Host Turns to New Technology for Reading Music

Fans of the show are often asking about Christopher O’Riley’s laptop he uses to read music. Here’s what our host says about replacing traditional page-turners with the convenience of new technology:

Christopher O'Riley reading music from his tablet laptop.

The means by which I receive my performance scores for From the Top, both televised and radio broadcasts, is the marriage of a tablet laptop (in my case, a Gateway), the scanning and page editing parameters available in Photoshop Elements (the simplest version of Photoshop), and software called eStand, with accompanying footswitch pedal.

The tablet laptop allows me to have the screen pivoted right to the edge of the piano frame for easy reading. I scan two pages side-by-side for each screen I read from, similar to that side-by-side format in regularly printed piano music. eStand stores all the scanned pages in its own format, and these pages (thousands, if you want) are ordered by the program, and scrolled through by means of a foot pedal, attached via USB cable, forwards or backwards, as you like.

I can’t imagine whether this manner of reading music is destined for any long-term utility; I only know I wanted a cleaner, page-turner-free, look for the TV show, and simultaneous with that, found myself with endless accordioned pages of my Radiohead (et alia) arrangements. The eStand allows me to do away with the paper, and can also accommodate notations (via the tablet laptop technology) applied after scanning. It’s a real convenience for me. —Christopher O’Riley