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Sheet Music in the Digital Age

How many times have you heard a new song or composition and wished that you could get your hands on the sheet music for it…immediately? How many times have you languished about the fact that when you are playing page turns and stuck pages were distracting? And how often in the middle of a spark of inspiration have you wished the music store was close or even open so you could rush out and buy the latest and best arrangement, only to be held back by the fact that it was 2:00am and the chances of finding an all-night music store were pretty slim?

Sheet music has definitely entered the digital age! With all sorts of computer and software applications you can now satisfy your wildest dreams and wishes for anything sheet music any time of the day.

Three big advances in technology have taken sheet music digital. The first, in the early 1990’s, was an optical scanner that could read scanned sheet music. Called “virtual sheet music” this set in motion a huge change in the way sheet music could be disseminated to anyone with a computer and internet connection.

The next big advancement came in the way of “digital sheet music”. Offerings of copyrighted sheet music online could now be bought and digitally downloaded. The major advancement was not in the fact that sheet music now had a virtual, online storefront, but that the sheet music could be digitally downloaded and altered much more easily for things like transpositions, instrument changes and MIDI playback.

But digital sheet music did not offer true performance capabilities for symphonies and the like, the last holdout for paper sheet music, until Harry Connick, Jr. came up with a way for music to be coordinated and shown electronically to members in an orchestra. In 1999 he became the first to use a series of screens to display the musicians’ sheet music.

Has the digital age ruined the prominence of sheet music? No more than the printing press ruined classical story telling or the e-Reader has ruined the printed book and bookstores. But in the process of going digital sheet music has become more accessible to many and easier for composers to display their creativity.

... And Learn about Sheet Music Types of Sheet Music Types (Continued)
  History of Sheet Music
  Public Domain Sheet Music
  Copyright Protected Sheet Music
  Sheet Music in the Digital Age
  Full Score
  Miniature Score
  Study Score
  Piano Score
  Vocal Score
  Short Score
  Lead Sheet
  Chord Chart