I received an e-mail from a reader today who was interested in an iPad app that allows a user to enter lyrics and chords into a chart, and then to be able to transpose as needed.

As a high school choral music teacher, I don’t have need of this functionality very often. I work with complete scores 99.9% of the time…from choral lit to solo lit. But I certainly understand the number of musicians that need fake books to sustain their careers!

I’ve been familiar with a number of “chord” apps, such as iRealBook, which was recently renamed “iReal b.” The app had to remove all included songs (I think they are still available on the Internet), and although lyrics are not displayed, the app can play the chord charts that are entered.

A quick Google search pulled up OnSong, another answer to “fake books” for the iPad. The app displays lyrics and chords. You can import charts from a variety of sources (although some formats will not allow for transposition) or enter charts yourself. The app also will show potential fingerings for specific chords (if you are a novice guitar player as I am), and can export charts a number of ways, including as a PDF which could be opened in any music reader (Thus, a church worship leader could buy the app, import or enter the lyrics and text, and distribute the file as a PDF to other members of the band).

Here’s a YouTube video by goldenpreciado about OnSong that demonstrates some of the features of this app.

If you know of other apps that match the functionality of this app, please take a moment to e-mail me so I can include it in this post!


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