“Books, newspapers and magazines made the leap a long time ago,” writes Zachary Lewis in Sunday’s (8/23) Plain Dealer (Cleveland). “Now it’s music’s turn. Having already revolutionized reading, Amazon.com is shaking up the way people interact with music by making scores available on its popular Kindle reading device. Through an arrangement with a company experienced in digitizing music, the online retailer is offering its Kindle customers instant access to thousands of musical works. Everything from jazz and solo piano pieces to full-scale symphonies and operas is available for immediate download. … Whether and how the service will be used remains to be seen. On the Kindle 2, which Amazon.com released this spring, piano music is almost too tiny to be legible. On its 6-inch screen, details in scores for chamber, symphonic and operatic music are microscopic. There’s also no zooming function as there is for books and magazines. Reading music from the device while actually playing an instrument is difficult. On the plus side, FreeHand’s digital scores cost far less than their print counterparts, and unlike a lot of sheet music, it’s possible to purchase just the piece you want—one Bach Prelude and Fugue, say, rather than the entire ‘Well-Tempered Clavier.’ ”

Posted August 25, 2009