Perform sheet music without frequently refreshing the page

6th October 2014
Nat Bowers

Supported by Nottingham Trent University, Martin Smith has launched a purpose-built portable music sheet reader with a 22" screen to allow musicians to perform without frequently refreshing the page. The MSc engineering management graduate aim to raise £35,000 to build the first line of ziks, following five years of product development.

Martin Smith commented: “As an engineer I’ve always been fascinated by the migration from paper to digital. After working closely with musicians, it quickly became apparent that the market is crying out for a purpose-built reader with a screen larger than those available with most tablet or laptop computers. By giving people a 22 inch screen, it replicates the actual size of sheet music and displays two sheets at a time. This allows musicians to play without frequently turning the page and makes the screen more readable. It’s the same format that musicians have used with sheet music for hundreds of years. What we’re doing is adapting the technology to suit the musician’s needs, rather than the musician having to adapt to a new technology.”

Enabling users to download sheet music from the internet and store it electronically, the zik features a high resolution LED touchscreen and 2GB of storage. Paper copies of sheet music can also be stored on the zik if they are scanned externally. While the reader turns the page instantly when the musician touches the screen, the zik is also compatible with most foot pedals which can entirely eliminate the need to touch the screen.

A feature can also be used which allows the musician to change the left hand side page first, without changing the right hand side page. This removes the temporary ‘blind spot’ which occurs when turning both pages at once.

“We’ve designed something which has the potential to revolutionise the way musicians consume sheet music around the world. It’s designed to be used by any type of musician and we’ve had very positive feedback from people who play various instruments. Its lightweight and slim design makes it easy to carry and it can stand on various surfaces, giving flexibility. We’re very excited to launch it on the market and think that it will provide people with an excellent experience and good value for money,” adds Smith.

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