iPad Sheet Music Apps

Posted by on Jul 12, 2012 in Music, Tech / Equipment | 1 comment

Since various people have asked me, here is some information about apps that I have found useful for viewing sheet music on an iPad for live/rehearsal band use – and why. This isn’t a comprehensive list and there are other features for each app that I probably haven’t mentioned – but then I probably just don’t use that feature (yet). If you know of a music viewing app that isn’t mentioned that you think it brilliant, please let me know.

forScore

This is the app I use most for displaying PDF’s of sheet music – actual sheet music with notes on.

Pros:

  • It is quick to change pages when playing live (unless you import files of many many MB)
  • has very useful ‘link’ options to set up DS al coda etc
  • has a set list option to link files together
  • has an import from Dropbox option
  • seems fairly reliable/doesn’t crash often
  • works with Airturn wireless foot pedal
  • you can link an mp3 to each song
  • has options to highlight passages and add comments to pages

Cons:

  • sheet music is just a pdf so not transposable, playable etc

Website: http://www.forscoreapp.com/


OnSong

This is the app I use most for displaying files of text e.g. just lyrics and chords. This is because it is still editable in the app.

Pros:

  • Text is still editable – you can resize lyrics and chords independently of each other
  • Chords (if you keep them as chords in [ ] – square brackets) are transposable
  • Has a set list option to link files together
  • has an import from Dropbox option
  • has an import from Internet option, from e.g. guitar tab websites
  • can share files between other band members via bluetooth (if both using OnSong)
  • seems fairly reliable
  • works with Airturn wireless foot pedal
  • I’ve not tried it yet, but OnSong has partnered with “Rockin’ With The Cross” for access to thousands of worship songs.

Cons:

  • Internet file import often gives you other peoples mistakes of chords!

Website: http://www.onsongapp.com/


Sheet Music Direct

Pros:

  • This app links directly to the website www.sheetmusicdirect.com – if you have bought music on the site previously you can now access a copy of it on the iPad.
  • You can also buy music directly from the iPad.
  • Music is displayed using Scorch for iPad (from Avid Sibelius) so it is transposable and playable.

Cons:

  • As it uses Scorch for iPad the interface is a bit slow (on iPad 1) so I can’t use this app live to display sheet music – page turns are too slow.
  • Can’t link more than 1 sheetmusicdirect account at a time – and their support team can’t link 2 accounts on their site.

Website: http://www.sheetmusicdirect.com/apps/sheetmusic-apps


Avid Scorch

App from the makers of Sibelius.

Pros:

  • Uses Avid Scorch to display music so it is transposable and playable etc
  • Can buy music online from various publishers sites, including Score Exchange
  • Can import your own Sibelius files that you’ve been working on directly from your computer
  • Can display a piano keyboard on screen to show you which notes are playing

Cons:

  • As it uses Scorch for iPad the interface is a bit slow (on iPad 1) so I can’t use this app live to display sheet music – page turns are too slow.

Website: http://www.sibelius.com/products/avid_scorch/index.html

Music notes: has some tunes you can’t find elsewhere; easy sync to their app

One Comment

  1. Magnificent site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks in your sweat!