In praise of Free Hand Music and Solero

Can the current cabaret performer say enough good things about Free Hand Music and their Solero music viewer?

The site has an amazing library of sheet music available for instant electronic download.  However, the downloads are not delivered via pdf or jpeg but using their Solero music viewer, a mini program that needs to be installed on your computer.  But once the program is installed, not only can you use it to view the sheet music you’ve purchased — but the program will play the music on the page.  Perfect to rehearse to!!!  Not only that, but it has a built-in transposer, that will allow you to transpose it to the key you need.  (Which yu’ve detrmined by having the program play the song…)

OK.  On the downside, the program limits you to actually printing out two copies of the sheet music.  And since the transpositions are done programmatically, they can occasionally come out with certain wacky elements.  But it’s a lot easier to get a music director to review the transposition and correct it than it is to hire someone to transpose a whole song.  (And especially useful when you want to

And the service makes an impressive wealth of songs available.  This spring I was looking for the verse to April Showers, and there it was.  And for two of the songs we are preparing for CHAWbaret, it was fabulous to be able to say to the music director — no problem, we’ll get you the song in the new key!

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