Conventional score reader apps use PDF files to display a snapshot of a page of music on the screen. Unfortunately what works on a large paper music score does not work when reduced onto the small iPad screen. Large page borders take up valuable screen space and the score is hardly legible at the typical distance of an instrumental player from the music stand. For SeeScore we realised that the answer is to make the score flexibly resize and reflow just like text. Instead of PDF we needed a type of file which contains a description of the music so we turned to the standard digital music interchange format MusicXML.
SeeScore takes standard MusicXML files and displays the music score as you want to see it when you play or sing. You can pinch zoom to set the size you want the music to be displayed and SeeScore will automatically reflow it to fit the iPad screen. You can select which parts you want to see and you can jump to any bar number by touching the ruler at the bottom of the screen. Always the screen is used efficiently, minimising wasteful page borders.
SeeScore can transpose the score for you to play. Notes, key signatures and harmonies are all correctly handled, but don’t worry – the original file is not changed and you can always revert back to how it was.
As a bonus, since the notes can be read from the MusicXML file SeeScore can accompany you with a realistic sampled sound while you play. You can choose which parts it plays with which instruments. It will autoscroll and always show you the current bar, and it will take account of tempo and dynamic changes in the music.
It can play a metronome too, but unlike a normal metronome it also automatically updates for any tempo or time in the current bar.
You can tap on a bar before or while playing to send the SeeScore accompaniment to that bar. It makes it easy to practice that difficult bit.