The idea of being able to have all of your sheet music with you at all times, instantly accessible and indexed is a wonderful thought for many musicians. In past years commercial products have been produced to provide us with that capability but for the most part they have remained out of reach of most individuals either for financial or logistical reasons. With the explosive growth of the iPad though musicians are getting a second shot at going totally digital with their sheet music in the form of a $5 app called forScore.
forScore is an application for the iPad that allows the user to store and catalog scanned PDF versions of all of their music. More and more online music publishing houses are making PDF downloads of their music available, in some cases at modest discounts over hard copy printed music. Instead of carrying around large folders of music for a playerâ€™s next gig they can instead either load up forScore with digitized music purchased via one of these sites or scan in their own music as PDF files for use with the app*.
Once the files are loaded onto the iPad via the iTunes interface they can be displayed on the screen and advanced through using either touch controls or a wireless bluetooth foot pedal called the AirTurn.
Music on the screen can be marked and annotated using either an on screen keyboard or a special iPad stylus. With the release of iOS 4.2 the app is now able to also print out annotated music to select wireless USB printers. Take a closer look at forScore on the iTunes Store today.
* While some people would argue that making a digital copy of a piece of music in this way is copyright infringement others would claim it as fair use if it is only being used by the owner of the original copy and not being distributed. A musician should use their own judgment and consult a copyright expert before scanning their entire library.
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