What Screens Size for Displaying Music?

We are often asked about what “size” of screen on tablets or all-in-one PCs is best for displaying music. When talking about screens there are really 4 things to consider:

  • Size
  • Aspect Ratio
  • Resolution
  • Pixels per inch

In this short article I am going to look at each of these, particularly in relation to displaying sheet music. So to get us started here is a diagram showing the relative sizes of the screen on a number of common devices.

Size

For some historical reason screen sizes are still measured in inches – possibly because of the influence of the USA in technology and it’s use of imperial units.

I am reminded of my visits to a timber supplier where I asked for “two meters of two by inch white pine” – we really need to get our imperial and metric units sorted out!

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Updated Blog Post – Review of Page Turners

Back in December last year I wrote “A Review of Page Turners – Not the Human Variety“. Since then there have been a couple of new pedals launched and one is no longer being manufactured. This is an update to that article.

So if you are thinking of moving to electronic music display or are already a user, I thought a 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 post are mine. These pedals all work really well with Power Music and most other music display apps.  If you have other experiences with page turners please feel free to post a comment.

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“Praise in the Park” – with no paper!

Every year the churches in our town enjoy “Praise in the Park” at the end of a mission week held by the JAM (Jesus and Me) Club in East Kilbride.

Here’s how Power Music made the event so much less stressful for the worship musicians leading the praise.

The event is held in the beautiful James Hamilton Heritage Park in East Kilbride.

During the week a large marquee tent is used for the children’s activities (they need a tent because it is Scotland!) and on the Sunday we have an evening worship service.

My job was to organise the “techie” side of things – PA, words projection etc.  The PA was surprisingly easy to get setup and initially I said to Brenda, who was organising the music, “Do you just want to use paper?”. “Definitely not…” was the response.

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Synchronised Page Turning with Windows PCs

Questions about synchronised page turning in Power Music are something that pop-up from time to time on our Support Desk or in the Cambron Forum.

Of course if you are using the Power Music App or Power Music Reader on iPads then this feature is built into iOS and setting it up in Power Music is a trivial matter – see this Support Article

However, setting up synchronised page turning on Windows PCs is not a trivial matter. We don’t implement it in Power Music Professional but I decided to give myself a challenge recently when a user asked the question again. And guess what?  I succeeded! Read the rest of this blog if you are interested in how I did it – but be warned you need to be a bit “techie” and it’s not really a solution I would recommend people to use.

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Windows 10 Hints and Tips for Performing Musicians.

As more and more musicians are using digital music display for performing, it is vitally important that nothing untoward happens on-screen during performance. The last thing you want to happen is for a message to pop up on screen saying “Restarting. Installing updates in 10, 9, 8… seconds”. AARRGGHHH!!!

In this article I will be looking at ways to avoid this type of scenario when running Windows 10 and also some general hints and tips.

Microsoft have been very “helpful” in the latest versions of their operating systems by “forcing” the installation of updates, so trying to avoid the situation where users fail to install critical updates or virus definitions and as a result have major issues with their PC. Microsoft also use ways of extending battery life, in particularly on tablet PCs by blanking the screen or putting the PC to sleep after a period of inactivity, both of which are definitely not desirable when performing.

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New feature requests that are already in Power Music!

In our recent survey we asked how best to describe your usage of Power Music and what features you would like to see in future updates to Power Music. We were overwhelmed by the positive comments and by the number of situations in which Power Music is used. From church worship bands to Morris dancing bands – it is good to see it so widely used. A big thank you to all who took part.

We were also really impressed by the detailed responses from you about what features should be added to the new versions of Power Music coming out this year.

It turns out that quite a number of the requested new features are already in Power Music! So the purpose of this article is to explain where these features are and how to use them.

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Chord Sheets for Worship Songs from WeAreWorship.com

One of the most common questions we get asked on our support desk and at exhibitions is “What is a good source of worship song chord sheets?”

There are many websites out there that let you download chord sheets, but people tell us that quite often there are errors in the lyrics and the chords used are not the original ones. Also it is important that the websites pay royalties to the copyright holders of the songs you download – not all websites do!!

Recently we worked with Integrity Music Ltd, AKA WeAreWorship to create a free songbook of chord sheets that we were giving away at Mission Worship 2016. Integrity Music let you download chord sheets from their website WeAreWorship.com. All you need to do is open a free account with them. I have created a short tutorial video on importing chord sheets from WeAreWorship.

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USB Button – For page turning and many other things!

Kevin new organLast week we got an interesting request from one of our long-time Power Music users.  Kevin Bowyer is a (world famous) organist who uses Power Music on a number of organs and turns the pages by tapping the touchscreen. He recently has got an impressive new 4 manual organ installed in his house.

His problem is that his arms are too short!!

The distance to the touchscreen is 35 inches so he was looking for an alternative page turner – obviously not a foot pedal as his feet are very busy on the organ pedals!

So after a bit of research we have found a company that produces a USB button which works perfectly with Power Music and hundreds of other apps.usbbutton-34 (1)

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update

What are the implications for Power Music Users?

win10At the start of August, Microsoft began to offer users what they are calling the “Windows 10 Anniversary Update”. The name comes from the fact the Windows 10 was released on 29th July last year.

The Anniversary Update updates Windows 10 from version 1511 to 1607. This is the second major update for Windows 10 since its launch. The previous update to 1511, known as the “November Update” was like a reinstall of Windows 10 on your PC. The “Anniversary Update” is the same. It appears to basically install a new version of Windows 10 on your PC. The previous version is still available to roll-back to if you “don’t like” 1607.

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Scanning Music – Using a Doc Scanner and Hints & Tips.

This blog post deals with digitizing your library of paper music.

So you have made the decision to digitize all your music!

  • It could be because you are tired of lugging around folders/binders of paper;
  • It could be that you need to find a piece of music quickly and searching through the folders/binders is too slow;
  • It could be that at the end of each concert or gig you are faced with the task of putting all the music back in the correct place in the folders/binders;
  • It could be that you are fed up trying to keep a music books open at the right page;
  • It could be you are having to use rubber bands, bulldog clips and magnets to hold your music on the stand;
    Or
  • It could be that your eyesight is not what it used to be and reading paper music is becoming a bit of a strain.

Whatever your reason you are faced with quite a task. You need to digitize your music. Let’s say you have chosen Power Music Professional as your music management system. So how should you go about this task? Assuming you don’t have electronic copies of the music already in the form of PDF files, then you are faced with scanning the paper music.

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