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Topic Options
#1534603 - 10/13/10 12:18 PM Books vs Ipad vs Kindle for sheet music
OhioBuckeye Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/02/10
Posts: 25
Just curious on users thoughts for these options. I think books would be easiest to read but it would be nice to have the collection permanently available.

Any thoughts from those that have used both

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#1534641 - 10/13/10 01:03 PM Re: Books vs Ipad vs Kindle for sheet music [Re: OhioBuckeye]
JimF Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 2070
Loc: south florida
I have been a Kindle user since it first came out, and I'm actually on my third Kindle. My wife broke the first one when it fell from an airplane overhead. After I took up the piano the Kindle Dx (think jumbo kindle) came out and I decided to get one so I could download music pdf's to it. While this works out ok for looking at a score away from the piano, particularly when traveling, I've not really found it useful as a substitute for printed music at the piano. Kindles are great as dedicated readers, but I don't think the format works that well as an electronic music stand. YMMV

Consolation no.3 - F.Liszt
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#1534681 - 10/13/10 01:50 PM Re: Books vs Ipad vs Kindle for sheet music [Re: OhioBuckeye]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7203
Loc: So. California
I'm not much of a sight reader but I do read PDF-formatted music on my Ipad a lot (more so than my kindle because of contrast).

But for those complaining about the Ipad's screen size or about the technology not being there, I have an idea. Get TWO. Side by side. smile

Changing page is just a finger flick.
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#1534725 - 10/13/10 03:01 PM Re: Books vs Ipad vs Kindle for sheet music [Re: OhioBuckeye]
I'll be Bach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/09
Posts: 122
Loc: North Carolina
I like to write on my sheet music too much. My Ipad would look like an etch a sketch.

#1534741 - 10/13/10 03:20 PM Re: Books vs Ipad vs Kindle for sheet music [Re: OhioBuckeye]
BB Player Offline

Registered: 11/17/06
Posts: 2788
Loc: Not in Texas
I usually scan pieces that I'm learning and display them on a 22" monitor that I have sitting on my Kawai MP8. I can display 2 pages at a time at a very readable size.

I do miss the ability to mark them up on the fly but I'll usually print a copy and rescan it if I need to mark it up. This has the advantage that I can save multiple versions and go back to a "clean" version when I've mastered the piece.

#1534759 - 10/13/10 04:05 PM Re: Books vs Ipad vs Kindle for sheet music [Re: OhioBuckeye]
JeanieA Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 526
Loc: Reno, Nevada
I have an iPad and the PianoScores app; 20,000+ pages of scanned music.

I don't use the iPad at the piano, though, what I do is 'read' the music and hunt for new pieces to play while I'm away from my piano. The app then allows you to email a piece to yourself to print on another computer. (The iPad update due in November will enable wireless printing directly from the iPad. Can't wait!)

I guess I still just like paper.
Collector of sheet music I can't play.

#1534791 - 10/13/10 05:01 PM Re: Books vs Ipad vs Kindle for sheet music [Re: OhioBuckeye]
Tubbie0075 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 691
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I have an IPad and several apps for sheet music, but I still prefer the traditional printed music with my teacher's notes. Somehow it feels 'warmer' reading from a book than a screen.
I suck and it's ok. I'm playing music and that's all that matters.
(update: I got an A in grade 8 AMEB on 27/10/2015. From this day on, I no longer suck... if I keep on practising)

#1534957 - 10/13/10 10:17 PM Re: Books vs Ipad vs Kindle for sheet music [Re: Tubbie0075]
Steve Nixon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/10
Posts: 216
Loc: Chicago
I love using technology for learning but as of right now I think reading off actual paper music is the best method.

1. You have to be able to write on your score. Fingerings, dynamics, notes to yourself, transition markings etc.

2. Batteries do die and electronic items do fail from time to time. We can't always predict when. I make my living playing I can't have my Ipad score just not work for me on a gig. That would be horrible!
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#1535215 - 10/14/10 09:06 AM Re: Books vs Ipad vs Kindle for sheet music [Re: OhioBuckeye]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3553
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Count me in with the group favoring paper for actual playing! I like to have longer scores spread out so I can see more of the music at once. A one or two page view that an eReader would make possible is not nearly enough. Also, as many who posted above, I want to be able to make notes on my score during practice. Not being able to do that quickly and easily would be a major inconvenience! Plus I'm sure I would forget half the time what I wanted to write!

But I sure wish I had an iPad for times when I'm away from the piano and want to read a score or follow along with the score while listening. I've taken to doing that while riding the bus, but I can only really take one or two scores with me, and if someone sits next to me, I can't spread my arms out etc. If I had an iPad I would for sure make PDFs of my scores and take them with me. As it is, I currently only read digital books on my iPhone, and that is WAY too small for looking at a music score in any meaningful way!!

Edited by ShiroKuro (10/14/10 09:11 AM)
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:

#1535259 - 10/14/10 09:56 AM Re: Books vs Ipad vs Kindle for sheet music [Re: OhioBuckeye]
mikepo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/16/08
Posts: 3
Loc: Minnesota
I use my iPad all the time for practicing, using the app GoodReader. It displays a page at a time (or partial pages if you need a closer look), enables transferring easily from my Mac with WiFi or USB connection. Batteries last around 10 hours, so that's rarely a problem. My only problem is that page turning (by tapping or swiping) is not reliable when you're trying to do it in a hurry. I have a USB foot pedal that worked on a PC, but not on the iPad. And even that was somewhat difficult (a third foot would have helped).


Edited by mikepo (10/14/10 09:56 AM)

#1535267 - 10/14/10 10:04 AM Re: Books vs Ipad vs Kindle for sheet music [Re: OhioBuckeye]
Gary001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/08
Posts: 201
Loc: UK
I've got an e-ink reader which is great for normal books but too small imo for sheet music plus no way to hook up external foot pedals to change pages.

iPad I've yet to try for sheet music, but it looks like it could be doable if you already know the piece and just need a refresher. There's also the option of displaying half pages which should be very readable.

Assuming the size is fine and once Hugh Sung releases the bluetooth version of air turn I might look into the ipad further. Only doubt then will be how well (if at all) note taking works in music reader as opposed to using a tablet on my pc. Anyone tried annotations on the ipad version of musicreader?

Sticking with my LCD monitor for sheet music display for now though smile

Edited by Gary001 (10/14/10 10:05 AM)

#1535295 - 10/14/10 10:59 AM Re: Books vs Ipad vs Kindle for sheet music [Re: OhioBuckeye]
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
I think Santa is bringing me an iPad for Christmas! I have the iTouch and love it, although it is way to small to effectively read scores along with music. I do that often and look forward to having tons of PDFs to enjoy this way.

I think I'll use it for my 'play' pieces. I walk alot and carrying all those scores gets heavy and my piano space is scattered with books... (I sort of like it that way). I'll continue to have my lesson pieces on paper though. My teacher is always writing on my music......
It's the journey not the destination..

#1535398 - 10/14/10 01:38 PM Re: Books vs Ipad vs Kindle for sheet music [Re: OhioBuckeye]
MegumiNoda Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/31/09
Posts: 213
I have both an iPad and a Kindle (DX). Neither is sufficient to replace books, but both are good supplements.

Overall, I think the Kindle is less useful -- too hard to turn the pages etc. It has two main advantages over the iPad: 1) the e-ink technology is more pleasing on the eyes; 2) because it doesn't have a back-light, you can take it with you to concerts and read the scores without disturbing your neighbors. It has a few more useful functions (like a simple built-in mp3 player) but those are not as well designed as in the iPad.

On iPad, my app is forScore, which I recommend highly. It lets you download your own pdf; you can annotate the document (by either typing or drawing); it has a built-in metronome, and can turn the pages automatically (basically using the metronome as a timer); and you can associate an mp3 (from your iTunes library) to each document. The page turning, though not without hiccups, is reasonably smooth.

I actually use the iPad/forScore regularly during practice, next to the books. First, I like the convenient metronome. Second, it's like having an extra copy of the score -- I can use it to help manage page turns (esp. since the iPad can turn itself, though not very precisely). Third, I can use the iPod function to play other parts for practicing ensembles. During practice, I still prefer to make annotations on my books, though sometimes I transfer the notes to the iPad later on (more legible than my scratches).

I travel a lot. Before getting the iPad, I used to try to bring the Kindle as a book substitute, but it was basically impossible. The iPad, on the other hand, while not perfect, can actually be used for practicing.

I am not an Apple person. I was pretty dubious about the value of the iPad when I got it. Overall, I have to admit, it is very well-designed and has made a (small, but noticeable) difference in my quality of life.

#1535466 - 10/14/10 04:21 PM Re: Books vs Ipad vs Kindle for sheet music [Re: OhioBuckeye]
pianoist d'amore Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 184
Loc: El Macero, CA, USA
Not only do I need paper sheet, but I also just find out minutes ago that I have this weird passion for collecting antique publications of classical music sheets on eBay. :-)

Originally Posted By: OhioBuckeye
Just curious on users thoughts for these options. I think books would be easiest to read but it would be nice to have the collection permanently available.

Any thoughts from those that have used both


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