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Posted By: lbuizza Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 11:08 AM
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?
Posted By: gwing Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 12:55 PM
Personally I find an ipad *less* convenient than printed music but if you download scores and don't have a printer that would be reversed of course.

To use an ipad you also need good eyes, better than mine anyway, or perhaps one of the rather expensive large devices.

That said, some people seem to like the things ....
Posted By: Rich Galassini Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 01:01 PM
Get an Ipad pro - it will be essentially the same size as the actual music. You can mark up the music with a fingertip, change the color of your markings for emphasis or for different types of markings, saved the marked up copy along with the original, email it to students or colleagues, erase them perfectly, etc.

Pair it with an Air Turn page turner (https://www.airturn.com) and you are in business. It is amazing how many pieces are downloadable for free. If you want a particular edition, you might have to pay for it.

ANyway, my 2 cents,
Posted By: terminaldegree Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 01:09 PM
Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
Get an Ipad pro - it will be essentially the same size as the actual music. You can mark up the music with a fingertip, change the color of your markings for emphasis or for different types of markings, saved the marked up copy along with the original, email it to students or colleagues, erase them perfectly, etc.

Pair it with an Air Turn page turner (https://www.airturn.com) and you are in business. It is amazing how many pieces are downloadable for free. If you want a particular edition, you might have to pay for it.

To add to Rich’s excellent advice, we did a recent Piano Buyer accessory review that you may find relevant:

https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/review-bluetooth-page-turning-pedals-for-pianists/
Posted By: CosminX Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 02:04 PM
I'd say an iPad Pro is worth it if you have it already or if you use it for other things then reading music scores.
So if you can find multiple uses for it, it's a very nice device.
But paying £1000 or more for it just for that specific use ? At least for me it sounds strange.
Posted By: jeffcat Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 02:07 PM
A 32 inch monitor will fit 2 pages pretty well hooked up to a laptop or desktop pc. It's bigger than 2 pages of 8.5"x11" piece of paper. and much bigger than any ipad.

I use that on my upright. for Page turning, I soldered a cheap $10 digital piano pedal to a $5 usb computer keyboard, and that works just fine. The pc side just recognizes the usb-keyboard, and the arrow key for turning pages.

The 32" 1080p monitors at costco are ~$200, it was $150 last black friday.
Posted By: Ubu Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 02:46 PM
If you play on an acoustic you need the tablet. But if you play on an stage piano you can take a music stand, put it horizontally and place your laptop over (or a laptop stand if you have one but with covid is hard to buy right now)
Posted By: Ubu Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 02:49 PM
Originally Posted by jeffcat
A 32 inch monitor will fit 2 pages pretty well hooked up to a laptop or desktop pc. It's bigger than 2 pages of 8.5"x11" piece of paper. and much bigger than any ipad.

I use that on my upright. for Page turning, I soldered a cheap $10 digital piano pedal to a $5 usb computer keyboard, and that works just fine. The pc side just recognizes the usb-keyboard, and the arrow key for turning pages.

The 32" 1080p monitors at costco are ~$200, it was $150 last black friday.
Hi that's interesting. Do you nitice any difference or eye fatigue when reading from the monitor instead of your computer screen?
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 02:49 PM
I use the first (?) version of the iPad pro, the 9" one, and I LOVE it. I also use a bluetooth page turner. This way I can play very long pieces and not worry about page turns, this is esp. helpful when I play with others (something I don't get to do much in the age of corona...) but when the score has piano, cello and violin on it, it often is ridiculously long. But using the iPad, page turns are no problem.

I also use an Apple Pencil for writing on the score, and that works incredibly well. Another reason I like the iPad is that there's no lamp or light behind me, but with the iPad, it's never difficult to see.

The other thing I like about the tablet is being able to take my music -- all of it! -- anywhere.

I have never used anything other than an iPad so I can't speak to how it might compare or whether less expensive models are comparable.

If you're only going to use it for piano, the iPad might be a bit pricey. But if you think you'll use the tablet for other things, not just at the piano, I think it's definitely worth it. One of these days I'm going to upgrade to the 12 inch one....
Posted By: jeffcat Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 03:21 PM
Originally Posted by Ubu
Hi that's interesting. Do you nitice any difference or eye fatigue when reading from the monitor instead of your computer screen?

The monitor is a computer screen hooked up to my laptop next to the piano.

If you leave it on high brightness, it's much brighter than paper, so that can lead to eye fatigue. That's not a problem, you just turn the monitor brightness down so it's approximately the same brightness as a lit piece of a paper.
Posted By: Ubu Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 03:57 PM
Originally Posted by jeffcat
Originally Posted by Ubu
Hi that's interesting. Do you nitice any difference or eye fatigue when reading from the monitor instead of your computer screen?

The monitor is a computer screen hooked up to my laptop next to the piano.

If you leave it on high brightness, it's much brighter than paper, so that can lead to eye fatigue. That's not a problem, you just turn the monitor brightness down so it's approximately the same brightness as a lit piece of a paper.

Wonderful idea, maybe i get one of those
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 05:12 PM
Originally Posted by lbuizza
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?

I wanted to come back to these questions from the OP's first post.

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.

But most tablets have a camera, and most score-reading apps have a way to take an image and make it available in the app. I use forScore, which I absolutely love. You can import pdfs directly into the program. Or, if you have an actual photo(s) of a score, you can use the scan function to make a score. And if you have a paper score in front of you, you can use the tablet's camera to scan it into the score app.

I do that a lot because I have scores that I've had for years that I like, or a particular arrangement I like, so I'll scan that in.

In other words, if you have the paper version, you can easily get it in the app and you don't have to re-purchase.

Second, I think I did write about this, but using an iPad and Apple Pencil, it is very easy to take notes on the score. But I do recommend getting the Apple Pencil, or if you're not using an iPad, a dedicated stylus/pen. Before I had one, I found it awkward to write on the score using my finger, and I never liked the way my writing looked. Once I got the Apple Pencil, I started using it all the time.

Lastly, re the effect on one's eyes.... I honestly don't know. I personally do not feel any specific eyestrain. I don't know how much of that is due to the iPad's display (which is supposed to be good bc it uses True Tone and has adjustable white balance). Oh and my piano glasses (which double as my computer glasses) have something that's supposed to reduce eye strain from screens (maybe it's called blueIQ?? from lenscrafters), so that might be a factor.

The other question about impact on eyes is how many hours do you play a day, and when you're not that piano, are you on a computer all day? If so, then yes, eye strain might be an issue, so maybe look into glasses designed for screen work?

Hope these comments are helpful. And no, I don't get a commission from Apple! I just happen to think the iPad + pencil + bluetooth page turner is the perfect set up for piano playing. smile
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 05:37 PM
I don't use an ipad, but I agree that a large tablet is really a great way to go, especially if you move around a lot to different venues/pianos and have a lot of sheets you normally carry. After switching to an Android tablet I never want to deal with paper or books again. Mobile Sheets Pro is a great app that seems to do everything.

A stylus is also a very worthwhile perk.
Posted By: Bhav Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 05:40 PM
A problem I've read about this is that most tablet screens are too small, and in particular for reading things like fingering notation and accidentals becomes too hard. I already need to lean forward and squint to make a load of those things out with normal A4 printed music in a well lot room with perfect vision.

I saw a lot of 1 star reviews for some PDF music books due to the print / screen being too small to read such markings.
Posted By: jeffcat Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 05:46 PM
Originally Posted by Bhav
A problem I've read about this is that most tablet screens are too small, and in particular for reading things like fingering notation and accidentals becomes too hard. I already need to lean forward and squint to make a load of those things out with normal A4 printed music in a well lot room with perfect vision..

Right now I'm using a 32" monitor on my upright.

But once I get my DPiano, I'll just put it in front of my 65" TV, and read from that. obviously 5-6 feet away, haha.
Posted By: Maestro Lennie Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 06:19 PM
The iPad Pro is great-- the new large size (12"?). You can get a pencil with that and a protective case that also holds the pencil when you're not using it.

You can use the iPad to convert pdfs into ForScore, which is a great app for preserving your own markings.

Some vendors now make a lot available for download. Henle, for example. And, of course, IMSLP if you don't mind older editions.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 06:25 PM
Originally Posted by Bhav
A problem I've read about this is that most tablet screens are too small, and in particular for reading things like fingering notation and accidentals becomes too hard. I already need to lean forward and squint to make a load of those things out with normal A4 printed music in a well lot room with perfect vision.

I saw a lot of 1 star reviews for some PDF music books due to the print / screen being too small to read such markings.

I think your post points to how individual it may be. So maybe for the OP, or anyone else, maybe try to simulate the experience with a laptop to see if the screen will be too small or not? Because it would be awful to get an expensive tablet and decide you couldn't use it bc the score was too small!
Posted By: Bhav Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 06:37 PM
If the tablet is smaller than a page of A4 then it is too small for this.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 07:11 PM
Originally Posted by Bhav
If the tablet is smaller than a page of A4 then it is too small for this.

At least for you. I use a 9 inch iPad pro for score reading with no problem, although I do wear glasses.

Hence why I said this is something that everyone needs to figure out individually, what works for some won't work for others. And what doesn't work for some will work for others.
Posted By: jeffcat Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 08:06 PM
Ipads cost way more than large monitors and they're much smaller.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 08:14 PM
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.
Posted By: akc42 Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 09:45 PM
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.
Posted By: AaronSF Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 10:01 PM
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.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 10:17 PM
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?
Posted By: MarieJ Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 10:33 PM
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
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 11:01 PM
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.
Posted By: Maestro Lennie Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 11:27 PM
CamScan will allow you to crop if you are transferring physical copies to pdf.
Posted By: Maestro Lennie Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/10/20 11:38 PM
Also, I believe that ForScore only works with Apple devices. Certainly doesn't with laptops.
Posted By: lbuizza Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 08:46 AM
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).
Posted By: OscarRamsey Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 10:17 AM
^^

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.
Posted By: Bhav Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 10:31 AM
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.
Posted By: Ay9293 Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 11:02 AM
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.
Posted By: Maestro Lennie Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 11:46 AM
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.
Posted By: JJHLH Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 11:55 AM
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.
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 01:10 PM
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.
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 01:12 PM
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.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 02:26 PM
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
Posted By: JJHLH Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 02:45 PM
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.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 02:47 PM
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.
Posted By: MRC Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 04:36 PM
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!
Posted By: JJHLH Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 05:09 PM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
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.

Hmmmm. I really don’t know. I wasn’t aware there are buttons in the app. You may be teaching me something new. smile
Posted By: JJHLH Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 05:16 PM
Originally Posted by MRC
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!

Awesome! Have you tried adjusting the sensitivity slider, or doing a recalibration? With a little work you should be able to dial it in so it recognizes a subtle twitch of your lips to the side.

So as to not hijack this thread perhaps you could post your impressions on a thread I started regarding this topic a few months ago.

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...orscore-app-page-turner.html#Post2945497
Posted By: jeffcat Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 05:59 PM
Originally Posted by JJHLH
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.

Yea but now the NSA is watching you even while you're playing piano.
Posted By: DreamPiano80 Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 06:37 PM
Originally Posted by jeffcat
Ipads cost way more than large monitors and they're much smaller.

I have an old Macbook Pro 17". On my Yamaha G7, I lay the music desk flat and sit the laptop on it.

You can buy those old 15", 17" laptop cheap on Ebay or Amazon.

If the fonts are small, I just zoom in smile
Posted By: major_key_minor Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 08:16 PM
I'll chime in. I have a 9.7" iPad that i used with my digital piano for about 2 years. Since digital piano's music stand is much farther away, using the 9.7" iPad was sometimes a challenge. Thankfully, this is no longer a problem on my K300 as the music stand is much closer.

To me, it's cost prohibitive to buy the iPad Pro 12.9" just to use as a sheet music reader. There are cheaper options. One option i haven't seen mentioned so far is portable monitors. This is arguably a much better option than using a TV or laptop. In addition, their screen sizes 15.6 is bigger than the iPad Pro's 12.9 and not much thicker. They are driven by USB-C so you have options on how to drive them: phone, tablet, laptop etc.

A few options that came up after some quick googling: Asus Zenscreen MB16AC and Acer PM161Q.
Posted By: akc42 Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 08:47 PM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
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?

I have image files from my ipad. I didn't know forscore could turn an image into a pdf. much less multiple images. can it export it again? I needed to mail the result to someone. Gimp is an image manipulation program much like photoshop (although open source and thus free - and anyway I run on linux so don't have the photoshop option). I never imagined it would be good with pdfs - but it turned my very high resolution ipad images into a pdf perfectly. The whole process of photo ing the score and producing the pdf took about 20 minutes total.
Posted By: FrankCox Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 08:56 PM
I've never understood why nobody seems to make a 8.5x11 tablet that's exactly the size of a sheet of "letter" paper. There are many documents (including sheet music and other things as well) that would be useful to have on a paper-sized tablet.
Posted By: KawaiDon Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 09:34 PM
Another option is a convertible PC with 13" or 15" screen. Extremely convenient, as it's a full PC that you simply fold over the screen into tablet mode (or detach the keyboard) to use as a tablet. The AirTurn foot page turner will flip pages for you.

I also scan my old music (with my notes and fingerings intact) to PDF. My Thinkpad X1-yoga also came with it's own pen, which is great for making additional notes.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/11/20 10:02 PM
Originally Posted by akc42
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
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?

I have image files from my ipad. I didn't know forscore could turn an image into a pdf. much less multiple images. can it export it again? I needed to mail the result to someone. Gimp is an image manipulation program much like photoshop (although open source and thus free - and anyway I run on linux so don't have the photoshop option). I never imagined it would be good with pdfs - but it turned my very high resolution ipad images into a pdf perfectly. The whole process of photo ing the score and producing the pdf took about 20 minutes total.

akc42, you should try just doing it all within forScore and see if it makes it any easier. I have used forScore to scan (i.e. using the camera) and also just used the "scan" function to import photos that were already in my photo gallery into forScore and then forScore makes it into a single pdf. So if the music is 4 pages long and you have four individual photos, you end up with one file, one piece of music that you can "turn" the pages of as you play.

Then if you want to export it, you can because you can export any score that you have in forScore, and you can choose whether to export it with or without your annotations. So you could print it, or email it etc.

I am describing all this from memory, so I'm not looking at my forScore right now, but if you want more specific instructions, or need screen grabs etc., let me know!
Posted By: Slowroll Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/12/20 11:46 PM
There is another option. The Onyx Boox Max 3 is an Android tablet that is just about exactly letter size and aspect ratio. It's designed as an e-reader so is monochrome and letter size. Mobilesheets pro has a specific option tailored to the Boox max3 and its monochrome display with all the mobilesheets features. Because the ereader display is passive, the battery life is impressive. I get over a week battery life on mine just leaving it in standby, not even fully powering down. I got it because I have astigmatism that's not fully corrected so i need all the contrast i can get, and I wanted full lettersize. Incidentally, Mobilsheets has a feature in their app that lets you use 2 of these side by side if you want 2 pages up for viewing, and when you turn the page it flips 2 pages the same way a print book would show. It also has a feature that when using one tablet, it will turn just a half page at a time so you have the old page half on the bottom, and th new page top half.

I also use the Boox for kindle book reading, for which it's terrific. It is a bit pricey however, about 800 bucks, but there are not many games in town for large tablets of letter aspect ratio.
Posted By: MH1963 Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/13/20 06:19 PM
I have an iPad pro (the big one), an Apple pencil, and ForScore. It’s awesome and I highly recommend it.

I have about 2000 pieces scanned. Using the ‘set’ feature helps me keep the items I play in rotation. It tracks the time I spend on pieces, and presents the items so they all get attention. I won’t go back to paper, this was worth every penny.

Very easy to find what I want, easy on the eyes, especially where paper is yellowed, or printed small (can easily enlarge). The pencil is great for markup. Took a while to scan, and I have more that I’ll scan one of these days but I highly recommend this arrangement.
Posted By: Learux Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/13/20 08:08 PM
Originally Posted by Slowroll
There is another option. The Onyx Boox Max 3 is an Android tablet that is just about exactly letter size and aspect ratio. It's designed as an e-reader so is monochrome and letter size. Mobilesheets pro has a specific option tailored to the Boox max3 and its monochrome display with all the mobilesheets features. Because the ereader display is passive, the battery life is impressive. I get over a week battery life on mine just leaving it in standby, not even fully powering down. I got it because I have astigmatism that's not fully corrected so i need all the contrast i can get, and I wanted full lettersize. Incidentally, Mobilsheets has a feature in their app that lets you use 2 of these side by side if you want 2 pages up for viewing, and when you turn the page it flips 2 pages the same way a print book would show. It also has a feature that when using one tablet, it will turn just a half page at a time so you have the old page half on the bottom, and th new page top half.

I am really interested in the Onyx book 3. Can you do me a favor and take a picture of the Onyx displaying sheet music next to the same paper sheet.

How is the page turning, is it instant?
Posted By: BruceD Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/13/20 11:34 PM
Originally Posted by MH1963
I have an iPad pro (the big one), an Apple pencil, and ForScore. It’s awesome and I highly recommend it.

[...]

With 2000 pieces scanned, what is the storage capacity of the one you have? How much storage is left?

Regards,
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/14/20 12:05 AM
And to add to Bruce's question, how big is the file size of your scores?

I often find that when I scan something myself, it's a lot bigger in terms of file-size than a pdf score I purchase, for example.
Posted By: gwing Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/14/20 11:01 AM
Originally Posted by Learux
Originally Posted by Slowroll
There is another option. The Onyx Boox Max 3 is an Android tablet that is just about exactly letter size and aspect ratio. It's designed as an e-reader so is monochrome and letter size. Mobilesheets pro has a specific option tailored to the Boox max3 and its monochrome display with all the mobilesheets features. Because the ereader display is passive, the battery life is impressive. I get over a week battery life on mine just leaving it in standby, not even fully powering down. I got it because I have astigmatism that's not fully corrected so i need all the contrast i can get, and I wanted full lettersize. Incidentally, Mobilsheets has a feature in their app that lets you use 2 of these side by side if you want 2 pages up for viewing, and when you turn the page it flips 2 pages the same way a print book would show. It also has a feature that when using one tablet, it will turn just a half page at a time so you have the old page half on the bottom, and th new page top half.

I am really interested in the Onyx book 3. Can you do me a favor and take a picture of the Onyx displaying sheet music next to the same paper sheet.

How is the page turning, is it instant?

I spotted those and they seemed a great option. Personally I dislike ipads and tablets but I do love my ereader (kobo) where the e-ink display is much nicer device for reading and of course it is a much thinner and lighter device with enormously longer battery life. Page turning is not quite instant though.

The Onyx seems ideal but it is expensive , and I prefer old fashioned paper for scores, so I won't be getting one just yet.
Posted By: Learux Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/14/20 01:44 PM
I feel the same. If it was slightly larger and $300 cheaper it would be a no brainer.
Posted By: EP Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/14/20 08:55 PM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
And to add to Bruce's question, how big is the file size of your scores?

I often find that when I scan something myself, it's a lot bigger in terms of file-size than a pdf score I purchase, for example.

Check your scanner settings and make sure you are scanning in B&W pdf (not color or png image) at 300 dpi.
Posted By: Slowroll Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/14/20 10:05 PM
Here's pic of the Boox and a print score. Notice that one can make the Boox score a bit larger by using the crop function in Mobilesheets. The page turn is instant, although that's not a concern using Mobilesheets; they have a half page turn function which turns the pages top half and bottom half on selection. That alone is one of my reasons for liking it over print.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Learux Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/14/20 11:16 PM
Thank you very much!

It looks like the usable screen area is the same size as the paper.
Posted By: MH1963 Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/15/20 12:11 AM
Storage....

My ipad has 256G, of which 90G is in use. That includes all my apps and whatever Netflix goodies I’ve downloaded. I don’t keep much other stuff on it. I printed a catalog of the titles for my teacher and it’s 34 pages, single spaced. I could easily fit the rest of my music, with room to spare, but most of what isn’t scanned is beyond my reach at the moment, so I’ll deal with it later.

I have ~50 books, and maybe ~20-ish singles. Most books were cut apart to facilitate scanning. Each book (except for the ones that are 300+ pages, like hymnals) is scanned as a single file, and then bookmarks are added in ForScore for each piece. The big books are scanned as two or three files, then bookmarked. This is probably more efficient than using multiple files and might account for it seeming to not use much space.

Storage Example: Burgmuller Opus 100, 25 progressive pieces, is 31.9 Mb. When scanning a book, I include the cover, table of contents, and notes, so that amount includes probably six pages of extra stuff. It’s a ‘color’ scan for improved quality.

I have a Brother HL-L2380 printer/scanner, and I use the Brother app for the scanning. I have found that it’s IMPORTANT for me to scan using the color setting, even though the music isn’t color. The reason for this is that it greatly improves the quality of the scan, and makes some of the older music easier to read. Older music which is not digital typeset is a lot easier to read with a ‘color’ scan. Scans using this setting would be larger files, since it’s a much better scan, but it’s not a problem.

Also, since music isn’t on 8.5x11, I scan using the A4 paper size, which ensures that the full page is scanned. If set for 8.5x11, sometimes the bottom is partly cut off.

Music is the reason I bought the large iPad and it was a terrific investment. Just the fact that I don’t have to dig through things to find a particular piece is wonderful and a huge time saver.
Posted By: MH1963 Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/15/20 12:36 AM
ps - if your scans are producing large files, try a different scanning tool. There are some very significant differences in the pdfs you get, depending on the tool you use. I don’t know why they’re different, or exactly what the differences are in the files, but they can vary a lot depending on what you use, even though they may look okay when displayed. Differences can be in terms of file size and also print quality, if you need to print.

I use an air turn bt-106 foot pedal. I mostly like it, but it sometimes doesn’t turn off. That’s a known issue, and I just live with it.
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/15/20 02:52 AM
Originally Posted by Slowroll
[Linked Image]

A picture is worth a thousand words!

My tablet has a 12.3" screen, is far smaller than the Boox or larger iPad Pro, somewhat smaller than an 8.5x11" letter page, and since it's widescreen it's smaller still than 4:3 screens, but even so, I've found it FAR superior for viewability compared to a printed page:

[Linked Image]

And when you crop the margins, I'm pretty sure the actual notes are the same or larger.
Posted By: MH1963 Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/15/20 06:46 PM
akc42 -

ForScore can export files as PDFs, annotated PDFs, or in the .4sc proprietary format, which I think includes all the markup that you add.

Markup in ForScore can be done in various colors, and layers, so I guess I could send a file to another FS user and they could then edit it. I’ve never tried it, but willing to give it a shot if someone wants a file.
Posted By: whippen boy Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/16/20 11:14 PM
Originally Posted by JJHLH
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.

After thousands of facial twitches I'd be worried that I'd start twitching involuntarily! whome I already drum my fingers on non-piano objects ('practicing', of course). whistle
Posted By: FrankCox Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/17/20 01:44 AM
Daddy, why is that man sticking his tongue out at the piano?

Don't worry son, he's just turning the page...
Posted By: gwing Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/17/20 12:40 PM
Originally Posted by whippen boy
Originally Posted by JJHLH
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.

After thousands of facial twitches I'd be worried that I'd start twitching involuntarily! whome I already drum my fingers on non-piano objects ('practicing', of course). whistle

You could try developing a good leer instead of a twitch ...
Posted By: Fluxo Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/17/20 12:53 PM
Originally Posted by Gombessa
My tablet has a 12.3" screen, is far smaller than the Boox or larger iPad Pro, somewhat smaller than an 8.5x11" letter page, and since it's widescreen it's smaller still than 4:3 screens, but even so, I've found it FAR superior for viewability compared to a printed page:

And when you crop the margins, I'm pretty sure the actual notes are the same or larger.

I have a Samsung Galaxy Note Pro SMP905M that costed 25% the price of an Ipad Pro 12.9", but it is "only" 12", and I thought of upgrading to something larger...

In the picture you posted I could not identify what brand/model is your tablet. Would you mind telling us about it? Is it at a similar price of an Ipad Pro? Thank you!
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/17/20 01:29 PM
It's a Google Pixel Slate, which is essentially a Chromebook laptop in a tablet form factor. It's about $500-700 depending on config and you can get it in discounted bundles with a keyboard case and stylus.

I use mine as a laptop during the day, and pop it out if the keyboard case whenever I go to a piano. I pretty much always have it with me.

I'm not sure if a 12in to a 12.3 is a worthwhile screen upgrade, personally (also considering how nice Samsung screens usually are). But I'm mostly happy with it, and being a chromebook makes it much more useful as a work laptop than a pure Android would be.
Posted By: lbuizza Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/18/20 08:01 AM
Just an update:

I have decided that given I needed to replace my laptop to try and get my whole workstream (not just piano) onto an iPad, so I ordered a 12.9" version with a keyboard and pencil. I have 14 days from when it arrives to actually decide whether its for me or not, as Apple's return policy lasts that long. I'm curious to see whether it's at a point yet where it can be used or not as a replacement for the laptop (by this i mean up to 95% of the things I do on the laptop, given that if I need to do some coding etc. I have a desktop).

In any case, when it arrives I'll do some comparisons between screen and sheet and see what you guys think. Could this be the end of me having piles of books on my piano? Probably not, given that for larger pieces I still think I'd prefer a book, but it could definitely be the end of me having endless loose sheets scattered around it for the smaller ones...
Posted By: Fluxo Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/18/20 12:04 PM
Originally Posted by Gombessa
It's a Google Pixel Slate, which is essentially a Chromebook laptop in a tablet form factor. It's about $500-700 depending on config and you can get it in discounted bundles with a keyboard case and stylus.

I use mine as a laptop during the day, and pop it out if the keyboard case whenever I go to a piano. I pretty much always have it with me.

I'm not sure if a 12in to a 12.3 is a worthwhile screen upgrade, personally (also considering how nice Samsung screens usually are). But I'm mostly happy with it, and being a chromebook makes it much more useful as a work laptop than a pure Android would be.

Thank you very much, Gombessa. Indeed, you are right about not being wise to upgrade for such a short size difference at such a big price difference.
Posted By: Meaghanw Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/18/20 02:18 PM
Another plus for forScore, if you have 2 iPads, you can view 2 pages side by side using their Cue app.
Posted By: MH1963 Re: Using tablets for sheet music - 05/19/20 12:07 AM
You’re going to love the iPad. I’ve had the iPad 12” pro since they came out and it is great. It won’t completely replace a computer, but for general web surfing, email, and reading music via ForScore, it is really excellent.
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