Exhibit A in the case for me ditching paper scores

Posted: September 19, 2012 in annotation, iPad, rehearsal, sheet music, studying, tablet

This message arrived in my inbox a couple of weeks ago regarding loaner scores from our organization’s music library. Despite my recent frustrations with annotating digital scores, it reminded me of why I am so done with paper scores. Well, mostly. (No slight is intended to our music librarians – I am appreciative of their hard work and stewardship.)

And now regarding music marking, some do’s and don’ts reminders.

– Use pencil only.
– No high-lighter.
– It is OK to hole punch […] library copies, providing all notes can still be read.
– You may remove staples, but please re-staple copies in page order before return.
– Mark music corrections, even those for other voice parts.
– Feel free to make whatever notes you need to perform the music as [the conductor] would like to interpret it, but please erase those special, personalized notes, such as “[singer’s name], look at [conductor’s name] here!” before returning music, along with grocery lists, call times, pages you need to practice, phone numbers, etc.
– Use paper clips, post it’s, tabs, NOT folded corners, as needed, but remove them before returning music as they leave sticky residue or rust during storage.

Bullet point #5 and the first part of #6 are interesting to ponder in an ensemble setting where some members are on paper and some are not. The model for preserving and recirculating that kind of information is different in the two cases because currently there’s no digital equivalent of “returning” the scores for reuse in their edited form.

On the whole, though, instead of restrictions, I’d rather have rainbows, as the Going Digital for Musicians blog so poetically puts it.  Color annotation is such an incredibly useful tool, as their screenshot shows.

Credit: Going Digital for Musicians

Here is what my score looks like now. I’m sure it breaks all the music library rules.

Oh wait, not quite…

There. That’s better.

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  1. “Watch the conductor, Stupid” made me laugh out loud! 🙂

  2. airturn says:

    Love it! May I quote this policy list in my upcoming book on digital sheet music?

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