One Organist’s DIY Page Turning Solution – Gavin Bateman

About Gavin

Back in September 2018 Gavin contacted us about wanting a suitable page turner pedal for use at the organ. Unfortunately, there was really nothing available off-the-shelf. He was willing to do a bit of soldering and carpentry so I suggested the AirTurn BT200 was a suitable “donor” pedal for his project. Gavin has been busy and this post, written by him, explains the project. Gavin started working life as a BBC Sound Engineer then after 20yrs changed tack to be a music teacher. Now retired early. He has played the organ since he was 11 and got his ABRSM performance diploma in 2013.

This is his story…

Background

I was introduced to the delights and of Power Music Professional last year during a masterclass with my organ teacher – Kevin Bowyer.

I could immediately see that for me as an organist who plays in a variety of churches such a system would solve many problems.

Page Turning

No more having to worry about turning paper pages. No more having to photocopy page turns, sellotaping four or five sides of A4 together and hoping the console music stand would be wide enough. No need to worry about whether someone would open a door yards away in a draughty church and a gust of wind would blow your score back several pages, and (most disastrous of all!) no worrying about reaching up to do a quick critical page turn during a performance only to overdo it slightly and have the whole lot fall forward onto the keys, into your lap and down onto the pedals. Not to mention worrying about a page turner who’d promised to be there but didn’t show up.

Paper Free

No more piles of heavy hymnbooks or armfuls of music. I play in at least 8 different churches and each one has its own hymn book. With this system I could scan and download all the hymn books and have them available on one screen rather than wrestling with heavy books.

Lighting

As the display was a screen and backlit there would be no issues with regard to the music stand lighting on the console. I’ve often found such lighting is poor and sometimes there actually isn’t a specific light for the music – you have to rely on the ambient lighting in the church which is never satisfactory.

I bought the programme and installed it on my newly-purchased touch-screen laptop.

However…..

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Talking about Tablets (the new MusicOne 13)

Here at Power Music Software (and previously as Cambron Software) we have been selling MusicOne digital music stands since December 2011 – almost 8 years! All of these music stands have run Power Music – initially Power Music 4 then Power Music Professional.

The basic features of a digital music stand are:

  • Touch screen display
  • Solid state hard drive
  • Fanless or silent
  • Adjustable floor stand
  • Foot pedal page turning
  • Power Music Professional

Our current range of MusicOnes have screen sizes from 10″ to 27″. This week we have launched a new 13.3″ MusicOne which I am very impressed with. This blog goes into some detail about the new MusicOne 13 – if you don’t want to read the details have a look at this short video – sorry about the quality! It’s down to the very bright screen on this tablet – more about that later.

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Microsoft Windows – Update 1903 (May 2019 Update)

It’s happening again!

Another Feature update to Window 10.

Version 1903 coming to your PC now*

Over the  life of Windows 10 we have seen these versions:

  • The original 1507 (July 2015)
  • 1511 (November 2015) – “November Update”
  • 1607 (August 2016)  – “Anniversary Update”
  • 1703 (April 2017) – “Creators Update”
  • 1709 (September 2017) – “Fall Creators Update”
  • 1803 (March 2018) –  “Spring Creators Update”
  • 1809 (November 2018) – “Redstone 5”
  • 1903 (May 2019) – “May 2019 Update”

* So, you may ask, “Why have I not seen the latest update (1903) if it was due May 2019”. Well it is a “phased” rollout. It is being offered to users over the next 2 months. Although you can go to the Microsoft Support website and do the update anytime (see below).

BLOG UPDATE 17th June 2019 – Installing 1903 – some Hints and Tips

This update 1903 has been a lot smoother than the 1803 update which I wrote about in a previous Blog post.

However there are some important issues you need to address before accepting this update.

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A Review of Page Turners – Not the Human Variety – Updated Feb 2019

page-turnerThe art of being an efficient (human) page turner is a highly sought after skill for performing musicians, particularly those whose hands are occupied on a keyboard or keyboards. But not all musicians have a page turner.

I remember well the time a few years ago I attended a Christmas concert in the Kelvingrove Art Galleries in Glasgow, where Kevin Bowyer was manfully struggling with a large book of music on the piano, as he accompanied the choir singing carols. Watching the pages of the book slowly flipping over, as if in slow motion and then Kevin’s antics at getting back to the page he was wanting to play was most amusing. I have to say that today Kevin is now a total convert to electronic music display and no longer has this nightmare.

So if you are thinking of moving to electronic music display or are already a user, I thought a short review of the current crop of (non-human) page turners might be helpful.  I am only reviewing ones I have personal experience of and the opinions expressed in this blog are mine. These pedals all work really well with Power Music. If you have other experiences with page turners please feel free to post a comment on this post.

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Music Designed for iPads and Tablets

Special arrangements of music for single page display.

We pride ourselves in the quality of chord sheets and sheet music scores we offer in the Power Music Store. But we realise that with many worship musicians now using iPads or Windows tablets, it is normal to display one page of music on the screen. This can be a big issue with music engraved for printed books, and this is where most music PDF files come from. Here’s a classic example…

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3 Ways to “Going Digital”

Many musicians are put off  “Going Digital” because they don’t know how they will get their music into a digital display system – ie a tablet or laptop. This article describes three ways to get your music into Power Music and start taking advantage of using electronic music display.

In the blog post, we will take a look at:

  • PDF files
  • Scanning paper music
  • Power Music virtual songbooks

As always we welcome your comments and feedback on articles.

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Music Scanning – How to get the best results.

Article Updated February 2018

Recently Cambron launched a new USB portable document scanner called the MusicOne scanner. This short article (based on a previous blog post) gives users of this and similar scanners some hints and tips on getting the best results in Power Music.

Camera technology has come on leaps and bounds over the last few years and the results you can achieve from this scanner are quite amazing. The MusicOne scanner can be used with the built-in software in Power Music Professional or simply as a stand-alone scanner using either the free software that comes with the scanner or the supplied TWAIN driver along with your favourite image editing software. I will cover all this in the blog.

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Importing Your Music – ChordPro and MusicPad Files

Pianist? Organist? Guitarist? Band Leader? Worship Musician?

Where do you get your digital music?

With Power Music your options are:
– Import PDF files – music scores or chord sheets
– Scan your paper music
– Type or copy and paste chord sheets
– Download songbooks from Power Music Store
– Import from ChordPro or MusicPad files

In this post I want to have a look at two particular sources of digital music:
– ChordPro files including OnSong files
– MusicPad .fh (FreeHand) files

UPDATE: Power Music App for iPad now imports ChordPro (OnSong) files.

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Windows 10 “Creators Update”

Microsoft are at it again! Another major update to Window 10.

UPDATE 5/1/2018: I have added a new section on the “Fall Creators Update” 1709 – scroll to the end to read.

Over the (short) life of Windows 10 we have seen these versions:

  • The original 1507 (July 2015)
  • 1511 (November 2015) AKA “November Update”
  • 1607 (August 2016) AKA “Anniversary Update”
  • 1703 (April 2017) AKA “Creators Update”

And of course there has been a myriad of other minor updates and hotfixes in between.

I would be the first to advise anyone to keep their Windows PC up-to date, so here are my observations on the latest “Creators Update”.

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Custom Built Bluetooth Pedals

It is fascinating the snippets of information you pick up when dealing with a support request for Power Music. One such example was when David Castator contacted us about deactivating some old Power Music installations. This led on to a discussion about other music display software where he casually mentioned that he build his own Bluetooth page turner pedals – interesting I thought!

He then said that he had built a pedal that can control several tablets or PCs from one pedal – VERY interesting!

After further communication with David I asked him to write an article about the pedals he has built. So here it is, in David’s own words.

Any active musician that utilizes a Laptop, tablet, All-in-One and a digital (music) software package understands the need for a foot pedal to turn pages forward and backwards. I have used many of the wired and wireless models on the market. All of which turn sheet music pages forward or backwards on the computer to which they are attached.

My needs began to grow, ie. playing background music, turning to the last song of a play list or to the first song of a playlist etc., etc. As those needs began to increase, the foot pedals on the market did not. You needed to live with page forward or page backward – you could throw a switch manually on the pedal and maybe get it to do one or two mor Read more...