FreeHand Systems, Inc. released the first commercially available electronic music stand product, the FreeHand MusicPad Pro (freehandsystems.com), in 2003. A competing product called the eStand (estandmusic.com), which offers repertory from CD Sheet Music and Hal Leonard Corp., was released in 2005. These products display music and allow hands-free page turns. The FreeHand and eStand systems also include annotation capabilities. Both rely (2005) on music images rather than a symbolic model with musical meaning.
In contrast, MuseBook Score (www.musebook.com) from AMuseTec Co., Ltd., is the first commercial product to use a symbolic music representation, the MusicXML format, to present repertory on an electronic music stand (Figure 1.4). The initial version of MuseBook Score, released in 2004, displayed MusicXML files of piano music on a Windows PC, then “listened” to a performance of the piece. The performance could be on either an acoustic piano with a microphone attached to the soundboard or a MIDI keyboard connected to the computer. The system attempts to match the performed music to what is in the MusicXML score. The notes are animated as you play, and pages are turned automatically in “Dutch door” fashion once you reach the last system on a page (with the first system of the next page replacing the first system of the current page). The next page is displayed it its entirety once its first system is reached. In this way, the next system of music is always in the performer’s view.
The OrganMuse product works similarly for organ music and MIDI-equipped organs, adding the ability to memorize and automatically perform registration changes.