Sheet Music on the Kindle

The Kindle DX has a nice, big screen.  For the most part, the extra large screen is used to make newspapers and magazines easier to read.  But one of the cooler applications that Amazon offers is the ability to buy sheet music.

Amazon sells sheet music from the catalog of Novato Music Press.  While reading on a Kindle 2 is made a little difficult by the smaller screen, the Kindle DX does a great job of displaying full pages of music.  Plus, sheet music on the Kindle store is cheap: individual pieces can be as little as about $1.50.  The only real downside is the hassle of refreshing the Kindle whenever you need to turn the page, but this isn’t that different than regular sheet music.

Are there any musicians who read this blog?  Have you tried reading sheet music off of the Kindle?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.

7 thoughts on “Sheet Music on the Kindle

  1. One of the first things I tried doing on my Kindle DX was loading sheet music onto it. It works great. Even orchestral scores are quite readable. The one downside, as you mention, is the slow page-turn time. I would never try to perform from this, but it’s not bad for studying.

    By the way, I don’t know about the Kindle 2, but if you have a DX, don’t let Amazon rip you off with its “cheap” prices. Almost all the sheet music it sells is out of copyright, and you can find free PDFs all over the place; try IMSLP, for example.

  2. So it needs a microphone you can plug in, that can listen to what you are playing and turn the page for you when it hears you play the last note on the page.

  3. I don’t think it will be popular as a sheet music display. Most pieces are 2 pages wide.

    It is difficult enough to turn the page with a 2 page format while playing piano – but to go from a 2 page to a 1 page format is probably more than we can ask for. I’d opt for just purchasing a piece and printing it out before using a kindle.

  4. It’ll work fine for lots of stuff. Classical piano eats a lot of page turns, but not everything is like that.

  5. …but if you think in terms of charts that a jazz or contemporary musician might carry around, many of them are one pagers.
    I personally perform vocals and piano with a hodge podge of pages from the real book, guitar charts, or often simply lyrics when I’ve written the song or learned something by ear. It would be nice to have my music ‘on me’ all the time or also to be able to find songs quickly.

  6. Looking forward to trying this – it should be great!

    Note: for a good pianist, the refresh time is a non-issue. The page-turn doesn’t even happen at the end of the page! It happens somewhere in the last measure or two, wherever there’s enough of a break in the music for one hand or the other to reach up and make the page turn. You remember the last measure to finish playing after the turn. Sometimes, if there’s no good break, you memorize the first measure or two on the NEXT page ahead of time just so that you can play through cleanly.

    What matters is how much time it PHYSICALLY takes to make the turn (or worse, to pick up the pages you knocked down trying to do the page turn too quickly.) On Kindles, you’re just hitting one button, so it should be far easier, and you’re typically playing a measure or two from memory, anyway, so the refresh is a non-issue.

    Looking forward to it!

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