Within the last decade, a whole new way of reading music emerged as digital sheet music stand systems. Recent innovations offer an incredible array of features that allow a musician to truly optimize his or her performance. Digital music software is sold on its own, or with a computer tablet that can be mounted onto a traditional music stand.

In addition, it can be sold in a bundle that includes a specialized digital music stand. Paper sheet music, including hand-written manuscripts, can be scanned into the system. Sheet music can also be imported or downloaded from the internet. If you can’t find what you’re looking for among the vast selection of free downloadable sheet music, you will probably be able to purchase it online for a modest cost.

Digital sheet music stand systems differ in features; but all will make reading music easier for every musician. There is no longer a need for paper sheet music manuscripts! A partial list of exciting features of digital music software includes:

  • import PDF sheet music
  • scan printed and handwritten paper sheet music
  • display 2 (sometimes 3) pages of music simultaneously
  • internal audible or visual metronome and tuner
  • tempo and pitch correction
  • page turning without having to take a hand off your instrument
  • scroll music manually or automatically
  • split screen viewing
  • font change option
  • zoom-in magnification
  • annotate (edit) music in multiple colors, symbols and highlights
  • text input using copy/paste
  • import and play along with a recording
  • isolate and slow down difficult passages
  • import guitar tablature
  • library to organize and store music
  • group music into scores to play in succession
  • manage a search engine for sheet music
  • easy to interface
  • network capable systems for bands and orchestras allow conductors to synchronize musical annotations to performers instantly
  • easy to transfer files between systems

A common digital music software feature that aids visually impaired musicians is called a “split screen”, “half page view” or “half page display”. One page of digital sheet music is displayed as two separate pages of music on the monitor. The left side shows the top half of the music sheet and the right side shows the bottom. This allows you to read music significantly magnified, even more than 100% with a 19” or larger viewing screen. Other visually enhancing features to watch for are font change options and zoom features that allow you to make detailed annotations. Some systems have HD image clarity and/or automatic quality enhancements for scanned music.

Some digital music software can turn your own computer – desktop, laptop, tablet PC or Ipad – into a digital music stand! Your self-made unit can then be attached to a specialized or traditional sheet music stand, or rest upon the music desk of a piano.

Music Reader More Info Digital Music Stand 

Music Reader More Info Digital Music Stand 

Music Reader More Info Digital Music Stand 

For example, MusicReader PDF 4.0, in either its Basic or Pro versions, is leading-edge software that makes music reading simple and efficient. Some of MusicReader’s many features include:

  • Convenient, hands-free page turning via foot pedal, touch-screen, or timer
  • Built-in tuner, metronome, and recorder/player
  • Multi-option annotation making
  • split-page feature for sight-impaired musicians
  • large and versatile music library for music storage

Among other platforms, MusicReader operates on Apple iPad, all Windows XP/Vista/7 laptops and desktops. In addition, it is specifically designed for compatibility with pen and touch screens, e.g., Tablet PCs and Apple iPad, and:

  • completely PDF based
  • interface is very simple to use
  • paper sheet music can be easily scanned and digitized
  • import and convert music files and digital sheet music
  • import Freehand MusicPad Pro (FH) Format

There are also several hardware options that nicely compliment and make the software even more superior to standard sheet music reading. See below for demo:

Finally, some digital music stand systems include a fully functional, all in one computer with installed windows and software, mouse and keyboard. It can sit on your desk to be used as a personal computer. Touchscreen systems allow your finger, a mouse or a stylus to control your options. Typically, each page of music requires 50KB of available computer memory.

A combination monitor/specially designed music stand system offers some or all of these convenient features:

  • easily portable
  • lightweight monitor (some about 6 pounds)
  • monitor less than 1” thick
  • easily detachable monitor
  • monitor attachment that allows tilt and rotation from landscape to portrait view
  • Finger or stylus optical multi-touch monitor
  • easy pivot
  • HD display
  • smaller stand footprint than a traditional music stand
  • height adjustable, collapses from 31” and extends to around 51”
  • Attached or wireless foot pedal that turns digital music pages, forward and backward
  • Knobs that lock music stand in place

Premium versions of the combo monitor/ stand may include these features:

  • fanless
  • silent footswitches for totally silent operation
  • large monitors (i.e., 20”)
  • many more unique features to be discovered

Overall, the digital sheet music stand is a modern version of the traditional music stand. It solves many problems encountered when reading paper sheet music; and it enhances your enjoyment and performance.


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