How to notate music on iPad for free

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Recently I was transcribing some melodies to help me remember church music better. I didn’t want to carry a piece of manuscript around when I go for practices. I’m afraid I will lose it and I’m not in a habit of carrying a manuscript book everywhere I go. Since I have my iPad, I was looking up the apps that I could possibly use for my purpose. There were some cool apps that converts your hand writing into standard digital music notation but they cost a bomb! Flat.io was a free option but it has be online and I find it quite tedious to use the interface as I’m so used to Sibelius on the computer. I just want to write stuff straightaway.

It dawn on me that I could download a free manuscript PDF and open it in Acrobat Reader. AR is cool, it’s really cool because you can write over your documents, highlight text, etc. It should work the same if I were to draw on a manuscript paper right? My idea really worked. The only downside was the PDF file was only one page long. So I screenshot the document multiple times and combined it in Adobe Scan (another free and cool app!). Since I will have use for it, I kept this new file with a new name. When I want to use it, I’ll just duplicate the file and give it a new name for my purpose.

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There is relative ease in writing with a table pen but you would need to enlarge/zoom in the document to write it smoothly. I recommend this method for really really short transcriptions. You’re better off with a dedicated notation software if you’re gonna work on longer pieces.

I think this will work in a music classroom as well if you’re low on budget or you don’t have a stable internet connection.


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