So long sheet music, hello iPad.

The writing has been on the wall for years, but the iPad is definitely speeding up the obsolescence of printed music.  After 61 years of selling printed music, our retail store front is in the process of having a fire sale on our remaining sheet music and books because of this quickly developing trend — and the trend is here to stay.   Why?  The notion that all of your printed music can be neatly organized on an iPad or similar tablet is a dream come true for musicians in more ways than one can initially imagine:

  • No need to create room in your home to store all your music
  • Your entire library can be taken with you anywhere and accessed instantly
  • Your current music can be scanned into the iPad
  • No need to worry about books closing on you while you’re performing
  • Your markings and notations can be temporary
  • No need for a music light since the iPad is backlit
  • You can purchase whatever music you would like right on your iPad and have it instantly
  • You can accurately turn pages with the swipe of your finger (or with a bluetooth pedal)
  • Interactive sheet music / MIDI is coming from PianoDisc for your player piano
  • All sorts of  apps are being developed to cater to every musical need.
  • No more need for rare scores to be “out of print”
  • MIDI sheet music will allow you to hear the selection you purchased and even offer accompaniment

This trend is also going to likely have an effect on the way music racks are designed on pianos as well.  Many popular professional upright pianos already have a problem holding up books, let alone the sheet music created from printing purchased music on a home computer printer.  Securely holding up an iPad isn’t even on piano manufacturers’ radars yet but it better be soon!  It wouldn’t surprise us if we start seeing a USB charging station embedded into the music racks of pianos with a power cord coming out the back of the piano!

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4 responses to “So long sheet music, hello iPad.

  1. Hi there,
    Thanks for your very interesting article. I do agree and think we are heading in a digital direction for sure. There are some issues that still need to be ironed out though. What’s your thoughts on batteries dying out while on a gig? What would you do if a hard drive crashed in a middle of a performance as well or a program randomly froze?

    • As an owner of both an iPad and an iPhone, I’ve never found the battery meter to be inaccurate so the battery question should be a non-issue. Of course you could always play it safe and use the power cord. As for freezing, that’ll all be up to the app. Scrolling through a pdf file should tax the processor much nor does it involve 3G/4G/WiFi usage, so there’s only a very small chance of the device freezing. I can’t speak about other devices, but the Apple products should be VERY stable — no more of a risk than say, a breeze blowing the music off your stand! 🙂

  2. I am trying to locate an old friend who worked in your Downers Grove store called David Little. Is he still employed at Pianoland?

    • Hello! It has been over ten years since Dave worked with us. We don’t know where he is but if you find him, tell him we said hello! 🙂

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