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Re: Using tablets for sheet music
jeffcat #2977537 05/10/20 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffcat
Ipads cost way more than large monitors and they're much smaller.

This is indeed true. But OTPH a monitor is not a stand-alone device, can't be used when traveling, doesn't fit on the music desk for most uprights, needs to be plugged in..... I'll stop there! whome

Seriously, for anyone who can make a monitor work with their set up, I would imagine that is a great option. For me, I want to be able to take my scores with me, and I also don't want to have a computer workstation in my piano room. So the iPad works perfectly for my sheet music needs, and I use it for a bunch of other stuff as well. It's certainly not for everyone, and I imagine there are less expensive tablets that would function similarly, so I don't want to say there's only one option. But the iPad is the only one I have firsthand experience with, so of course that's what I am posting about.


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Re: Using tablets for sheet music
ShiroKuro #2977569 05/10/20 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
First regarding the availability of sheet music... if you mean what scores are available for purchase in digital format, I think it varies considerably. If you want a specific arrangement or a specific layout etc., you may not find something pre-made as a digital score.

I just want to make a comment on that, because I discovered something remarkable yesterday.

I have an iPad Pro, and for an obscure reason I was trying the make a pdf of the third movement of the Pathetique Sonata with the fingering in the Henle edition which I have on paper. So I put the put the music flat on my desk and used the camera app in the iPad pro to take a photo of each of the pages - a total of 7 pages. I already have a copy of FTP-Manager pro, so it was very simple to copy those 7 images to a directory on my desktop PC.

On my PC I have a copy of a Picture Editing program called GIMP. (https://www.gimp.org/downloads/). I took each of the images and started by loading the first as an image. I then loaded the other 6 as layers, one on top of the other over the original image. I then scaled the image to that it was A4 size at 72 bits per inch. and I then selected export to PDF. There is an option is this function to make one page for each layer, starting at the bottom layer and working up. Using that I was able to export a pdf that looked just like a book starting at the first image and carrying on to the last. Being made out of images from the iPad pro, which are very big. I expected the pdf to be enormous. In fact it was only 5.5MB and would transfer nicely back to my iPad.

Re: Using tablets for sheet music
lbuizza #2977579 05/10/20 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by lbuizza
The time may have come for me to switch to an iPad for my music - I like having books for the big pieces I am playing (by that I mean proper editions e.g. Henle etc.), but I am happy to use IMSLP for smaller pieces at the moment.

I just wanted to gauge PW's opinion on using an iPad (or any other tablet - I have seen some specifically designed for musicians, any opinions welcome) for my sheet music. How much music is available? Is it easy to make notes on it etc.? And finally do we think it will affect my eyes negatively in the long run?

In short do we think that the convenience of using an iPad is worth it?

I use an iPad Pro, 12.9", which displays piano music slightly smaller than a 9" x 12" score. I also use a bluetooth page turner (a pedal pad that let's you go forward or backward in the score). I use forScore to display the music on the iPad. forScore has lots of bells and whistles, too many to enumerate, but the program makes storing and using .pdf files pretty easy. I love the whole set-up.

There's lots of free sheet music for download from IMSLP, though the editions are often less than wonderful. If you have Henle (or any other) scores you want on your iPad, and you have a scanner, you can scan them into .pdf files, then import them into forScore. This technique is especially nice if you have scores with lots of your own annotations that you want to have available. Also, if you buy an Apple pencil, you can annotate right on the screen and it gets saved with the score. I'm not the most adept at using the Apple pencil, but after some time it is getting easier to use.


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Re: Using tablets for sheet music
lbuizza #2977585 05/10/20 05:17 PM
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akc42, hmm, I'm not sure if you did something more elaborate than I'm understanding, but I use forScore all the time to make pdf files of multi-page scores, it combines them into a single file rather than treating each page as a separate items. How are the layers different?

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 05/10/20 05:17 PM.

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Re: Using tablets for sheet music
lbuizza #2977594 05/10/20 05:33 PM
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It would be very difficult to go past a 12.9” iPad Pro, and you don’t have to spend heaps on the latest offering. I found the 9” iPad too small for ‘mature’ eyes, and swapped it for the Pro and Apple Pencil as soon as it was released several years ago. I love the crystal clear resolution, and of course the screen is always backlit so lighting is never a problem. A First Generation model would be worth hunting out.

One of the main advantages of the iPad is that you can use forScore, which will do everything from providing an inbuilt scanning facility to organising your PDF sheets. It allows endless (erasable) markings on your scores, supports page-turning pedals, even offers programmable ‘buttons’ to jump to repeat signs (a great facility I’ve only just discovered).

The best advice I can give is to go to forScore’s web pages and see whether this app will do everything that you want - and then buy it, and the hardware to drive it.thumb


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Re: Using tablets for sheet music
lbuizza #2977600 05/10/20 06:01 PM
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A large tablet may be too small for some people, I was worried about this as well but when I tried it, there was no problem at all with a.l 12.3" screen. it feels as big it bigger to new than print outs on 8.5x11 (which is 13.9"). A 12.9" screen would be wonderful for me.

Another thing to consider: there is a lot of white space in the margins of most scores that you probably don't need. Mobile Sheets Pro skies you to custom crop every page and remove as much of the margins as you want, this lets you get the page sizing even larger.


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Re: Using tablets for sheet music
lbuizza #2977607 05/10/20 06:27 PM
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CamScan will allow you to crop if you are transferring physical copies to pdf.

Re: Using tablets for sheet music
lbuizza #2977610 05/10/20 06:38 PM
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Also, I believe that ForScore only works with Apple devices. Certainly doesn't with laptops.

Re: Using tablets for sheet music
lbuizza #2977725 05/11/20 03:46 AM
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This is all great advice - thanks to everyone! I agree that shelling out the money for an iPad Pro just to use it for music is somewhat excessive, however I do see myself using it for other purposes as well as the music. Having said this, I've never owned an iPad/tablet and have never really felt the need to get one (my only argument until now has been that I quite like technology and it is a cool piece of kit to have). Anyone here use it for work too and like it more/less than a laptop?

Perhaps buying a 1st gen one would be the way to go for me - they're about half the price of the new ones and offer pretty much exactly the same specs (minus a few milliseconds of speed which I'm willing to sacrifice).

In terms of playing I play at least 2 hours per day, and I have built up quite a collection of scores of pieces that I use as 'quick studies' i.e. that I look at for a few days to get me in the habit of keeping up a high turnover of music - these are all in loose sheets and I end up losing them/losing my notes. From the eye point of view I do spend quite a bit of time looking at screens as it is, however my piano room is sometimes poorly lit and tired eyes sometimes struggle with no backlight (tradeoff here between seeing more clearly when I practice in the evening vs not having the screen being the last thing I stare at for two hours before bed).

Re: Using tablets for sheet music
lbuizza #2977736 05/11/20 05:17 AM
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^^

Having a 10.5” iPad myself, I’d say that it’s a bit small for sheet music but having a backlit screen really does improve my ability to read things (books are far easier for me to read, and I’m dyslexic).

If I were to purchase a tablet purely for the purpose of reading sheet music, I may look at android/windows options out there that cost less - one just has to check that there are comparable apps for sheet music.

There used to be a few 12” options out there but I’m struggling to find them at the moment. I’d be keen to see if anyone has managed this recently with a non-apple device.


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Re: Using tablets for sheet music
lbuizza #2977738 05/11/20 05:31 AM
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It why necessarily bother with an iPad instead of a far cheaper Android Tablet?

Or a surface pro with detachable keyboard?

Apple products should never be considered the standard for pricing.

Last edited by Bhav; 05/11/20 05:32 AM.

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Re: Using tablets for sheet music
lbuizza #2977744 05/11/20 06:02 AM
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If you needed a laptop as well the Hp spectre or envy 360 versions at 15.6 inch can rest on a music stand. Large and nice screen resolution compared to a tablet. I would caution if your music rest is flimsy though.

Re: Using tablets for sheet music
lbuizza #2977754 05/11/20 06:46 AM
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ForScore only works on Apple devices. I haven’t heard of one as good for other tablets, but worth a look. For reading PDFs (or kindle books, etc), you can obviously go to all sorts of hardware.

Re: Using tablets for sheet music
lbuizza #2977758 05/11/20 06:55 AM
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The 12.9 inch iPad Pro along with the forScore app is perfect for reading music. The app has a crop function built into it which allows you to remove the excess margins from any any score, therefore making the notes even easier to read.

I started with printed sheet music when I began playing the piano a year ago. But it was hard for me to read the scores at night when there wasn’t enough light in my room. That problem was solved with the iPad.

Henle also has an app where you can purchase PDFs directly.

One thing that hasn’t been mentioned yet it that the forScore app has a built in page turner. It requires a Pro subscription ($9.99/year) and a newer iPad that uses facial recognition technology (one that doesn’t have a home button), but it works brilliantly! I have mine set up to turn the page when I twitch my lips slightly to the right (forwards) or left (backwards). I would certainly recommend trying this option before purchasing a Bluetooth foot pedal. It’s simple, adjustable, reliable, and doesn’t require a separate device. My piano teacher didn’t know about this feature until she saw me using it during a lesson. It’s like magic haha.


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Re: Using tablets for sheet music
lbuizza #2977787 05/11/20 08:10 AM
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I've never seen forScore, but on the Android/ChromeOS side, Mobile Sheets Pro does everything. You can import sheets, including PDFs and images, crop/adjust exposure and color levels and annotate them (stylus or finger support), back them up to device or cloud, sync your music library to multiple devices for multi page turning or orchestra turning, support ANY BT device and any key binding for page turning, (plus support dozens of remote actions other than just page turning), support half-turns, setlists, sync videos and mp3s to sheets, etc. It's amazingly full featured and doesn't require a continuing subscription to use. I think it's probably the Android/Chrome/Windows equivalent of forScore.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Using tablets for sheet music
lbuizza #2977789 05/11/20 08:12 AM
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I've never seen forScore, but on the Android/ChromeOS side, Mobile Sheets Pro does everything. You can import sheets, including PDFs and images, crop/adjust exposure and color levels and annotate them (stylus or finger support), back them up to device or cloud, sync your music library to multiple devices for multi page turning or orchestra turning, support ANY BT device and any key binding for page turning, (plus support dozens of remote actions other than just page turning), support half-turns, setlists, sync videos and mp3s to sheets, etc. It's amazingly full featured and doesn't require a continuing subscription to use. I think it's probably the Android/Chrome/Windows equivalent of forScore.

What surprised me the most is that the tablet/convertible sheer reader market is surprisingly mature and full-featured, for whatever platform you are on.


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Re: Using tablets for sheet music
JJHLH #2977813 05/11/20 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by JJHLH
One thing that hasn’t been mentioned yet it that the forScore app has a built in page turner. It requires a Pro subscription ($9.99/year) and a newer iPad that uses facial recognition technology (one that doesn’t have a home button), but it works brilliantly! I have mine set up to turn the page when I twitch my lips slightly to the right (forwards) or left (backwards). I would certainly recommend trying this option before purchasing a Bluetooth foot pedal. It’s simple, adjustable, reliable, and doesn’t require a separate device. My piano teacher didn’t know about this feature until she saw me using it during a lesson. It’s like magic haha.

shocked

I have never heard of this feature!!! Wow! That's cray cray!!!! grin

So is there a learning curve to making faces while playing??? I mean, it took me a while to get used to turning the page with my left foot, so... whome


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Re: Using tablets for sheet music
ShiroKuro #2977823 05/11/20 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
shocked

I have never heard of this feature!!! Wow! That's cray cray!!!! grin

So is there a learning curve to making faces while playing??? I mean, it took me a while to get used to turning the page with my left foot, so... whome

It really is cray cray haha!

The learning curve is pretty easy. Just move your lips to one side and the page turns. The sensitivity is adjustable using a slider. You can also set it to turn if you move your head to the side, but that can easily trigger by mistake so the lips work better in my opinion.

I really can’t recommend this feature highly enough. It’s an example of harnessing the power of modern technology and putting it to good use to solve a problem.


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VI’s: Garritan CFX, VSL Bösendorfer Upright, and VSL Blüthner 1895. Pianoteq.
Re: Using tablets for sheet music
lbuizza #2977824 05/11/20 09:47 AM
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Can you do something similar with the buttons (or whatever they're called). I have a lot of scores where I've programmed those buttons to take me to a coda or whatever.


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Re: Using tablets for sheet music
JJHLH #2977885 05/11/20 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by JJHLH
One thing that hasn’t been mentioned yet it that the forScore app has a built in page turner. It requires a Pro subscription ($9.99/year) and a newer iPad that uses facial recognition technology (one that doesn’t have a home button), but it works brilliantly! I have mine set up to turn the page when I twitch my lips slightly to the right (forwards) or left (backwards).

I‘ve been using a Bluetooth pedal with forScore, but when I read this I promptly bought a Pro subscription. Fascinating! For the moment I can only manage a turn with a sort of lecherous twisted grin: I’d like something a little more discreet. But it works!


Steinway A grand (1919), Richard Lipp grand (1913), Yamaha P2 upright (1983), Casio PX-150 digital (2013)
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