8Scape keeps your sheet music from blowin’ in the wind

The Premise. Your preparing for your big concert and will be looking off of several pieces of sheet music. You’ve been around the block enough to know that if you don’t organize it into a binder with sheet protectors that you will be driven crazy because it will either blow off the stand or fall off when you go to turn the page. But sometimes getting three or four sheets of music to stand side by side on a piano can be a balancing act exercise worthy of a circus.

The Product. 8Scape takes the concept of a binder and sheet protectors and extends it into a bit of a different direction. The clear plastic covers and folder provide musicians with the potential to secure eight pieces of sheet music on a music stand and a total of two page turns; the added thickness stabilizes the sheets. The finished product will allow for music to be loaded in from the side, as opposed to top-down.

The Pitch. The video for the modest $5,000 campaign is a bit dry and looks something like a sales pitch. While there is something intended to be sold here, it would be nice to see it presented in a warmer, more personable and creative way – as opposed to something like you might see in a B movie or infomercial.

The Perks. There are six tiers from which backers may choose. For $30, backers get one 8scape and an expected delivery of July 2014.

The Potential. The best niche for this may actually be classical musicians, especially if there is someone available to turn pages for them. However, the way that this product was presented made page turns look cumbersome and there seemed to be a risk of the entire product falling off of the stand or piano because the design may not be sturdy enough. The concept is a great one, but it could use some polish. For now, a binder with sheet protectors (items available in any office supply store) seem like they would do better. Despite there being more page turns, such a tried-and-true system provides more stability and organization.

As for other alternatives, the campaign owners argue that just putting your music on an iPad isn’t a good option because your battery might die. That’s true, but you could also forget to bring paper along or it could get torn or lost. The 8Scape may be help prepare your music for being played, but there’s no substitute for a musician’s being prepared.


Cue Page Turner gives Bluetooth page flippers some sheet cred

The Premise. Musicians around the world have experienced frustration at having to stop playing their instrument in order to turn a pages of their sheet music. At best, it can result in momentary panic in terms of catching up to the continuation of a composition. At worst, there’s an avalanche of paper that must be frantically gathered. Tablets can clean up the mess, but they involve their own compromises — limited battery life, distracting screen glow, and generally a smaller size than the area of a standard music sheet.

The Product. Cue Page Turner is a mechanical page turner that turns the physical pages of sheet music while musicians are playing. The turning mechanism is controlled by a wireless foot pedal. Cue Page Turner also has a vacuum bottom that allows it to rest stably on a music stand or piano.

The Pitch. The Indiegogo campaign for the Cue Page Turner features a short video explaining the device as well as the reward tiers of the campaign. The rest tells how the idea for the product was born and how, after years on the back burner, it can finally be manufactured thanks to 3D printers. What the campaign lacks is a photo of Cue Page Turner itself. Rather, because it hasn’t actually been manufactured yet, the campaign only features digital mock-ups of what the page turner is supposed to look like.

The Perks. Supporters of Cue Page Turner giving $50 or more will receive the Cue Page Turner Lite which can hold 12 pages. Contributors giving $100 or more will receive the Original Cue Page Turner that holds 24. Higher backers in the $500 range will receive gold- or silver-plated Cue Page Tuners, which look more snazzy and tell the world, “I have a silver-plated Cue Page Turner.”

The Potential. There’s nary a performing musician who wouldn’t find the Cue Page Turner intriguing. Orchestras especially will continue to use sheet music for performances for the foreseeable future. So, while there are other products on the market that turn pages digitally, none are able to do so with physical paper. PageFlip and AirTurn, for example, both use wireless foot pedals to turn pages on a Mac, PC or iPad, but cannot be used with physical paper. At such an early stage, it’s difficult to justify shelling out in anticipation of the product because there are just too many questions, but demand could heat up with the next movement for this musicians’ aid.