Saturday, May 11, 2013

forScore for Dulcimer Music, GigBook for other music

Columbus Dulcimer Club uses forScore for the music. I bought an I-pad first generation just to use for music. It works great!

Dulcimer music is individually scanned and saved to pdf. I have been doing it that way for years on publicdomaindulcimer at yahoo groups. The only thing I found is I didn't want to be turning pages if at all possible. We usually play through tunes 3-5 times and turning pages multiple times would be necessary. One page is easier. So the lyrics are really small now on the songs that I have condensed down. But usually if I sing, I don't strum, too. With a group of 20-25 dulcimer players, my strumming isn't missed.

Dulcimer music has many tunings. Most is in DAA or DAD. I have saved the music with the tuning as part of the name. And if it is 1-page or 2 pages if I have multiple copies. I will also add "capo" to the name if it uses a capo.

What the dulcimer music doesn't need is "composers". So I use the composer field for tunings. And there can be multiple composers so I also have CDC for Columbus Dulcimer Club and DAAC for the the Clintonville Beginning Dulcimer Club. The reasons why I do this are:

  • When you look at the music in "All Scores" view, the composer is listed in gray right above the song title. So I can easily see if I have every song labeled.
  • And I can search on "unknown composer" to bring up any songs I haven't labeled.
  • I can pull up just the DAA songs, just the DAD songs, just the Columbus Dulcimer Club songs...
Most of the tunes are public domain and the composer would be "traditional". If there is a composer, I try to have the name on the actual music. I have never wanted to pull out certain music by composer's name.

I also play other instruments. Rather than try to have all the music in forScore, I am using other apps for those. I would like to have forScore running 3x. Maybe it is possible, but I don't have the time or ambition to figure it out. So I have tried out "GigBook" which I like, too.

Having tried GigBook now, I prefer forScore for dulcimer music. I can have multiple composers in forScore. GigBook only allows one composer. But I really like GigBook for my other music.

GigBook has "Collections". Scanning non-stop is easier than scanning individual songs. I have four-inch books of music that I printed on 8-1/2"x11" paper. Music I have collected for years. I scanned my most popular "book". I then went through and "Super Book Marked" each song. (Took a few hours to do it all...) I can go through the music in the original "book" and it is really easy to jump page to page. Each song is also listed individually in the All Scores". Love it!

I can then make "Binders" of music. So I have a binder of "autoharp and sing music", "children's music", "guitar and sing music", "hammer dulcimer and sing", "hymns for Sunday"....

I tried using composers as composers but decided against it. Instead of composers I put the instrument I usually use to accompany the song. So I have autoharp, guitar, hammer, jawharp, no instrumental, saw, and stumpfiddle as composers. If I play the song only on guitar, I put guitar. If I do both autoharp and guitar, I put autoharp. GigBook only allows one composer for a song. So I can't use the program the same way I used forScore.

Both programs have more things that can be done with them. Don't know if I will ever use some of them.

I haven't used either program extensively, but right now, I'm very happy with both.

Now, to look for one more app. I would like two more. One for piano music. One for fiddle music....

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