Note turner

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Note turner at a choir concert with piano accompaniment

A music turner , page turning or page turning device is a musician's assistant . Its task is to turn the sheet music quickly and in good time according to the sequence of the music being played.


A piano trio with a music turner (back left)

A second person is required to turn the notes if a musician does not have a hand free to turn the pages and would otherwise have to stop playing. Turners are common when playing keyboard instruments , since the notation in two systems requires frequent page changes and the musician needs both hands on the keyboard and thus far away from the music stand . In the concert, the music turner always sits facing away from the audience, i.e. between the musician and the backstage. For practical reasons, music turners stand up to turn the pages.

Musicians are often involved, especially in genres in which an internal performance is unusual, especially in chamber music . On the organ, the registrant takes on the task of turning the notes in addition to pulling and pushing the registers .

Alternatively, the musician can play by heart or turn the page himself. In the notation marks be set up as far as possible, that at the end of a page is a break during which can turn over the musician or just touch Wender, particularly in orchestra . The faster the tempo of a piece of music and the fewer rests it contains, the more a music turner is needed.

A music turner needs advanced knowledge of music, as he has to follow the music being played and the notes, know the sequence (especially repetitions where you have to page back) and be able to understand short signals from the musician in order to be able to turn the page in time. As a rule, however, sheet music transformers are not permanently employed at a concert hall or concert organizer, but work part- time on a fee basis. Often they are friends or acquaintances of the instrumentalist who do this as a favor . In the professional music business, fixed fee rates are provided for turning notes.

Well-known examples and artistic reception

Ignaz von Seyfried had difficulties turning notes at the world premiere of Ludwig van Beethoven's third piano concerto , since Beethoven's notes consisted only of "almost nothing but empty sheets of paper" and "Egyptian hieroglyphs that were purely incomprehensible to me". The music for 6 instruments and a reverser by Paul Hindemith , however, has been lost. In Charles Ives ' second sonata for violin and piano, the music turner has to turn the page for both musicians and at the end of the movement In the Barn plays along on the low keys of the piano. In the parody Liebeslieder Polkas for choir and piano five hands by PDQ Bach (alias Peter Schickele ), the music turner, who moves around the two main pianists, is given small pianistic tasks in addition to leafing through the pages.

The film The Girl Who Turns the Pages is about a pianist and her music turner. With the violinist and conductor Aleksey Igudesman , turning notes is occasionally used satirically.

In episode 114 of the crime series SOKO Leipzig , a music turner is at the center of the plot.


In the 19th century there were attempts to turn the pages using technical apparatus. In 2003 two young entrepreneurs from Düsseldorf brought another mechanical note turner onto the market.

There are special computer programs that change the displayed page automatically or are controlled by a pedal . The Bamberg Symphony had been using this technique since 2000, but soon abolished it again. Since the advent of tablet computers , digital sheet music has become more common. A foot pedal is also used to scroll to a new sheet of music.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Example radio: WDR : € 52.96 per session; Fee framework of the WDR from 2009 ; BR : € 45.11 per session; BR fee framework for radio valid from April 1, 2010 .
  2. Alexander Wheelock Thayer : Ludwig van Beethoven's life. 2nd volume. Breitkopf & Härtel, Leipzig 1910, p. 370 ( Chapter 10. The year 1802 at .).
  3. The freedom of a frontier worker. ( Memento of the original from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. In: Berner Zeitung of March 18, 2010. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. ^ Fondation Hindemith: Catalog raisonné , accessed on July 26, 2017.
  5. "The Revenge of the Music Turners" - A Cluster Legend? In: Herbert Henck: Piano Cluster: History, Theory and Practice of a Sound Shape. LIT Verlag, Münster 2004, ISBN 3-8258-7560-1 , p. 57 ( limited preview in the Google book search). The autograph is unclear, however.
  6. By adding a third person at the piano PDQ [Bach] not only expanded the range of the accompaniment, but he also made sure that there was always one hand free for turning pages. Or, to look at it another way, he made life much more interesting for the page turner. " Program Notes. In: PDQ Bach : Liebeslieder Polkas (S. ). Theodore Presser, Bryn Mawr 1981.
  7. Sheet music, sheet music printing, music stand, music turner. In: Ernst Ludwig Schubarth: Repertory of technical literature, the years 1823 to 1853 inclusive. Felix, Berlin 1856, p. 623 ( full text in the Google book search).
  8. Mechanical note turner . In: Euterpe , 6th year, Erfurt 1846, No. 3, p. 46 ( full text in the Google book search).
  9. The tide has turned . In: WamS , March 16, 2003.
  10. Bamberg Symphony Orchestra. Laptops are replacing music books. Spiegel Online , February 14, 2000.