPresti Offline
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Originally Posted by Okiikahuna
The problem is that it seem like there are no tablets currently available that would give you the same screen size as an 8.5 X 11" paper. Assuming that there is a ½” margin all around, you need a 7.5” X 10” tablet. Obviously, this is a 4/3 aspect ratio, and if you do the math it means that you need a 4/3 aspect ratio screen with a 12.5” diagonal measurement to get this size.

However, if you look at the available tablets, any tablet larger than 9.7” diagonal seems to have wide screen, or 16/9 aspect ratio. The largest one I have found is the Toshiba Excite 13, which has a 13” diagonal measurement. But, since this is a wide screen 16/9 aspect ratio, it means that the screen dimensions are 11.33 X. 6.37. This means that if you scan a page of music into it, it will be quite a bit smaller than the original size, but will have space left over vertically.

I’ve been using a Music Pad for some time, but this is really not a good solution either. While the screen is the same size as a sheet of paper, the resolution is very low. In practice this means when scanning or exporting music from Finale, you have to start with a higher resolution and then import it into a photo editing program like Photoshop and go through a number of steps to get it to the proper resolution without losing staff lines or other details. It ends up taking so long that is not useful for importing fake books or music downloaded from IMSLP. So, I only use it when I have a bunch of music for a series of shows and it is worth taking the time to go through all the hoops to get it to display properly.

Know some guys who bring a laptop to the gig and then use a large widescreen monitor, like a 24”, to display two pages side by side. But that seems kind of a hassle to me. . .

Can you, or ANYONE, tell us a MUSICAL reason why anyone would make such futile attempts to duplicate the reality of printed music?
Ed


In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.
#2023003 - 01/28/13 06:52 PM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: LoPresti]  
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Originally Posted by LoPresti

Can you, or ANYONE, tell us a MUSICAL reason why anyone would make such futile attempts to duplicate the reality of printed music?
Ed


Thanks for bringing this up, Ed. There are, of course, no legitimate reasons, musical or otherwise, for abusing technology like this.

As I am sure you already know, technology is destroying music and musicianship. And its been going on at least since the time of Gutenberg. That damn printing press is an abomination. As we all know, the only good music is music hand copied by monks.

K.

#2023114 - 01/28/13 11:11 PM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Javi Cazua]  
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If you like to live on the bleeding edge of technology, there's an Android on usb stick, it plugs into the hdmi+usb(for power) of your Monitor, and the Android system in the usb takes over the screen. You then can do whatever the Andoid could offer. Forget about the puny screen of tablets. This can work on all the large size TVs with hdmi.
I believe this has just come out in the past several months. So do proceed with caution.

#2023142 - 01/29/13 12:30 AM Re: Device for reading Music Sheets & Learning Software [Re: Javi Cazua]  
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Stephen Hazel Offline
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if you know of an android midi interface, please let me know.
otherwise, I'm not sure what android will get ya.
iOS devices at least have midi interfaces available.

I'm finally gonna get 2 monitors - that should let me see
4 pages pretty well. I mean, desktop monitors are a lot
cheaper than a dang ipad.

(and that was highly entertaining, Oki:)


http://PianoCheetah.com - my weird piano practice program

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