TechBits: Yamaha NoteStar app keeps the sheet music flowing


A glimpse of the NoteStar app from iTunes. (Screenshot)
September 8, 2012

There are a few things in life that just beg to be converted to digital. Piano players: Isn’t there something appealing about ditching that fire-hazard piano bench full of music for one, sleek tablet?

That, at least, is the argument behind the Yamaha NoteStar app, which offers digital versions of classic and popular songs that users can display on the iPad. Eliminating pesky page turns, the app makes playing through a piece simple, although noting trouble passages and reminders is still not as convenient as with your trusty pencil.

For those who like support, some pieces offered in the app’s store include band and even vocal backing. Don’t worry, though: You can always mute the extra noise to suit personal tastes. Songs tend to run $3 to $4 a pop, with a selection that will take you from Mozart to Lady Gaga, though the music selection is much wider than it is deep.

Overall, the app is a great concept with some wonderful tunes, but right now it is a supplement — not a replacement — for that piano bench storage. Free to download, for the iPad.

Hayley Tsukayama

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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