G. Henle Verlag is one of the highest quality music publishing companies in the world for urtext classical music. I have Henle editions in my library, and they are excellent.
Recently the company announced an app for the iPad and coming soon, Android.
Since I have experience with Henle editions, I downloaded the app to take a look. I thought that either the app would cost a fortune or it would have high-priced in-app purchases. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the app is free and the music is quite reasonably priced.
First of all, it is obvious that Henle has spent a lot of time and money on this app. True to the German way, it is very well done and elegant in its simplicity. I am not the most intuitive person when it comes to technology, but, honestly, this app is easy to use.
When you open the app, you are offered a free score and I chose a Beethoven Sonata. The app allowed me to:
- Write annotations on the score.
- Move annotations around on the score.
- Print or email my annotated version.
- Delete the fingerings in the score and even change them. You need to watch the video because this is an amazing feature!
- Change the layout, making it bigger or smaller, and move the staves further apart. The music will wrap around to the next page automatically.
- Use a Blue Tooth pedal page turner.
- Turn on the metronome.
- Use the built-in recorder.
- Use the Apple pencil or inexpensive stylus.
You can check out the videos here that show what the app can do.
You are probably wondering how much these magic scores will cost. They are purchased with credits and the price starts at 10 credits for $.99, 20 credits for $1.99, 100 credits for $8.99 and on up. [Prices are US dollars.] I decided this is very reasonable so I bought a favorite Chopin Nocturne for $.99. One Henle print edition Nocturne is about $7.00. The complete book of Chopin Nocturnes is 220 credits and the complete book of Bach Inventions is 94 credits. The purchases are through the Apple store, so Apple is getting 30% of the purchase price.
There are a few things that will improve the app. First, it really needs an eraser or undo in annotation mode. I tried the suggestion on their website of using the white pen tool to erase, and if your annotation is on top of a stave, the score is covered also. This was a real problem for me even though the original is not changed. Also, the screen enlarges too much in annotation mode and it would be nice if that was adjustable.
I think most musicians from my generation love our print music books and I’m no exception. But it is nice having a digital library, and this is a great addition to my collection of apps.
[Disclosure: This is an un-solicited, non-commercial review. I have not been in contact with Henle in any way and received no compensation.]