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Reading sheet music with poor eyesight

Northerner 13 Apr 12 - 05:31 AM
Mr Happy 13 Apr 12 - 05:39 AM
Northerner 13 Apr 12 - 06:29 AM
Mr Happy 13 Apr 12 - 06:32 AM
treewind 13 Apr 12 - 06:40 AM
Northerner 13 Apr 12 - 06:57 AM
selby 13 Apr 12 - 07:10 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 13 Apr 12 - 07:35 AM
Mr Happy 13 Apr 12 - 08:02 AM
Northerner 13 Apr 12 - 08:30 AM
Peter C 13 Apr 12 - 10:32 AM
Tootler 13 Apr 12 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,Hookey Wole 13 Apr 12 - 01:46 PM
GUEST,999 13 Apr 12 - 02:46 PM
Jim McLean 13 Apr 12 - 03:47 PM
Northerner 13 Apr 12 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,Chord Chucker 13 Apr 12 - 10:01 PM
JohnInKansas 13 Apr 12 - 10:12 PM
Nick 14 Apr 12 - 06:04 AM
JHW 14 Apr 12 - 06:36 AM
JohnInKansas 14 Apr 12 - 07:22 AM
Nick 14 Apr 12 - 10:36 AM
JohnInKansas 14 Apr 12 - 10:53 AM
GUEST,Hookey Wole 14 Apr 12 - 11:06 AM
treewind 14 Apr 12 - 11:09 AM
Nick 14 Apr 12 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,treewind 14 Apr 12 - 12:00 PM
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Subject: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: Northerner
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 05:31 AM

How? I'm learning new songs for my repertoire. Unaccompanied singing. Download lyrics of the Internet and copy them into Word using a large font. Learn the melody by ear. Would be helpful to download sheet music and pick out the tune on an instrument (thinking of getting three quarter size guitar). But I may have difficulty reading the sheet music on a stand. I have glaucoma, with damage to my left eye. Obviously people do manage, but how? Does anyone have any tips?


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: Mr Happy
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 05:39 AM

You may find lots download dots music is in the form of gif, so may not readily enlarge or will distort.

Try photocopy enlarging


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: Northerner
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 06:29 AM

Thank you. Photocopy enlarging sounds like something I should explore. I can read ordinary text with reading glasses but I would need to have sheet music further away to allow me to play instrument. Could also be doing with larger sized manuscript paper. I am sure there are solutions...


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: Mr Happy
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 06:32 AM

You may need to modify your music stand to accommodate bigger sheet[s]

wooden clothes pegs can help


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: treewind
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 06:40 AM

"I can read ordinary text with reading glasses but I would need to have sheet music further away to allow me to play instrument"

I need reading glasses for normal distance reading, and I have another pair of reading glasses with weaker lenses which are perfect for reading music on a stand when playing an instrument.

If you have to have prescription glasses because of astigmatism or your eyes being very different, you should be still be able to get a set made for music reading distance.

If you make your sheet music using any of the ABC tools or a music scoring program, you should be able to print it scaled to any size you like.


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: Northerner
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 06:57 AM

Thank you. You've given me several ideas to explore. Even a sheet magnifier placed on top of the paper might be worth trying. I went to music claases a few years ago and coped visually but the teacher provided us with tabulature and I think it was quite large; I won't be using tabulature. I am a contralto and transpose all music into a better key.


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: selby
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 07:10 AM

I have some glasses that the optician prescribed, that work for me, can't do anything else with them thou
Keith


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 07:35 AM

I agree with treewind and selby - check with your optician to get a set of lenses for reading at music-stand distance. Like treewind I too have one prescription for ordinary reading and a special (weaker) pair for reading at about 2/3 of metre (that's for reading guitar music while sitting with a guitar). In fact they gave me a little questionnaire before my last eye test and one of the questions was whether I played music and the optician asked if I wanted a special pair for reading music. See what sort of distance your eyes are from the music in your normal music reading position and tell them and see what they can do.


Mick


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: Mr Happy
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 08:02 AM

If you've glaucoma [which is in my family too]- you'll need good lighting to see better.

Also don't have your sheets in sleeves or any shiny surfaces


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: Northerner
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 08:30 AM

Thank you. The prescription glasses would worry me. They would be expensive, for a start. I also had a bad experience with an optician prescribing lenses for using the computer; the glasses were so bad that I couldn't use them and had to ask for my money back. I now go to a different optician but still remember the bad experience. I will look at the other ideas.
My local library has a photocopy enlargement service so I will try that out. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: Peter C
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 10:32 AM

I use ABCWIN to print out sheet music, and you can make it pretty big to fill an A4 sheet! (Most computer muisc programs will do the same) I then laminate it, you can then put it on the floor (foot over corner in windy weather) and read it with ease!


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: Tootler
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 01:19 PM

I too have glasses for reading music.You don't need anything fancy, just basic single vision lenses. No need for fancy frames either.

I've PM'd you with a suggestion for where to go.


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: GUEST,Hookey Wole
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 01:46 PM

Thanks, I'll also be keeping an eye on this thread.
I am very short sighted.
Last time I had my eyes tested and new lenses was at least 15 years ago.

It took more than 4 opticians and frequent trips back and forth to collect new lenses over a couple of months
before the last one finally got the prescription right.

My mid to long distance eyesight has remained stable since that last prescription.

But my near distance sight has noticeably deteriorated in the last 5 years of advancing middle age.

I now have to take my glasses off to read anything within arms length,
holding reading material right up close to my face;
or perch my specs so far down on the end of my nose
they're at risk of falling off and shattering.

I also seriously don't trust the younger generation of opticians
to do a good job.


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: GUEST,999
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 02:46 PM

"Thanks, I'll also be keeping an eye on this thread."

Hookey, that was a groaner, a good one, but a gr o a n er.


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: Jim McLean
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 03:47 PM

I once recorded/produced an accordion player who complained that the sheet music was printed on shiny paper and was illegible due to the studio lights. I ran around Denmark Street and eventually managed to have the dots photocopied onto non shiny paper (while still paying for studios time). After the initial count in the box player proceeded to play with his eyes closed!!
Sorry for the thread drift.


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: Northerner
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 05:10 PM

Thank you all.


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: GUEST,Chord Chucker
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 10:01 PM

I have a couple admittedly quirky things that I do--

First--Cheap reading glasses come in various magnitudes, 2.5x works well for reading music, so I pop them on over my regular glasses. Another power works better for reading, and a third for the computer, so I switch them off. I know, it looks funny, but it solves the problem.

Second--I figured out how to use my 3-in-one printer/scanner/copier to make pdf docs of sheet music files,which I then view, and magnify, on my laptop.

Third--I hooked up an old 35" HDTV to the external monitor output on my laptop, and I can now read those sheet music pdfs from anywhere in the room. Makes it easy for several people to read off the same part!


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 10:12 PM

Even for sheet music that you get as a low resolution .gif, or another digital form, if you print it the ink/toner often will "fill in" between the pixels so that you get a fairly continuous spread of ink on the dots. If you scan the printed page at a somewhat higer resolution than the original file, you may be able to enlarge it enough to "print it bigger" with a little better results. It's not really a certainty that this will work better than just enlarging from the original file, but I've found many files where it sort of works (and of course some others where it doesn't).

It's a peculiarity of nearly all the graphical file formats that if you have a program that can do it, enlarging by 10% at a time, repeating until you get to the size you want, will usually give you a "visually better" enlargement than if you do it all in one step. When you do it in many steps the picture usually falls apart due to "fringing" instead of by the pixillation you get with single-step enlargement, and sometimes a "Gaussian blur" or "Unsharp Mask" will clean the fringes up some. There are limits to how far you can go either way, of course.

If you have scores "on paper" a difficulty you may run into is that most "music paper" is larger than the 8.5" width that the majority of scanners or printers can handle. There are a few multipurpose machines available that scan and print, that can handle US "B" size (11 x 17 inches) or A3 that's a about a half inch wider but a half inch shorter, and those will handle the common "music book" pages. They're a little more expensive than the ones generally available, perhaps 2 to 3x the price of the promoted ones, and for the usual "letter size" scan/print operations they tend to be quite a bit slower; but you should find the few out there with a search for "wide format" printers or scanners or multipurpose etc. (If you search for "large format" you'll only find the "commercial" stuff that starts in the kilo-buck price range - a search engine peculiarity(?))

John


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: Nick
Date: 14 Apr 12 - 06:04 AM

Not sure what the following was produced in - tab
- but I can open it up and continue to zoom it up to 6400% (which is about 1 note per screen !) and I reckon I can read in my next door neighbours house. No loss of quality but you might go through a lot of paper...


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: JHW
Date: 14 Apr 12 - 06:36 AM

Music publishers say 'Woe betide photocopying - its illegal etc.' but only have themselves to blame as they churn out what are only their own photocopies of venerable staves and texts instead of resetting them with modern clarity and decent size open fonts.


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 14 Apr 12 - 07:22 AM

Nick - The T E piece is a bit of a puzzle. My old Photoshop elements dan "Import images" from most PDF files that are made from images, but says "there are no images in this file."

John


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: Nick
Date: 14 Apr 12 - 10:36 AM

John - my guess it's a vector graphic rather than an image hence it's scalability - WMF or EMF something

Impressive though

I might email the guy as it's a good transcription of a piece I like!

Nick


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 14 Apr 12 - 10:53 AM

Could be it was drawn as a !PostScript file direct from an eps. The good PDF makers convert those to binary in the PDF file.

John


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: GUEST,Hookey Wole
Date: 14 Apr 12 - 11:06 AM

Slight thread drift, this is jogging my memory back about 12 to 14 years...

There was a rival product to Adobe photoshop and Jasc paintshop pro.

It was critically well regarded but failed to sell.

UK PC magazines used to give away fully functional previous versions.

The reason I'm trying to remember is I think it emplyed vector technology
for manipulating images.

At that time it's main bugbear, was rendering a finalised single image took bloody hours on an average home PC..


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: treewind
Date: 14 Apr 12 - 11:09 AM

"2.5x works well for reading music"
For you, maybe. Everybody is different, and our needs change with time.
+1.5 is fine for general reading for me, and my music glasses are +1.0

A few years ago the +1.0 glasses were OK for reading, and longer ago I did't need glasses at all.


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: Nick
Date: 14 Apr 12 - 11:35 AM

FIF images perhaps? Astounding things


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Subject: RE: Reading sheet music with poor eyesight
From: GUEST,treewind
Date: 14 Apr 12 - 12:00 PM

The ABC processor I use makes postscript vector representations of the music, which remain in vector form when converted to PDF, so they also scale up to any size without losing resolution. It's the obvious way to do stuff like this, and it makes very small files - there's no need for bitmaps until it hits the screen or paper.


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