The Brussels Philharmonic is replacing sheet music with tablets – Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablets, to be precise. This is the first I’ve heard of a performing arts organization of this size embracing 100% adoption of tablet-based digital sheet music for its musicians. It will be interesting to see where this leads and how successful the initiative is.
They are using NeoScores as their music reading app. It’s not yet available to the public, but there’s a demo that works on my desktop web browser but not on my iPad (as of 11/11/12). You can also sign up for updates.
BBC has a video news segment that shows the orchestra playing from the tablets (and also has a sound bite from the timpani player about trying not to mess up the page turns): Brussels Philharmonic replaces sheet music with tablets
CNET also has an article: Orchestra swaps sheet music for the Galaxy Note 10.1
Technology in Music Education (where I first got wind of this) has some good commentary about it here: Brussels Philharmonic uses Samsung Galaxy Tablets for Performing He astutely points out that most of the above video footage and photos of the Brussels Philharmonic is from a staged photo op – not too surprising, given how prominently the Samsung marketing people are featured. I was fantasizing that the “civilians” seated on stage among the musicians were usability experts from Samsung or NeoScores studying the players’ interactions with the tablets for ways to make them smoother and easier. But I suppose they’re just Samsung execs.
Here’s another video that doesn’t show much of the tablets, but does show a lot of interesting footage about the whole process of preparing parts for an orchestra:
- New blog/e-book: Going Digital for Musicians
- How I chose between an iPad and an Android tablet as a music reader: Part 1
- BIG NEWS! MobileSheets PDF music reader for Android now supports annotation
- Partifi: Automatically create parts from PDF music scores
- Exhibit A in the case for me ditching paper scores
- Annotating digital scores in real time during rehearsal is still a challenge
- A great post on choosing hardware for your music reading needs, via Going Digital for Musicians
- A choral singer weighs in on using an Android tablet for music
- A future history of digital scores
- iPad vs. sheet music
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