If you want to use an iPad for sheet music, you need to choose the best sheet music reader. That way, you won’t have to struggle to turn pages or annotate your files.
Before you choose the first app you find, consider if it’s the right choice for you. And don’t be afraid to use a few different apps for various parts of your music practice routine.
Before we get into the apps, this post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
For Everyday Use
My personal favorite sheet music reader for iPad is forScore. I’ve talked about forScore a ton of times on this blog, and I have a full guide on how to use it.
From my experience, forScore offers more features and flexibility than other sheet music apps. You can import all of your sheet music from another app or scan the physical files.
Once you get the music in there, you’ll be able to annotate it just like if it was paper. And you can set the app to do half-page turns which is super helpful if you can’t turn the page at the bottom during a piece.
However, forScore does cost money. I was lucky and bought it like eight years ago when it was much cheaper. Now, I believe it’s about $15, but you only have to pay one time, and you get life-time access to the app. For all of the features you get, it’s worth it.
For Sight Reading and Free Sheet Music
If you like to do sight reading as part of your regular practice, you can get a sheet music reader that’s perfect for that. When it comes to reading music in the public domain, IMSLP is perfect.
You may have heard of their website, but they also have an app. The app is great for use on an iPad because you don’t have to transfer the sheet music into an app because the app is both a sheet music reader and has a library.
Another great sheet music reader if you want to play pop tunes is the MuseScore app. You’ve probably heard of MuseScore as a sheet music notation program, and it is one…on a desktop. But the app gives you access to a library of uploads from MuseScore users.
For Buying and Reading Sheet Music
You might also want to buy digital sheet music files. In that case, I’d recommend using the Henle Library app. Henle is an excellent publisher, especially for historically accurate editions.
The app has you purchase credits, and you can use those credits to download sheet music. Plus, you can download just the flute part or the full score or both, which is great. Then, you can read the music in Henle or export it to another app.
Another app where you can buy and read sheet music is Music Notes. The app also has a website that sells sheet music. But if you want to cut out the download and export process, you can use this app to do that.
For Score Study
Maybe you’re a conductor or want to be a conductor. Or you just want to study the full score of your favorite pieces. The Barenreiter app is perfect for that. You can pay for study scores of a lot of different works.
Then, you can go through the score and learn it on your iPad. You don’t have to spend a ton of money buying scores, and you can save space in your music library.
And like Henle, Barenreiter has an excellent reputation. You can get historically-accurate editions of your favorite pieces. And you don’t have to worry about waiting for the score to come before you can study.
Other Sheet Music Readers
There are some other sheet music readers that I know people love. I’m not as familiar with them, but you might want to try:
From what I have heard, these are similar to forScore. But they aren’t nearly as popular as forScore is. But you can compare them to choose the best iPad sheet music reader for you.
Which Sheet Music Reader Will You Use?
Selecting the right sheet music reader can make a huge difference for you. If you like the app you use, practicing will seem much easier. And you’ll be able to use the app just like you would paper sheet music.
Be sure to compare options like forScore, IMSLP, and Henle. That way, you can choose a few apps to fulfill your sheet music needs.
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