Saturday 15 May 2010

Free Stuff: Sketch Scores On Your Smartphone!

A mobile phone, and some manuscript paper, amongst other things.

Yes that's right. Unfortunately I can't claim to have programmed some natty 'app' I've actually included here a very simple, almost stupid solution to something that arguably wasn't a problem in the first place.

Ever been out of the house and had a musical idea you wanted to jot down but didn't have a pen or any paper? (I did at a birthday party last night as it happens, hence my 'invention' this morning).

Well, now there's no need to worry as by using a touchscreen smartphone, a free paint package and the blank manuscript .jpg I've included a link to here you can sketch away at your leisure. You can even pretend to be Stravinsky and use different colours, and you know, stuff.

I've got a Nokia phone which uses the Symbian OS and I've been using the Paint Pad 'app' which allows you to 'paint' over a still image. I edited some blank manuscript paper to a convenient size (4 staves, didn't bother with clefs or systems etc for reasons that should be obvious) and now use that to sketch notes on top of (if you wanted to you could of course give yourself more staves or extra details, easy to do in photoshop).

Obviously it's a bit fiddly to use and sometimes accidentals and grace notes etc can be a bit tricky to draw but it does work quite well for basic sketches while you're sitting on the bus and so on.

One day perhaps your phone will play your sketches back to you (any programmers out there?)

The iPhone has a scoring 'app' available, not sure about Android or other platforms but this Paint Pad way of doing things is A: Free, B: Simple, C: Means I actually have a use for the stylus that came with my phone (this was my primary motivation obviously).

So there you go, get to it (or not).

Here's an early attempt at a sketch I did today, not exactly neat but I think you can work out what's going on. Extra brownie points for anyone who can tell me what 'piece' this is a fragment from.

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