The digital sheet music is catching on! At rehearsal this past Tuesday, one of the bass players unpacked an iPad and a wireless page turn pedal. I think it’s a PageFlip, but I didn’t look closely enough to see for sure. I wasn’t expecting so much excitement, so I only had my phone camera to take pictures. I watched him turn a few pages, and didn’t notice any lag coming from the fact that it’s running over bluetooth rather than wired. I’ve just fought with so many bluetooth pairing issues with other devices that I’m not sure I’m ready to trust it, but I feel bad about the wire that hangs down from my set up now.
He was using ForScore for the music, which was neat to see, as I use UnrealBook on the iPad. Annotation in ForScore is quite impressive. You can draw by hand (or capacitive pen, like you see on the stand), or insert stamps from a variety of pre-set symbols. He had done the fingerings and accidental reminders all from stamps rather than handwriting them in.
It still seems more cumbersome and less natural than just writing things in during rehearsal, but all of the stamped stuff was inserted during his practice time at home and was all ready to go by rehearsal. While my preference would still be an active digitizer for really accurate handwritten annotation, I can see how the stamps are a great solution for a device that doesn’t have an active digitizer available. They come out clear and easy to read and live in a dedicated space above the staff.
The violist who shared a stand with me while I tested the LE1600 (12” 4:3 screen) was also checking out the set up and she commented on how small it was. He jokingly said “it’s only a bass part” and then pointed out that with the brightness up high enough, the display was clear enough to be readable.
This reminds me that I need to prepare for the concert tomorrow. I read off paper *gasp* for the first time in a while at the dress rehearsal, as I didn’t get time to prepare the digital score ahead of time. I have the PDF, and I did send it to a Journal note, but there were too many extra blank pages, and I just didn’t have the time to clean it up before leaving for the rehearsal. (Yes this means I only skimmed the music ahead of time as a PDF and didn’t really practice it before the rehearsal. This set is mostly pieces we’ve played before. There were only a few new pieces and they were quite sight-readable.) I managed to make all my page turns, but it wasn’t nearly as nice as tapping a footpedal. Also, my spot on the stage is dim and I’d rather work with light-up music than deal with a stand light.