Mike Slinn

Sheet Music

Published 2022-11-21. Last modified 2023-01-10.
Time to read: 3 minutes.

This page is part of the av_studio collection.

Sheet music, including tabulature, chord charts, and lyrics, often needs to be displayed in order for a musician to play a song properly. I use LED lights on music stands to illuminate printed pages.

I also place iPads and Android tablets on music stands to display music and lyrics. Tablets can display set lists of PDFs, and they can run sophisticated music apps. When paired with a hands-free page turner, tablets have a significant advantage over printed scores.

The above image shows a Manhasset 5101 stand with a wide desk that can display four sheets at once. The light is provided by two Vekkia 12 LED rechargeable book lights, which yield a total of four LEDs on flexible stalks. Only two of the four LEDs are turned on in the photograph. On the stand are:

The PDFs were also created using the 14-point Consolas font. The music displayed in PDFs is unfortunately slightly smaller than the paper version. It might be possible to enlarge the fonts on the Android, but I have not tried to do that yet.

The best source for free classical music is the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) at imslp.org.

Extensive collections of popular music can be found at onlinesheetmusic.com, sheetmusicdirect.com, musicnotes.com, sheetmusicscore.com, or everynote.com.

CD Sheet Music from halleonard.com is a great source of scanned classical music conveniently available on CDs.

Search the internet for "sheet music download" to get updated results.

 – From PageFlip FAQ

Working With Tablets

I find that I need to be close to the stand to read music on the iPad. An iPad Pro would display the music 20% larger than the iPad shown, at roughly double the cost. However, the Samsung S8 Ultra displays the music 46% larger than the iPad shown, which is of course better and at a more competitive price than the iPad Pro.

I prefer to read printed scores; however, paper is often problematic, and digital devices are terrific for organizing material. Ever the Boy Scout, I opt for a belt-and-suspenders approach whenever possible, which means I prefer printed scores and a tablet preloaded with the playlist available.

Note that the color temperature of the iPad and the Samsung tablets as shown is different. Both of those devices can have their color temperatures modified.

Handsfree Page Turners

It is possible to turn the page by swiping or pressing the screen, depending on the display program in use. A very popular approach is to use a Bluetooth foot pedal to turn pages. This is supported on iOS and Android.

I purchased a PageFlip Firefly. It is advertised to work with forScore, GigBook, unrealBook, OnSong, Newzik, NextPage, Teleprompt, MobileSheets and Songbook.

I found that PageFlip Firefly works well with forScore on iOS and MusicNotes on Android. The Firefly was set to Pg Up / Pg Dn mode.

PageFlip Firefly did not work properly with Capella — but that is not one of the programs that it is advertised to work with.

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