Page Turning Simplified

owl

To many, this post may seem a little odd, but to piano or organ accompanists of small choirs it could mean one less thing to worry about during your performances.

Specifically, I have a solution to banish the little demon that lurks behind each page of the score, whose goal is to prevent you from turning the page cleanly and quickly. He laughs as you grab two or more pages, or worse yet, have to stop playing and use both hands to separate pages.

Here is a simple solution I stumbled on while wandering through the aisles of a craft store. I noticed a set of self-adhesive round tags, and wondered if perhaps they could provide just enough page separation to prevent the dreaded two-page turn. I had my chance to try it out today while playing from a photo-copy on rough paper with gritty toner, the pages of which would not separate cleanly regardless of how much I crinkled or pushed.

My experiment consisted of folding a self-adhesive 3/4 inch dot over the edge of each page in the lower right corner (see photo). To my delight, the dot gave me a clear visual cue, some tactile feedback, and just enough separation to confidently and quickly turn one page at a time. The pages didn’t stick or resist. Life just became a little simpler. So for those of you who don’t enjoy those “looks” from the choir or director, give it a try!

dots

You can experiment to find the dots that work best for you. The tags in the photo that I used are “yard sale tags” from www.headlinesign.com. Amazon has numerous tags in white and other colors, with permanent or removable adhesive.

Here’s a humorous description of high stakes page turning as performed by professionals: www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99499124

(Original post on December 12, 2016)

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