As of today we can put all rumours to rest. It’s true: Henle Urtext has gone digital. The global launch of the “Henle Library” app, in German, English and Chinese, for Apple’s iPad, is 3 February 2016 (for Android tablets it’s May 2016). Our app will be a valuable tool for musicians when practising, rehearsing and performing.
Here’s a brief overview, an “appetizer”, exclusively for our blog readers:
Right from the start it was clear to us at Henle Publishers that it wasn’t enough just to offer our Urtext editions in digital form for PDF readers. Firstly, musicians don’t need us for this: nowadays they scan or download anything and everything, uploading the music to PDF readers such as “ForScore” or “piaScore”. Secondly, a simple PDF cannot begin to untap the fascinating potential of digital options. And thirdly, we didn’t want a “play along” app that would just be used for combining the musical text with sound. Quite the opposite, we wanted to develop an app that offered musicians the best – without gimmicks –, so features that only a digital version could offer and that weren’t possible in the printed edition. And it also had to be a top-quality and great-looking app. After a more than two year development period, with lots of “ups and downs”, and a level of investment that was unprecedented in the history of the publishing house, we are proud to finally present the “Henle Library” app. Musicians can expect the best.
So what does the “Henle Library” app have to offer? Well, first and foremost it provides the undistorted correct and attractive reference text contained in our Urtext editions. That’s no small thing, as many digital music editions are reset – and consequently include mistakes and don’t look good.
Using the app, the familiar musical text (always in the most recent issue) can be customised in any number of versions to suit your individual needs:
- you can change the number and size of staves per screen;
- you can add or remove the solo parts the piano score in chamber music;
- you can add your own notes to the musical text as you see fit, using a specially developed annotation programme (pen and text field); perfectionists can even add professional annotations using a comprehensive Henle character font;
- our beta testers’ eyes lit up when they saw that you can add or remove all fingerings and bowings with just one tap or choose the ones that you want to see (and then even overwrite them with your own);
- But that’s not all: For many repertoire works we’ve added several further sets of new fingerings and bowings that can be added as layers to our Urtext. So when you buy the “Henle Library” app at launch, you’ll get the “bare bones” Urtext of Bach’s Solo Sonatas and Partitas and then you can also choose to see markings by Igor Ozim, Midori Seiler and Christian Tetzlaff; the Beethoven Piano Sonatas also have fingerings by Conrad Hansen, Murray Perahia and Eugen d’Albert; Brahms Violin Sonatas have fingerings and bowings by Leopold Auer, Igor Ozim, Ossip Schnirlin, and the piano part offers fingerings by Lars Vogt in addition to those of Hans-Martin Theopold. And much more. You have to see for yourself how elegantly you can switch between “layers”. It’s this feature in particular that we want to expand in the future, step-by-step – there are so many great artists of the past who published fingerings in editions that are no longer in print and that sadly are hidden away in libraries. But many of today’s artists and teachers are also going to provide markings exclusively for our app. What an incredible treasure trove for teachers and students alike!
- It goes without saying that you can view the digital Henle scores in vertical or horizontal high resolution formats; you can change the background colour; you can turn “pages” faster than you can with real paper; you can use any standard Bluetooth foot pedal to turn pages; you can have each movement start on a new page; you can opt for your own alignment of the staves and pages or the “original” one (that’s in the print edition); you can, of course, print everything out or send it as an e-mail attachment.
- We’re particularly proud of the following features, which were the result of discussions with musicians. These include a two-finger tap on repeat signs that enable you to jump back to the beginning of the repeat (in the blink of an eye). “A” sections (for instance in scherzos or minuets) are always written out again after the “B” section (so you don’t have to turn back pages). With chamber music if you buy the corresponding score as well as the solo part, you can switch between a passage in the part and the same passage in the score and back again at the tap of your finger. All (!) of the reproductions, illustrations and accompanying written texts in the printed Henle editions are included in the edition in the app, as a matter of course. But with the incredible added convenience of being able to see all of the passages in the musical text for which there is additional information (either in footnotes or in the readings in the critical report in the printed version) at the tap of a button; tap on a highlighted passage and as if by magic, the corresponding text “pops-up” right next to the musical text (and by the way, this includes direct links to explanations of abbreviations and information about the sources, etc.).
- And of course we also have something for those of you who want to use the app when playing: First of all, there’s a professional metronome. Secondly, you can record and listen to yourself. But that’s not all, you can listen to yourself playing the original tempo but you can also speed up or slow down the recording – the original pitch is preserved – and if you want, in a continuous loop. Just imagine all of the possibilities there are for teaching or self-study!
As a traditional music publisher we obviously could not develop this kind of multi-functional software for musicians on our own. Following some preliminary negative experiences, we then chose an app developer who was perfectly suited to us, as far as we were concerned: Touchpress, a London-based company. Many readers are probably familiar with some of their other apps, which are innovative, beautiful and content-rich. Along with us, Touchpress has surpassed itself and achieved something truly great. We will continue to develop the “Henle Library” app together for the benefit of you, our customers. Incidentally, Touchpress and Henle guarantee that all of the musical scores that you purchase via the app will always be available to you wherever you are, thanks to “cloud technology” and they will never be lost. Users can, of course, change between different operating systems (iOS and Android) and use the app wherever they are, whenever they want and on any tablet without loss of data. We’ll be offering free updates for the iOS and Android operating systems on a regular basis. Thus we’ll be addressing the extremely important issue of sustainability.
And I’d like to end by outlining a key sales argument: I’ve saved it until last because I’ll finally succeed in convincing sceptics (if there are any left!) of the value of our digital alternative: Alongside the usual complete collections (such as Bach’s Well-Tempered Piano, 1), with the “Henle Library” app you can now also buy each piece individually (so just one single Prelude). And what’s more: You can just buy (if you want to) one single part (maybe you only want the 2nd violin part of a string quartet) and no longer have to buy all of the parts, as you do with a print edition. I don’t think I have to underline the incredible savings.
When you’re using the app for playing or performance, we suggest using a tablet with a larger screen such as Apple’s iPad Pro that has just been launched. As far as we’re concerned, this is the perfect device for musicians:
Pair it with a foot pedal and a stylus and for the first time ever print music is getting serious competition.
Available as of 3 February 2016 for the iPad in the App Store, and from May 2016 in Android stores. You can find out more about the “Henle Library” app on our specially designed website www.henle-library.com. If you register there, you can have a free trial of the app. We are confident that we are redefining the world of sheet music with our “Henle Library” app. And we look forward to hearing your feedback and suggestions for improvement!
Congratulations on this exciting development! Maybe yes, after many false dawns in the e-music publishing industry this one will really take off.
Could you remove the quote marks from the URL? It makes it difficult to paste into Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Exciting news! Is there any chance that the app will also be available in the Windows store at some point for Surface Book and Surface tablets?
As of now, it is not planned to develop the app for Windows / Surface. If there proves to be a great interest from users for a Windows version of the app, we might consider it in the future.
I would also be interested in a Windows version. I find the computer/tablet hybrids to be very convenient and I have an Acer that is similar to the Surface Pro.
As of now, we are not planning on programming the app for Windows. However, we are closely monitoring the market and if we see a great demand for a Windows version, we will of course consider it.
Is there any chance of having a Windows version still?
As of now, we are not planning on programming the app for Windows. However, we are closely monitoring the market and if we see a great demand for a Windows version, we will of course consider it. If we do release a Windows version, we will personally notify you via email.
I look forward to seeing more about this app.
Will it be made available for the Surface Book or Surface Pro?
As of now, it is not planned to develop the app for Windows / Surface. If there proves to be a great interest from users for a Windows version of the app, we might consider it in the future.
Sounds wonderful! Any idea how much it will cost in Canada?
It is hard to say, as you buy the pieces individually! The app itself doesn’t cost anything.
Greatly looking forward to this app. I am one who has migrated to the iPad as a matter of course. This adds a wonderful degree of adaptability to its use!
Register for have a free trial of the app.
Do you plan to consider making a Library subscription model for this available as many Conservatoire Libraries would be interested in purchasing and delivering as loans scores to students in this way?
As of now, this isn’t planned, yet. If there is a strong demand from libraries, we will consider it in the future.
A wonderful age we’re living in!
I’m so excited to use your new App!
Consider adding a social tool that allows registered users to exchange (upload) layers of fingerings, advice and even recordings/tutorials/lessons, then you have a strong concept for the 21st century. No, not just a strong concept: A revolutionary concept!
The joy of learning, playing and sharing great music – all on one page!
Will you guys be releasing this App for devices such as the Surface Pro 4? Or any Windows based machines? With Apps like Staff Pad the Surface Pro seems to have untapped potential in the music reading market, as there is nothing right now developed.
This is what everyone has been waiting for. What a great idea. I am sure it will explode. Congratulations!!
Can you talk about what format the files are in? Are they an XML-type file that can be easily analyzed? A huge library of easily-analyzed digitized files would be amazing for research purposes!
The Henle Library app has its own file format that makes all of the customization features possible.
One thing that’s not clear from this blog post, is whether you, guys, will keep publishing the physical scores, or stop the physical scores all together.
The second sentence is not exactly reassuring: “Henle Urtext has gone digital.”
Thank you for raising this question. But why should we stop producing and selling our famous printed blue scores? Who are we to teach the musicians what kind of “tool” they should use?: Good old paper or the latest technology? Both is possible in high quality. Let them chose. We guess that with our new app we will mainly meet the demand of a new, younger generation worldwide who wants to use their tablets for music making.
Thank you for the reply! You’ve put my worries to rest! 🙂
This is probably a stupid question, but would we be able to view any of our hard copy scores on this app? I’m still excited for when it gets launched!
Unfortunately, you can only view editions in the Henle Library app that you have purchased within the app.
Right now, I personally prefer a PDF file typeset how the publisher wants it to look without all the bells & whistles that this app appears to offer. But, I’ll wait to see the final product and reserve the right to change my mind.
The BIG question not mentioned anywhere is this: Can I load into this app the thousands of pdf music files I already have? If not, the app would be useless for live playing – I can’t be switching between apps in the middle of a concert. Performing musicians really need to be able to use one single app to view music from many different publishers. That means the music must be in a standard (open) format that anyone can design an app for. A PDF file is ideal for that.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to load PDFs into this app, as the app is based on a different file format in order to offer all of its customization features.
However, we believe that it won’t take any more time to switch between two apps, than it would to switch between two paper books, especially if you already opened both apps before. It is worth a try!
I applaud your entry into the digital age! The only thing needed to complete the picture is a suitable E-ink display. E-ink book readers (such has Amazon’s Kindle) have been available for years. They are much easier on the eyes than tablets such as the iPad. (They also use MUCH less power.) I believe that they combine the best features of a digital display and an old-fashioned printed page.
Are there any E-ink displays out there that are large enough for music? It’s likely that we need more development in this area.
We are not aware of any larger E-ink displays, which is why the app will be published for iPads and Android-tablets.
Actually, there is the Sony DPT-S1 (13,3″ 4:3 150dpi E-Ink), but it only supports PDF files.
Presumably in March another 13,3″ E-Reader will be sold by Onx Boox, and this one will have 207 dpi Display and Android 4.0… so it should be possible to use the HENLE Library with it.
Sadly, all E-Ink Displays can only display grayscales and refresh rate is quite low, but nevertheless I think it’s way better than a LCD monitor.
Is the new digital app “Henle Library” going to have the option for the print edition paper color? Ivory or off white?
Yes, you will indeed have the option to display the scores in a colour that is very close to our print editions.
Will there be a digital score option in a piano quintet for example to enlarge the cello line and have the violins’, viola, and piano lines be equally smaller?
You will have the option to jump between your part and the piano score. You will also be able to hide the staves of the other instruments in a piano score. Changing the size of the other parts, unfortunately, is not possible yet.
Will the app be able to sync two ipad’s so you can turn multiple pages at once or write markings for an entire section of instruments?
Unfortunately, this is not yet possible. However, we will constantly work on improving the app and take suggestions from our users into account when we decide on new features.
is this going to be a PDF or what ? is it in app purchase or we can buy separately
It is not a PDF. The Henle Library app has it’s own file format that let’s you customize the score and its layout beyond what would be possible with PDFs. You can buy digitial Henle Urtext editions within the app via in-app purchases.
Will it be available for PC?
As of now, we are not planning on offering the app for PC. However, as digital products evolve over time, we might consider this in the future.
Will I be able to export the score via musicxml or midi? I have reasons to post process.
The app doesn’t offer an export in those formats. You can print any score from the app and you can share your annotations via email. However, these attachments can only be opened in the Henle Library app.
Your app sounds wonderful. How much of Henle’s fine catalogue will be available in digital format?
We will start off with about 25 editions, but will constantly work on adding more. We are planning on offering our full catalogue in the app by the end of 2018.
Are there plans to offer owners of print editions reduced cost downloads? I have a ton of books in my collection and I would love to have a digital copy, but would rather not have to repurchase everything!
Unfortunately this is not possible. However, we will consider giving discounts on the digital product for future purchases of the print product.
Will there be an iPad pro stylus support for the annotations?
Even though it is not planned yet, we will consider it!
Will you add scores for instruments other than strings and piano?
Yes, we will most definitely add scores for different instruments. You should see a number of pieces appear in the app over the next few weeks. As we will have the full Henle print catalogue available by 2018, we will also have the full range of instrumentations available.
That’s really great news! An universal App for Windows would be great, so that one can use it to preview scores on the mobile phone or PC, make some annotations, and play the score from the Surface tablet. The benefit here is that it is one app which runs on all screen sizes! Is there any chance you will consider an app for the Windows Store?
It is not planned as of yet, but we will certainly consider it, if we see a great demand.
Dear Henle: I’d like to really try your app now that I downloaded it. But it won’t recognize my Airturn PED foot pedal, which I have been using regularly with ForScore, half page turns and all (are half turns possible in Henle?). You haven’t posted any instructions and I tried every Airturn mode setting. Given the AirTurn’s popularity, you need to address this issue if you want this app to get used. ForScore has a setup for pairing the AirTurn from within the app menu under “devices”, but I see no equivalent here.
Dear Mr Gordon,
Thank you very much for getting back to us about your pedal problem. I have the AirTurn Duo BT 106 in front of me, connected to an iPad 3. In AirTurn Mode 3 the two pedals produce a keystroke Up Arrow and Down Arrow. This turns the pages in the music. It’s working.
Could you let me know which model you use? Any bluetooth pedal that can produce the above keystrokes or Arrow back and Arrow forwards should work with the app (as we mention in the FAQs in the app — see “About the App”). The one thing the Airturn can’t do is a double tap which is needed for jumping to the beginning of a repeat (can also be done by using a two finger tap on the screen).
Let me know if you succeed!
Very best wishes
I have an Airturn BT-105 which was working perfectly with the Henle app on my iPad Pro (big model), but today it has suddenly stopped working. The Airturn is still working perfectly with forScore. I have restarted the iPad Pro, deleted the Airturn from the Bluetooth settings and reconnected. The Henle app is still not responding to the pedal. Do you have any ideas why it would stop working, and what I could try to get it to reconnect with the Henle app? (I could try deleting the app and reinstalling?) Thanks. Ken
I’ve solved the puzzle. It turns out to be a conflict with a Mac app called Typeeto, which lets you type on a Mac onto an iPad via Bluetooth. I had quit the app on the Mac but it still interfered with the Henle app on the iPad. As soon as I turned of Bluetooth on the Mac, the Henle app responded to the bluetooth pedal again. You might want to look into the conflict. It did not affect ForScore.
Thank you very much for the update and your insights! This is very helpful to us. We will look into the issue as soon as possible. In the meantime please do let us know if you are experiencing any further complications with using the pedal with the Henle Library. Thank you!
Even though you only mention the iPad, I presume that the App will work on a Macintosh laptop. Is that correct?
Unfortunately, the app can only run on iPads. There will also be an Android version coming this summer.
What about Henle sheet music I already own? Do I have to repurchase to use that music with the app?
Yes, unfortunately, it is not possible to give a discount on digital editions, if the printed editions have been bought in the past. However, we are thinking about alternative models to combine the two in the future.
Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It’s the little changes that produce the most significant changes. Thanks for sharing!
Greetings! Greetings for the marketing approach! Everything looks perfect except there are high skilled software developers on earth. I can tell that this app is based around PDF file, not standard PDF, but Architect Pro format and that’s PDF format. So the score has no idea about the musical content. Same app like Bärenreiter’s, just a little bit better
Dear Mr. Boehm,
We are in fact using a different file Format (that is based on PDF data chunks) that lets you change the layout of the score (decrease margins and change the space between lines) and pick and choose between different fingerings, to name just a few features. You can find all the details on how it is done in a separate blog entry here: https://www.henle.de/blog/en/2016/02/26/the-henle-library-app-behind-the-scenes-%E2%80%93-part-i/
Why are there so few scores available on the app?
We are working very hard on adding editions as quickly as possible. If there is anything in particular that you are looking for, please send your request to email@example.com. We try to speed up the process for the pieces that our customers request.
This is a fantastic app. I’d like to buy all my music through this app but unfortunately, the amount of available pieces are rather limited right now (at least for solo piano). I really hope you setup a discount program for folks that already have much Henle printed material.
Excellent news. Sounds like this is a revolutionary step in music playing, and we won’t need page turners on the stage anymore!
As usual, when choosing digital vs. paper, my concerns are in the long run. The electronic devices have a very short lifespan. Henle Verlag has a solid reputation, and we can reasonably trust it will keep on supporting customers for many decades. Will the purchases by tied to the person account or to the particular OS? If we use an Apple device today and we switch to Android next year, will we be able to move all of our library for free?
Furthermore, as many others, me too I own a huge Henle library in paper (6 new books bought only last week!), and it would be great if you would find a way for old customers to move to the digital world without having to buy everything anew. I believe the combination paper + digital would be perfect, but if we have to buy the books twice, it will be hard.
Yes, of course you will be able to switch effortlessly and without any additional costs between different operating systems. All of your purchases are linked to your account and not the OS.
We wish we could give a discount to customers who have bought our sheet music in the past, however, this is technically not possible. It is something that we have thought about a lot and are still working on a solution for the future.
Please consider adding transposition for vocal repertoire- in particular lieder. This would be a real advantage over printed editions.
Unfortunetaly I think it’s not possible because Henle scores are something like PDF files.
I have purchased several of your excellent digital scores and downloaded most of them on to my iPad mini, but now I have an iPad Pro and would like to to use all of them on this one, but so far I have not been able to download them on to it. How does one do it?
Dear Ms Fox, we are sorry about the inconvenience. It is usually enough to completely close the app once (double click on home button and swipe the app to the top) or log out and back into the app. You should then find all of your purchased scores in the library. Should both of these not work, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will assist you via email!
Best regards, The Henle Library Team
Any update on windows 10 version. I think its clear that the Surface Pro line has been doing well and is used for work. This way people don’t need to buy a separate tablet just for your app.