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Thoughts on iPad score display / page turning software?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Vince Waldon, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. At last count I'm involved in 7 different groups at the moment, each with a large-ish folder of music, and as I've forgotten the right folder at home a couple times this season and tire a bit of lugging around a big stand and a stack of music I'm giving some consideration to switching over to an iPad and a bluetooth footpedal.

    My concerns are:

    - I *love* to mark up my scores: I circle very key change, every pizz and arco note, important dynamics, any performance notes or conductor instructions. Dunno that how well the current crop of software handle lots of ad-hoc markups.

    - I tend to scan a few bars ahead as I play... not sure that will lend itself to seeing the music one page at a time.

    - not sure how smoothly the software will work at leaping around to chase repeats, codas, etc.

    - dunno if I'm coordinated enough to be stepping on footpedals along with moving my left hand and right hands too :) :)

    Would love to hear from anyone with some experience, be it good or bad, with this technology. Thanks in advance!

  2. notabene


    Sep 20, 2010
    SF Bay area
    Forscore with a midsize ipad has been a great thing for me. I have 40 pounds of books in the thing. It is easier to read than good paper on a well lit stand (for me). Navigating on it is not without issues. I might hesitate to use it on classical scores, but page turns are easier than with paper. There is a page turner for sale on my local Craig's list for only $40, and I decided it isn't necessary for me. More equipment, more complexity.
  3. I've been using an iPad pro (the screen is basically the size of a standard sheet of paper), although I don't have a page-turner yet. I import PDF orchestra parts from IMSLP and use an app called GoodNotes to mark bowings, fingerings, etc. with the Apple pencil. It's been pretty slick being able to mark notes in color, highlight key changes, etc.

    Because of its size, the iPad pro has a battery that will last for days. I recommend using a spring clamp to secure it to the stand to avoid an accidental nose-dive onto the floor. There are a number of iPad holders designed specifically for mic stands and gooseneck fittings, however.

    Here's a screenshot of a part marked up with GoodNotes (you can make your own rubber-stamp icons, like the eyeglasses.):

    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  4. martinez


    Dec 11, 2014
    Occasionally use the large iPad with the Bluetooth page turner.
    I really like being able to mark up music in color.
    With ForScore you can do 1/2 page turns to read ahead.
    Scanning sheet music is relatively easy with the built in camera.
    Low light situations are way easier to deal with.
    Repeats are super straight forward if you do a little copy/paste
    For shorter pieces with no real page turns, the iPad just seems like overkill.
    For pit orchestra stuff, or big books it's a pain to scan everything in.
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  5. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    SW VT
    ForScore is the only reason I own an iPad.

    If you already own an iPad it's quite affordable. I use an iRig BlueTurn with it. With the current version, I may start using two iPads since it will now support second page display on a second iPad running "cue" (and two normal iPads, especially if one is elderly/used, are much cheaper than one iPadPro with the bigger screen, but not nearly as much bigger as the price is bigger.)

    However, it works well enough on the one with the turner that I may not go there.
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