One of the main advantages of a table top stand is its versatility. They can be used in many places where having conventional music stands would be impractical for reasons of either space or cost. For example, table top music stands are perfect for use in classrooms, home music studios, and even bell choirs. They aren’t even limited to practical use for sheet music as they can be used to prop up books of almost any size for more convenient reading.
Some models of table top sheet music stands, such as the Prop-It stand shown below, are also perfect for holding digital music displays such as from laptop computers or Kindle Readers. (Click here for more information about digital music software that can be used very well with table music stands.) In addition, stands like the Prop-it fold down to an extremely compact size for easy transport with laptops, or inside instrument cases, other musical equipment cases, or briefcases. Other models even have holes cut such that the stand can fold down and fit into a three-ring binder.
Another advantage of desktop music stands is their sturdiness and non-slip properties. For example, the Pro line model PL53 (above) comes with rubber pads under the tray and a rubber foot on the support bar to both keep it securely in place and to protect the surface of the table. These features are also great for when there is a need to use the stand on a surface that might not be perfectly flat, such as an amplifier that might be at an angle.
And of course, since a table top stand is basically a modified tray, in most cases they cost much less than a full-sized sheet music stand. So, if flat surfaces conducive to holding table top stands are readily available to you, then a table top stand may be the right pick for you because of its cost, versatility, compact space needed, and ease of transport.