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Written by Ramsey Brown.
Reading sheet music is a valuable skill set for all musicians to have. At first it might seem hard to read sheet music, but it's essentially like learning another language. If you’re a beginner, don’t let reading sheet music intimidate you. We’ve found and listed some apps you can download that will have you reading music in no time. Here are the 7 best mobile apps for learning to read music on both Apple and Android devices:
forScore is perhaps the most popular sheet music app that you can use to read music. If you are looking for an app that will display your music on your Android device or iPad while keeping it organized, then you should definitely try forScore. Even though it doesn’t contain all the bells and whistles that the other sheet music apps have, this one has enough functionality to take over your music library.
forScore can be used to display different music in its written form - from c-instrument sheet music and traditional piano to various lyrics and chords. The app actually comes with its own classical music library, however, you have the ability to buy and insert additional music packs.
Even though its base price point might be high in comparison to other apps, forScore is highly rated, makes great use of the entire iPad screen, and offers a good use of annotations. These are just some of the reasons why it’s one of the best apps in the App Store for musicians. It’s worth mentioning that the forScore app also has a metronome, which makes it easier to keep a consistent tempo and control the BPM of the song.
OnSong Pro offers so many features and is the perfect helper for both professional and aspiring musicians. Although it’s one of the most expensive music readers on the market, it is definitely worth every penny. With the app, you can easily create your own sheet music library from scratch and simplify the music notation with only chords and lyrics. The best thing about OnSongPro is the editor and markup language that can help you make writing a song fairly easy.
Other cool features include the markup language which shows you how it deals with chords and the “Flow” feature that allows users to arrange each section in order without having to repeat the text. Despite the expensive base price and in-app purchases, with OnSong Pro you can annotate and modify your songs.
OnSong Pro also includes performance tools like a metronome, annotations, MIDI integrations, library management, and much more.
If you want to try an app that takes tablature to the next level, then Songsterr is the one for you. It’s clearly organized, easy to use, and breaks down every instrument in a song while also including a playback feature. Thanks to this playback feature, it’s so much easier to learn the part by playing it in real time. This way, you don’t have to jump back and forth between different tabs and you can listen to the music to get the feel from it just right.
What is also great about Songsterr is that it’s available as both an app and in a website version, so you can work on your sheet music from anywhere.The website provides a better value for the users that do not want to pay a monthly subscription fee. Through the web version, you have the opportunity to view the tablature and hear the playback without having to subscribe or pay any fees. If you want to learn songs and get a lot more features, then you might want to try the actual Songsterr app.
Among some of the extra features on it are loop mode, offline mode, and half-speed mode. It also gives the ability to use apps such as AmpliTube as a mobile practice studio.
When it comes to the best sheet music apps for Android & iPad, MusicNotes is certainly among one of them. It is often called “iBook of sheet music” because of its easy-to-use and user-friendly interface, as well as its wide variety of helpful features. In addition to storing your music, MusicNotes can also help you learn very quickly. With the app, you have the opportunity to play the music and then slow down the BPM to learn it faster. It has many positive reviews online and is a great way for you to organize your sheet music.
Apart from traditional sheet music, MusicNotes also supports tablature, lyrics/chords, music notation, and c-instrument. It comes with a handful of songs as examples but if you want to build your own library, you have to create an account on their website. What makes MusicNotes so useful are its performance, abilities to create a music library (song-by-song), and the opportunity to organize your sheet music library the way you want. As of now, MusicNotes remains one of the premier sheet music apps on the Google Play Store.
An app that is very underrated but great for music composition is Notion. Unlike all of the previously mentioned apps, this one focuses more on the music composition than the music library. The app has a powerful music notation software that allows users to compose on their iPads whenever they want to. As if that’s not enough, it also has the ability to mark articulations for different instruments (like notating a slide or bend on the guitar) and includes a sample library that covers many instruments.
Besides the sample library, you can easily import your own material and edit it. Even though it’s not as stage-friendly as OnSong Pro and forScore, Notion has its own features and characteristics. This app is the perfect fit for the aspiring and professional songwriters. This app allows you to do several things all at the same time like import MIDI files, transpose into a different key, support for chord or tab, and of course, handwriting recognition for a composition with a stylus.
GuitarTab is a simple app that as the name suggests, is optimized for chords and guitar tabs. What makes GuitarTab an absolute favorite with thousands of great and positive reviews is that it’s free and only has a few inexpensive in-app purchases. Despite the user interface which may be lacking and require some work, GuitarTab has so much to offer. It has a huge amount of content in its free section, which can’t be said about most of the sheet music apps.
The app’s library isn’t as extensive as that of Songsterr or OnSong Pro but if you want to learn a specific song in the simplest way possible, then you’ve got the right app. GuitarTab is a great alternative that users choose over Tab Pro and Tabs and Chords that come with an expensive subscription service.
Even though it’s free, the app comes with its own inexpensive in-app purchases that allow you to remove all of the ads, transpose to a different key, print the music, and many other neat features. However, in comparison with most of the guitar-oriented apps, the ads of GuitarTab are not even that intrusive.
Paperless Music is one of the best piano sheet music apps out there. It’s a straightforward sheet music app that you can use to manage your library. It’s perfect for not only scores but guitar tabs and fake books too. With Paperless Music, you can import PDF files from various places such as AirDrop, Files, and iCloud. After you upload your files, you can use the enhanced search engine to find a specific piece by filtering the composer, genre, title, key, and/or duration.
The app displays the sheet music crystal clear for your convenience, and thanks to the built-in editing tools, you can add annotations any time. In case you need hands-free page turns, just like most of the popular sheet music apps, Paperless Music also supports Bluetooth devices like AirTurn and PageFlip.
The best thing about Paperless Music is that you are not required to sign up and create an account with them. It also doesn’t have any ads, third-party tracking, subscriptions, and in-app purchases. However, the only drawback is that the app is still available only for iOS devices and is still in development for Android.
Nowadays, there are hundreds of sheet music apps for both Android & iPad, but the opportunities that they offer and features for the iOS devices are definitely much more than those available in the Google Play Store. Perhaps the reason for that is the sleek design and interface of the iPads.
Regardless of the device, among some of the best sheet music apps that you can use to support tablature for various instruments (such as guitars and pianos) are forScore, OnSong Pro, and MusicNotes. They all come in with their own designs, features, music libraries, and in-app purchases. One thing is certain, with any of the seven sheet music apps mentioned above, you can easily learn how to read, write, and even produce your own music.
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8 replies to "7 Best Sheet Music Apps For Android & iPad: Unbiased Review"
July 28, 2022
I appreciate you sharing this blog post. Thanks Again. Cool.
March 13, 2022
Which app is goood for Singer to fallow Pop songs sheet music where i Can read notes and text without using hands and my mounts or my hand to change side.
February 8, 2022
This is a very bad article. There is not even one Android app in the list that is aimed for professionals. Waste of time to read that.
January 13, 2022
Probably the best sheet music app for Android is MobileSheets. I use it daily on a ChromeOS tablet running Android.
December 20, 2021
iGigBook is available for Android and iOS not forscore.
November 29, 2021
Are there any more apps for Android?
November 2, 2021
Still not corrected.
firScore is Apple only, NOT Android.
October 12, 2021
Forscore is NOT Available for android, correct it.
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What app do musicians use for sheet music? ›
MuseScore (free with in-app subscriptions)
One of the most versatile software for musicians, MuseScore is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.
The best alternative is MobileSheets, which is free. With forScore, your sheet music has never been better—it's everything you can do with paper, and so much more.Is there an app that can read sheet music and play it? ›
PlayScore 2 – Sheet Music Scanning App
The PlayScore 2 sheet music scanner takes traditional sheet music scanning to the next level, using the latest techniques in Optical Music Recognition.
forScore is compatible with iPads running iPadOS 14 or later, iPhones or iPod Touches running iOS 14 or later, and Macs running macOS 11.3 or later. We don't make apps for any other platforms such as Windows or Android. (Why not?)What app do most musicians use? ›
- Garage Band.
- iMachine 2.
- Korg Gadget 2.
- FL Studio Mobile.
- Akai iMPC Pro.
- Model 15 Moog Modular Synthesizer.
- The Metronome by Soundbrenner.
forScore is available exclusively on the App Store for a one-time fee that includes free updates for life. It is available for iPads, iPhones, or iPod Touches running iOS 13.4 or later (aka iPadOS 13 or later), and for Macs running macOS 11 or later.What is the difference between forScore and forScore pro? ›
forScore Pro is an optional, auto-renewing subscription that allows us to offer more detailed, priority customer support whenever possible, ensures we can be ready for the latest devices, accessories, and software updates on day one, and gives you access to certain features and benefits like the ones described below ( ...Can forScore play sheet music? ›
Starting with forScore 11.2, all of your sheet music purchases can now be downloaded directly into your forScore library as standard PDF files—it's the ultimate combination of high-quality content and the features and tools you love.What do musicians use to read? ›
Sheet music enables instrumental performers who are able to read music notation (a pianist, orchestral instrument players, a jazz band, etc.) or singers to perform a song or piece. Music students use sheet music to learn about different styles and genres of music.How good is MuseScore? ›
MuseScore has an intuitive layout which is great if you're new to music notation software. With visible sidebars and all the standard music and note input symbols right there on the screen it is surprisingly easy to pick up. However, inputting notes with a mouse can be time consuming.
Are iPads good for sheet music? ›
The 12.9' iPad Pro is the best tablet for sheet music, period. Sitting at the very top of Apple's iPad range, it is a very powerful machine designed for professionals, and since their launch in 2015 we at Newzik have been using a countless number of them in our work with music ensembles.Should I get forScore? ›
Best Premium Pick: ForScore
The app is only available for iOS and iPadOS, meaning it's beautifully optimized for all Apple devices taking a cue from Apple's less-is-more aesthetic. It makes it easy to create setlists, annotate files, rearrange pages, add bookmarks, play along with an audio track, and more.
How to Import Sheet Music to Your iPad - YouTubeWhich music app is free? ›
Spotify and Tidal have free, ad-supported tiers of service, and apps like Pandora, iHeart and YouTube Music give you access to vast libraries of free popular music as well. Here are seven of the best free music apps for iPhone and Android, and why you should check them out.Is songify free? ›
Songify is a fun, free Android app that lets you create your very own pop songs in just a few seconds.How can I make money from music? ›
- Sell CDs. Do music fans still buy CDs? ...
- Sell vinyl. Vinyl sales continue to surge, with sales last year surpassing $1 billion for the first time in 35 years. ...
- Sell cassettes. ...
- Sell digital downloads. ...
- Revenue from streaming music. ...
- Play live shows. ...
- Make money with live streams. ...
- Sell merch.
MuseScore has an intuitive layout which is great if you're new to music notation software. With visible sidebars and all the standard music and note input symbols right there on the screen it is surprisingly easy to pick up. However, inputting notes with a mouse can be time consuming.Can forScore play sheet music? ›
Starting with forScore 11.2, all of your sheet music purchases can now be downloaded directly into your forScore library as standard PDF files—it's the ultimate combination of high-quality content and the features and tools you love.How do I get sheet music for any song? ›
- Free Scores.
- Free Blank Sheet Music.
forScore Pro is an optional, auto-renewing subscription that's available for users running forScore 11 or later. It costs $9.99 per year (in USD, prices in other currencies are set by Apple and vary by region). Benefits of subscribing are outlined below and are subject to change without notice or refund.