Sheet Music Apps for the tablet, a short guide
… and important questions clarified
Just as e-books replace “paper books”, digital scores are increasingly replacing printed scores. In our own time we have compiled a collection of over 100 links for free and partly even editable sheet music. Now we clarify important questions about how to use these digital sheet music.
Can I buy digital sheet music?
Yes, some publishers have been building up their digital libraries for years. One example is the publishing house Henle, known for Urtext editions, which even offers a free app. You can also find various online stores on the Internet where you can buy the latest works as PDF files.
Can I scan my sheet music ?
In Switzerland, the possibilities for private use are greater than in Germany, for example. According to Art. 19 URG, works may be used in the personal sphere, as well as in the circle of relatives and friends. A private copy may be made both by analog and digital means.
What do I need to be able to use digital sheet music?
Basically only one tablet. Then simply download a suitable app and download, scan or digitally buy the sheet music you want. You may need a Bluetooth pedal to scroll, but remember that not all apps support all pedals.
Which apps are available?
There are more and more possibilities, new apps come on the market almost daily. Here are a few ideas:
Plus points are the integration of the digital IMSLP library, the dropbox sheet music import and the scanning of paper sheet music. However, if you want to make notes in your digital sheet music, you need to upgrade to the paid version. Metronome, tuner and even recording device are integrated. Various display options are possible, as well as an orchestra mode or a double screen mode. iCScores offers an integrated exercise journal.
Numerous functions such as annotations, references, rearrangement of sheets, cropping, recording device, metronome and tuner are integrated. Supports pedal and remote control (including orchestra mode). Notes are easy to import, as many options are offered: Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, One Drive, Box, WebDAV, FTP, Bluetooth, local IP and even a “darkroom” to photograph your notes quickly and easily. In ForScore’s own store you can buy sheet music directly from the app, but the offer is still expandable. It is also possible to export the sheet music with or without your own notes. In the dashboard you can set your own goals, write reports or admire the automatically generated statistics. Extraordinary is the automatic backup function as well as the possibility to make different versions of each score.
Comparable to ForScore. The app offers slightly less import options than ForScore, but the IMSLP library is integrated. For your notes, PiaScore offers ready-made symbols.
Conclusion: iClassicalScores, ForScore and PiaScore focus on the needs of classical musicians and therefore offer exactly the necessary features. Apps with strong strengths, which are interesting for other areas, are for example Bärenreiter Study Score Reader App , Music Room Digital Sheet Music, Sheet Music Direct, Avid Scorch.
For iOS, Android and Windows:
The publisher Henle has a great app for iOS as well as for Android. So you can easily buy the Urtext editions directly from the app. A special app is Tomplay, it is about interactive sheet music: iOS and Android. MuseScore offers an app for iOS as well as for Android, and is interesting for use in the classroom as many edits are free. Several online stores also offer apps where you can directly buy sheet music (especially arrangements), e.g. Musicnotes.
MobileSheetsPro is similar to ForScore or PiaScore; it includes notes, metronome, pedal connection. Various file formats are supported including image, PDF, text and ChordPro files. The special feature of ChordPro files is the ability to transpose.
ClassicScore, Sheet Music or My Sheet Music – Sheet music viewer offer the possibility to manage your own digital library in the app, but not (yet) integrated note taking and other important features.
Important: The libraries and directories mentioned above provide access to works that may be protected by copyright. We do not assume any liability for possible copyright infringements.