Ditch those bulging binders of music and lighten your load by digitizing your gig music library.
—by the Chicago Harp Quartet
(Scroll down for the Chicago Harp Quartet’s video with tips and tricks on how to get started using the forScore music reading program, along with a list of sources to obtain instant music PDFs.)In the harp world, getting to the gig is half the battle. Maybe even more than half the battle. Gigging is largely about schlepping—large instrument, larger car, stand, cart, amp, gig bag, and a pile of music.
The logistics of moving all of your gear into place can rival those of a small-scale military operation. So imagine the schlepping required to get a quartet of harpists to a gig. That’s what we face each time we head out to a gig—all the gear, times four—so any opportunity to shed weight in our packs is welcome. We happily ditched our heavy binders of music for sleek, lightweight iPads.
The Chicago Harp Quartet is certainly not the first chamber ensemble to go digital, but our lives are much improved since we did. Originally, we switched to iPads in an effort to better connect with audiences. We found using traditional music stands created a wall between the audience and us. Memorizing our repertoire wasn’t an option, considering how much music we prepare for any one season, so the best solution for us was to go digital.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that the reduced visual obstruction was just the beginning of all the benefits. Now we can carry our entire music library in our purse, saving money buying digital music rather than hard copies, and we can instantly retrieve a piece we need from our digital library or purchase it online.