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Classical 101

More Classical Musicians Firing Up Tech To Do Their Work

Next to a Steinway or a Stradivarius, a classical musician's most important piece of equipment might now be a smartphone. Playing a "classical" instrument might not seem like a high-tech enterprise, but some professional classical musicians are turning more to tech in the course of their daily work, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Remember the metronome from the days of your piano lessons? It's the gadget that clicked out a steady beat at a tempo of your (or your teacher's) choice. In the good old days, a metronome would usually sit on top of the piano or on a nearby music stand. Today, musicians can download metronome apps onto their smart phones and click away. Same with tuners, for which there are now apps musicians can download straight to their smart phones to make sure their intonation is pitch perfect. The tablet computer is also getting in on the act. Download "sheet" music to your tablet from an online music service, buy a wireless foot pedal that tells your computer when to turn the "pages" and you've converted your iPad into a virtual musical score. Pianist Kirill Gerstein used just this kind of set-up in a performance and says he prefers it to employing the services of a page turner. (Another "job" "killed" by the Internet?) And, Gerstein says, it allows him to carry much more music with him than is parctical with bulky paper scores. Read more: New Technology Is Changing Classical Music Performance (SLPD)