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Musicians know only too well that their art and craft can’t always be played from a spur of the moment passion, as sometimes sheet music is required, but in a digital age, what do you do?
Back when the iPad first appeared on the scene, there was barely a smattering of apps designed to let you get sheet music online, and while the iPad seemed a perfect way to hold and read music written for the page, finding out wasn’t easy.
A few years later, it hasn’t changed all that much, with PDFs generally the best way to get your music on your tablet, while “ForScore” offers up a store for horns and keys.
String musicians, however, don’t get to see as much, and so when this journalist pulled out his cello on the weekend, he wondered just how hard it would be to find music.
Turns out that there’s an app for that.
Called “Chromatik”, it’s a bit of a surprise app that offers up a library of songs for you to browse through, with filtration changing what’s available to you dependent on the instrument you play.
Arrangements are available for quite a few instruments depending on the piece of music, and you can pick an instrument starting with a bass going alphabetically all the way down to violin and voice (sorry, there are no instruments with “a” or “z” in its listing).
Music is provided in numerous categories, with holiday music sitting at the top in an almost “App Store”-esque layout, though you’ll also find movie theme songs, Disney tunes, popular chart toppers, songs from various decades, The Beatles, rock, electronic, classical, jazz, and so on, with quite a fair bit of music available.
Select a category and you’ll find a song list, though some sections don’t have much at all. Pick a song, however, and you won’t only find the sheet music waiting for you, but you’ll also see a metronome, tuner, and the ability to mark up the sheet music if you so choose.
You can also listen to the song as it’s playing, allowing you to follow the music page by page in some instances, with the auto turn kicking in at each page section.
For popular songs, this means you get to watch the music video on one side of the screen while the page flips over, having you track the position of the song as you read the music.
What this feature is missing is a line or ball to track the position the song is in, so Chromatik is only so connected with the song, which is to say the play bar will tell you when the page needs to be turned, but not which bar or measure you should be playing in.