The Gig Easy iPad app eliminates the need for sheet music

Gig Easy appMusicians, are you sick of lugging notebooks thick with sheet music to gigs, music that you must clamp to stands with clothes pins to keep it from fluttering away as you play? Here is your answer: get yourself an iPad and download the Gig Easy app ($3.99). You can now load thousands of pages of sheet music in .pdf format which you can then search and organize into set lists.

To hold your iPad in place as you play, be sure to pick up a Gig Easy iPad holder. ( Designed for musicians by musicians, the Gig Easy screws right onto existing music stands, so you don’t have to bring your own.

Gig Easy app


Fake your way through standard tunes with iReal b for iPad or Android.

iReal bFor musicians of any skill level, professional guitarist Brian Monroney recommends iReal b, a “fake book” app for the iPad ($7.99) and Android-based ($9.99) devices. “You can find the chord changes for thousands of standard jazz and pop tunes online and load them into this app. It allows you to transpose them on the fly, so if the singer calls ‘Body and Soul’ in the key of B, there’s not going to be a train wreck,” Brian says. iReal b will also generate piano, guitar, or bass and drums accompaniments for downloaded chord charts.

Attach a tablet computer to a music stand with The GigEasy

The Gig EasyWhen guitarist Brian Monroney and his partners Brent Smith and Darren Kramer first heard about the iPad, they immediately started work on their new invention. “We saw the potential for the iPad to revolutionize the way musicians used sheet music onstage and wanted to be a part of it,” he says. Their mounting devices, which are manufactured in Colorado, can attach iPads and HP TouchPads to VESA arms or brackets, microphone stands, Manhasset music stands, or camera tripods. Brian says, “The GigEasy attaches to a microphone stand and holds the iPad at the perfect position. Since there is nearly always a microphone stand provided at the gig, I don’t have to carry one. The setup fits in a small bag.”


Musicians can turn pages with a foot tap. Plus, free sheet music!

AirTurnIf you use an iPad to hold your music while you play, you will want to buy yourself one of these Bluetooth-enabled footpads to turn the pages on your device. No more nodding to your bumbling assistant! Also, the AirTurn site offers a rich directory of free online sheet music resources: These are older, out-of-copyright pieces. Still, they run the gamut from the most advanced opera scores to simple pieces for learning to play the piano, for example.

Sync and MyFord Touch make Ford a leader in telematics

Ford Sync

In 2007, Ford became the leader in telematics with the introduction of its Sync system. Sync uses a Microsoft platform to allow drivers to use voice commands to get directions, listen to music, and operate their Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones. The system features a media hub with USB ports, A/V Input Jacks, and an SD card reader.

Users can connect their web-enabled smart phones to Sync via the USB port to turn the console into a wi-fi hotspot.

In 2010, Ford introduced an enhancement called MyFord Touch (or MyLincoln Touch or MyMercury Touch, depending on brand.) This lets drivers input commands via a touch screen in addition to buttons and voice. For subscribers to SIRIUS Travel Link, the screen displays not only directions but traffic information, gas prices, and even movie listings. It will also deliver vehicle health reports with diagnostics and scheduled maintenance information. If you are in a serious accident and the airbags deploy, the system will call 911 to summon help.

Some models also offer Active Park Assist and Rear View Camera displays to take the guesswork out of parallel parking.

Elizabethan dancing

“And there is more to it than this, for dancing is practised to reveal whether lovers are in good health and sound of limb, after which they are permitted to kiss their mistresses in order that they may touch and savour one another, thus to ascertain if they are shapely or emit an unpleasant odour as of bad meat. Therefore, from this standpoint, quite apart from the many other advantages to be derived from dancing, it becomes an essential in a well ordered society.” –Thoinot Arbeau, Orchesography (1589) Explore Renaissance dance through this throuough directory of links provided by Greg Lindahl and hosted by the Society for Creative Anachronism: