ForScore, PiaScore, DigitalScore… here come the scores on the tablet!

Noten Apps fürs Tablet

ForScore, PiaScore, DigitalScore…
Here come the scores on the tablet!

Apps for sheet music on the iPad or tablet in comparison

Although notes on paper are still the standard, more and more musicians use tablets like the iPad on the music stand.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of music apps that are mature enough for professional use, so that you can use them at rehearsals and concerts without hesitation. In fact, there are already so many apps that it is easy to lose track.

We have tested the most important apps for you under professional conditions.

Costs and Download Link

 ForScore – 15.- CHF

CHF 10.50 per year for the Pro Version

Sheet Music Library in-App purchases (up to CHF 4)

 Piascore – free

4.- CHF for the full version

Sheet music library in app purchases (up to 25.- CHF)

 Forzando – 5.- CHF

 Newzik– Free (you can only import 15 files into the library)

18 CHF Newzik Premium

 IMSLP – Free

IMSLP subscription 3 CHF per month

 DigitalScore – Free (previously iClassicalScores)

Pro Version from CHF 1 per month, CHF 5 per year, or CHF 15 once

 All Sheet Music – Free

Add Free 3.- CHF

 Score Wizard – 1.- CHF

iPad, Android Tablet and Kindle?

iPad only

iPad only, but an Android APP should come soon.

iPad only

iPad only

 iPad, Android and Kindle

iPad only

iPad only

iPad only

What do we find good?

  • Scores import from various cloud services, directly from other apps, via local IP, or direct scan thanks to “darkroom” function
  • Blank music paper
  • Metadata like genres, keywords, labels, ratings, level, duration, key that helps to organize your library
  • Different bookmarks (from page X to page Y in one work), playlists and libraries
  • Notes with different colors and pens, plus different stamps. The notes can be arranged in different layers, which makes it possible, for example, to display the appropriate layer for each conductor
  • Sepia instead of white as note background
  • Share with notes or without (as PDF) or as 4SC file
  • Sharing of lists
  • Integrated keyboard, audio player, recording device, tuner, tuning tone and metronome
  • Performance mode with half page flipping, sync flipping
  • Compatible with AirTurn pedal

  • Music import from various cloud services, directly from other apps, direct download (integrated IMSLP library) or direct scan thanks to camera recording function
  • Blank music paper
  • Bookmarks, keywords and tags
  • Notes with different colors and pens, plus different stamps
  • Share with notes or without (as PDF)
  • Integrated keyboard, audio player, video player, recording device, tuner, tuning tone and metronome
  • Performance mode with half page flipping, sync flipping.
  • Compatible with AirTurn pedal, it is also possible to use the iPhone or configure “face” gestures

  • Very simple
  • Integrated MP3 (audio is connected to the appropriate PDF) and keyboard
  • Notes in different colors and pens, you can arrange them in different layers

  • Music import from various cloud services or directly from other apps
  • Create a Newzik account and benefit from Newzik Cloud Services (access your library from anywhere)
  • PDF, TXT or MusicXML files
  • If you use a MusicXML file, you can implement many changes immediately
  • Jump function (replaces note copy-paste)
  • metadata: Name and composer to keep your library in order
  • Different versions of the same notes (duplicate parts), bookmarks and set lists
  • Create projects with different project members (Newzik account and Premium required), the pieces or comments are seen by all project members
  • Notes with different colors and pens, plus different stamps. The notes can be arranged in different layers, which makes it possible, for example, to display the appropriate note layer depending on the conductor.
  • Sepia instead of white as note background
  • Share with notes or without (as PDF)
  • Share set lists (as PDF or via link)
  • Integrated audio, video player, YouTube and metronome
  • Performance mode with half page scrolling, slow scrolling and sync scrolling (Newzik account required)
  • Compatible with AirTurn pedal

  • Scores import from various cloud services, directly from other apps, or direct scan thanks to “darkroom” function.
  • Complete integration of the IMSLP library
  • Different bookmarks (from page X to page Y in a work) and concert programs to organize your sheet music
  • Jump function (replaces note copy-paste)
  • Notes with different colors and pens, plus different stamps. Notes from other users can be displayed
  • Share with notes or without (as PDF) or as .imslp file
  • Tuner, tuning pitch and metronome
  • Integrated audio player or with subscription full access to commercial audio recordings
  • Performance mode with half page turning.

  • Music import from various cloud services, directly from other apps, via local IP or direct scan thanks to digitilize function
  • IMSLP Integration
  • Metadata like ratings, level, duration, key, style, tags help you organize your library
  • Exercise function with different tasks, goals and time registration (exercise dashboard partly only in the Pro version)
  • Play along music for download (Pro version)
  • Various bookmarks and set lists
  • Sepia instead of white as score background
  • Share as PDF or editable as score file with all annotations
  • Half page turning
  • Remote control with remoteScore APP possible

  • Music import from various cloud services, directly from other apps, direct scan thanks to camera function or from photo library
  • Import and export PDF, IMG, TXT and MIDI
  • Metadata like Song, Artist, Setlist which helps to organize your library
  • Various bookmarks and setlist
  • Notes with different colors and pens, plus different stamps
  • Integrated metronome, guitar chord table and YouTube search and play
  • Compatible with Bluetooth pedal

  • Music import from various cloud services or from photos (automatically converted to PDF)
  • Notes with different colors and pens, plus different stamps
  • Integrated metronome
  • Automatic trimming and rotation of your score
  • Automatic page change (App-Training must be done) or Bluetooth pedal

What do we find not good?

  • PDF only
  • No possibility to cut and glue scores
  • No IMSLP integration

  • PDF only
  • No possibility to cut and glue scores
  • “Face”-gestures not yet mature

  • PDF only
  • No possibility to cut and glue scores
  • Add notes ONLY via iTunes or with the Forzando Companion computer program

  • The free version is for testing only, as no musician can work with only 15 files in his digital library
  • Integrated tuner and recording device are missing
  • Camera function to add notes via photo is missing (there are many apps that are just for this purpose)
  • IMSLP integration was removed

  • No sepia background possibility
  • No Bluetooth foot pedal possible
  • No Sync Scrolling

  • PDF only
  • No possibility to cut and glue scores
  • Notes, stamps only in the Pro version
  • Integrated metronome, tuner, recorder, music player, keyboard only in the Pro version
  • Bluetooth foot pedal only possible with the Pro version
  • Arrange, move, adjust pages etc. only in the Pro version

  • No integrated tuner, tuning tone or recording device.
  • No sepia background, half page flipping, sync flipping, performance mode
  • No IMSLP integration
  • No possibility to cut and glue scores
  • No possibility to share notes directly from the app

  • Poor library management
  • No metadata, tags, bookmarks, playlists
  • No integrated tuner, tuning tone, recording device, music player or keyboard
  • No possibility to cut and glue scores.
  • No sepia background, half page flipping, sync flipping, performance mode
  • No IMSLP integration

Not in our Test

 Blackbinder – Free

Premium 10 CHF per month, 52 CHF per half year, 104 CHF per year (access to Blackbinder library)

We didn’t consider it in our comparison, on the one hand because of the high price, on the other hand because you can’t upload your own PDFs into the library but only MusicXML files.

Blackbinder is only for iPad.

 VSheetMusic– Free

Membership $37.75 per year. We have not included it in our comparison, since without membership you have free access to very few sheet music. Unfortunately, importing your own PDFs does not work and the APP crashes. We think it’s good that there are MP3 accompaniments for many pieces.

 Nkoda – A membership is necessary

10.50 CHF per month or 105.- CHF per year, 14 days trial version

Even if you upload your own PDFs, membership is required, so we did not include it in our comparison. If you have a membership, you have access to 30 million sheet music! The app is available for iPad (iPhone and Mac) and Android devices.

 Musicnotes

The Pro version costs $9.99 per year and still you have to pay for the sheet music in Musicnotes (with a small discount for Pro members).

Many softclassic hits with an integrated player to learn the piece.

We did not include it in our comparison because – apart from the price – the pieces as well as the features are rather not meant for professional musicians.

 Henle Library

In app purchases via credits (22 credits cost 2.- CHF, 1000 credits 70.- CHF), the purchase of sheet music costs X credits.

We didn’t take it into account because only sheet music from Henle is available and you cannot upload your own sheet music.

 ScorePad– free of charge (up to 99.99 CHF per month)

Swiss product, only for iPad. Unfortunately, we have not included this Swiss app in our comparison because it is not possible to upload your own scores.

The pieces for download are in XML format, which allows for transposition. Mainly you can find very well-known pieces, unfortunately a score for example is unusable for conductors because of the display.

Our winners – Best APP for sheet music

If you want to have all your sheet music digitally in your tablet, you have many different options. We find the APP of IMSLP, ForScore and Newzik the best for professional musicians.

 IMSLP – is free of charge and therefore very good, all necessary functions are given.  An IMSLP subscription has a very fair price with 3 CHF per month and you have a huge added value (sound recordings, no waiting for downloads – also via website imslp.org) – plus you support the IMSLP project.

 ForScore– 15.- CHF  and   Newzik– 18.- CHF Newzik Premium are our winners from the paid APPs. You really have all the features you need with both with a single purchase. Especially good with ForScore is the easy and good organization of your library (sheet music and matching recordings) and the bookmarks that go from page X to page Y. Especially good with Newzik are the Newzik Cloud Services that allow you to access your library from anywhere via your Newzik account, and of course you can read and even edit MusicXML files a bit.

Best Tablet for sheet music

The clear winner in the question about the best tablet for music scores is the iPad.

Since two of our winners  ForScore and  Newzik were programmed exclusively for the iPad and only  IMSLP available for other devices, eliminated the need for extensive testing of different tablets, products and operating systems.

Specifically, we recommend the iPad to musicians who rely on digital sheet music.

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