Last modified 2023-01-10.
Time to read: 3 minutes.
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 music stands in order to display music and lyrics. Tablets can display set lists of PDFs, and they can run sophisticated music apps. When paired with a handsfree 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 4 sheets at once. The light is provided by two Vekkia 12 LED rechargeable book lights, which give a total of four LEDs on flexible stalks. Only two of the four LEDs are turned on in the photograph. On the stand are:
- Lyrics with chords printed with the 14 point Consolas font.
- A PDF displayed in forScore on a 9th generation iPad (10.2"screen)
- A PDF displayed in MusicNotes on a Samsung Tab 8 Ultra (14.6" screen).
The PDFs were created with 14 point Consolas font also. The music displayed in PDFs unfortunately are 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.
Extensive collections of popular music can be found at
CD Sheet Music from
halleonard.comis 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 in order 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, at a more competitive price than the iPad Pro.
I prefer to read paper, 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 to have printed pages 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.