Digital music stand reviews: These are innovative music readers that can display, edit sheet music, synchronize playlists. Easily organize all your sheet music in one place. Step thru PDFs with a foot pedal, you can take personalized notes, play attached audio, and do lot more. These are light enough to sit on most music stand or you could place it on any desk. Here’s more on how a digital music stand (aka electronic music stand) can help you.
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Reasons to Use Digital Sheet Music Stand
Within the last decade, a whole new way of reading music emerged as digital sheet music stand systems. Recent innovations offer an incredible array of features that allow a musician to truly optimize his or her performance. Digital music software is sold on its own, or with a computer tablet that can be mounted onto a traditional music stand.
In addition, it can be sold in a bundle that includes a specialized electronic music stand. Paper sheet music, including hand-written manuscripts, can be scanned into the system. Sheet music can also be imported or downloaded from the internet. If you can’t find what you’re looking for among the vast selection of free downloadable sheet music, you will probably be able to purchase it online for a modest cost.
Setting Up Your Own Digital Sheet Music Stand
There are a few ways in which you can have your own Digital Sheet Music Stand:
- Purchase the music reading software and the hardware bundled in one device (for example MusicPad Pro, Same Page Music, eStand)
- Buy only the software that you can run on your own ipad, monitor or device (MusicReader).
Watch: Demo of MusicReader software for displaying sheet music on Tablet PCs or laptops. The video will give you an idea of how these work.
Digital Sheet Music Stand: Features
Digital sheet music stand systems differ in features; but all will make reading music easier for every musician. There is no longer a need for paper sheet music manuscripts! A partial list of exciting features of digital music software includes:
- import PDF sheet music
- Scan printed and handwritten paper sheet music
- Display 2 (sometimes 3) pages of music simultaneously
- Internal audible or visual metronome and tuner
- Tempo and pitch correction
- Page turning without having to take a hand off your instrument
- Scroll music manually or automatically
- Split screen viewing
- Font change option
- Zoom-in magnification
- Annotate (edit) music in multiple colors, symbols and highlights
- Text input using copy/paste
- Import and play along with a recording
- Isolate and slow down difficult passages
- Import guitar tablature
- Library to organize and store music
- Group music into scores to play in succession
- Manage a search engine for sheet music
- Easy to use interface
- Network capable systems for bands and orchestras allow conductors to synchronize musical annotations to performers instantly
- Easy to transfer files between systems
A common digital music software feature that aids visually impaired musicians is called a “split screen”, “half page view” or “half page display”. One page of digital sheet music is displayed as two separate pages of music on the monitor. The left side shows the top half of the music sheet and the right side shows the bottom. This allows you to read music significantly magnified, even more than 100% with a 19” or larger viewing screen. Other visually enhancing features to watch for are font change options and zoom features that allow you to make detailed annotations. Some systems have HD image clarity and/or automatic quality enhancements for scanned music.
Some digital music software can turn your own computer – desktop, laptop, tablet PC or Ipad – into a electronic music stand! Your self-made unit can then be attached to a specialized or traditional sheet music stand, or rest upon the music desk of a piano.
For example, MusicReader PDF 4.0, in either its Basic or Pro versions, is leading-edge software that makes music reading simple and efficient. Some of MusicReader’s many features include:
- Convenient, hands-free page turning via foot pedal, touch-screen, or timer
- Built-in tuner, metronome, and recorder/player
- Multi-option annotation making
- Split-page feature for sight-impaired musicians
- Large and versatile music library for music storage
Among other platforms, MusicReader operates on Apple iPad, all Windows XP/Vista/7 laptops and desktops. In addition, it is specifically designed for compatibility with pen and touch screens, e.g., Tablet PCs and Apple iPad, and:
- Completely PDF based
- Interface is very simple to use
- Paper sheet music can be easily scanned and digitized
- Import and convert music files and digital sheet music
- Import Freehand MusicPad Pro (FH) Format
There are also several hardware options that nicely compliment and make the software even more superior to standard sheet music reading. See below for demo:
Finally, some digital music stand systems include a fully functional, all in one computer with installed windows and software, mouse and keyboard. It can sit on your desk to be used as a personal computer. Touchscreen systems allow your finger, a mouse or a stylus to control your options. Typically, each page of music requires 50KB of available computer memory.
A combination monitor/specially designed music stand system offers some or all of these convenient features:
- Easily portable
- Lightweight monitor (some about 6 pounds)
- Monitor less than 1” thick
- Easily detachable monitor
- Monitor attachment that allows tilt and rotation from landscape to portrait view
- Finger or stylus optical multi-touch monitor
- Easy pivot
- HD display
- Smaller stand footprint than a traditional music stand
- Height adjustable, collapses from 31” and extends to around 51”
- Attached or wireless foot pedal that turns digital music pages, forward and backward
- Knobs that lock music stand in place
Premium versions of the combo monitor/ stand may include these features:
- Silent footswitches for totally silent operation
- Large monitors (i.e., 20”)
- Many more unique features to be discovered
Digital Music Stand / Reader: Demo Video
Overall, the digital sheet music stand is a modern version of the traditional music stand. It solves many problems encountered when reading paper sheet music; and it enhances your enjoyment and performance.