Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A strong case for digital sheet music

Every accompanist has scars associated to the task of turning pages. "There are all sorts of funny stories of students called upon to turn pages for a visiting artist or faculty member that went astray" said April Alsup, one of Denver's most popular music theater composers. "It seems like everyone has their eyes focused on different places on the page and there's just not a best moment for one person to turn the page for another." Clearly, the margin of error is small, but the audience seldom notices.

An electronic Bluetooth foot pad
turning Isle of Eigg (pdf) sheet music

What the artist really wants is for the page to turn with as little distraction as possible and it appears that some instruments are better suited than others. The good news for the accordionist is that your feet aren't considered part of the instrument and are free to turn the sheet music page at just the right moment. This is particularly helpful since the instrument is between the artist and the music stand and the instrument's keyboards are not easily seen at a glance.