There seems to be an app for everything these days… and as a result, smartphone technology is increasingly finding its way onto the stage. From technology that changes how musicians perform to mobile phone apps that help them prepare and rehearse before a show, new technology is quickly changing the performing arts.
Some musicians have taken the bold step of turning their phones, laptops and tablets into musical instruments for live performances, while others are using their smartphones behind the scenes to tune instruments using free tuner and metronome apps. It’s even been suggested that these virtual tools are more flexible and perform better than the real thing! Other musicians are using their phones to record rehearsals, so they can critique and improve them later.
Meanwhile, some technology-friendly musicians have discovered that iPads can have the edge over paper scores. One of the chief advantages is that the screen is lit, which makes it much easier to read. Using an iPad also eliminates the need for a page-turner. Of course, timing is everything in music, and occasionally a page-turner can turn a page to soon or too late – but there’s a solution for that too… Musicians can operate a special Bluetooth foot pedal that turns the pages of a virtual score!
One of the biggest advantages of this new mobile technology is the reduced equipment that musicians need to carry with them to and from performances. And when the main drape goes back, all the audience sees is the musicians and their instruments – not the technology that has helped to make the performance possible.
Musicians want to focus on what they do best, which is playing their instruments, so any apps that help them achieve this will be a great asset to the performing arts industry.
We’re curious to know what you think are the best smartphone apps for musicians – post a comment and let us know what apps you use (or why you don’t use any).