Four Score and 8 years ago, I started using a little app called ForScore and it has forever changed my life! I went from carrying multiple 4” binders around with me every day, to carrying my ipad with now well over 1,500 scores on it. Just imagine how much better my back feels!
There was definitely a learning curve, but the rewards have certainly out-weighed the time it took me to learn how to use it.
To learn how to use the app, I found some YouTube videos…..because who doesn’t learn how to do things without YouTube? It was so easy to work through them one at a time and then start to put into practice what I was learning.
Once I got pretty familiar with the app, I started personalizing it for me to use. One of the first things I started to do was to create set lists. I work at a university as a staff accompanist and I also have multiple freelance gigs going on simultaneously. So as you can see, I put in set lists for things like special events, funerals, technic, etc. so that I can quickly grab pieces for a specific event.
I also made a set list calendar which provides a date, the event details and then includes all of the music that I need to play for that event. This makes practicing a breeze as I can see what is coming up next, which pieces I need to work on and then I can just delete the list once the event has occurred.
Next I started adding tags to all of the pieces that I uploaded. Here is one example of a vocal piece.
As you can see, I added the title of the piece, the composer’s name, what genre it is, (and for these I have everything from choral to instrumental to opera, to musical theatre genres.)
Next I added tags for language. When it is choral, I add things like SATB. When it is instrumental I add the instrument that the piece was written for.
Finally in the label area, I add where I got the score from. If I bought it online, I note it here. If I found it on IMSLP, I add that. If I own the score, I also add that. This helps a lot when I need to use something that requires copyright information such as NATS.
I am also a stickler any more for making sure that I add the key to each piece. This way when I have the same piece in multiple keys, I can quickly grab the one I need without having to look through every piece individually.
In order to keep track of the copyright information, I post it right on the piece by using the rearrange button.
To do this, I take a picture of the IMSLP page, or a book cover if I own it, and then scan it into ForScore, just like I do with a piece of music. I give it a name and save it .
Next I go to the piece that I have already uploaded and hit the rearrange button.
From there, I go into the piece and hit the plus button at the bottom.
Then I can go to the list of pieces and click on the newest button. This will bring up the thing that I want to add. I then move the pieces around as I want them and click save. This will bring up a box that asks you if you want to overwrite what is there. Click yes, and now the copyright info will be right with the piece so you always have it.
For vocal pieces, I also add in the translation of the lyrics so that I have it to quickly consult. You can add IPA resources or anything else you may want to have connected to each piece by using the same system.
This is just one way of customizing ForScore for your personal use. If you have some other things that you do with it, why not post it below so we can all benefit from your ideas.