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Please recommend task light for music stand

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by [email protected], Jan 12, 2006.

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  1. Hi, I'm not a lighting engineer, I'm an amateur musician. I'm looking
    to buy a very decent clamp lighting unit that will attach to my music
    stand. Here is a picture of the music stand that I have and the
    lighting accessory that would fit on this stand with light designed to
    be aimed at sheet music:

    It seems to me that a high quality fluorescent lamp that's AC powered
    would provide a brighter, cleaner, cooler light covering a broader
    spectrum... not to mention much longer life of the tube or bulb.

    So can anyone here recommend and point me to a product that you feel
    would be along the lines of what i'm looking for? - or if you want to
    throw me a curve and recommend something else, I'd be interested to
    hear what you have to say.

  2. David Lee

    David Lee Guest

    Jeff wrote...

    B####y musicians and their fluorescent lamps! ;-)

    Speaking as a stage manager and lighting designer - cooler and brighter is
    NOT better and you wouldn't be thanked for spilling "clean cool light" all
    over the stage in dark scenes and blackouts!
    So if you are ever likely to be playing for a stage production - or in an
    orchestra where are likely to be lit for effect - you should aim for the
    dimmest lamp that will still allow you to read the dots, in a fixture that
    will light up your music and absolutely nothing else. (Even then it's
    amazing how much light can bounce off a pitful of illuminated scores!) The
    light you are considering appears to do the business and comes fitted with a
    40watt lamp but I would suggest that you keep a 25watt lamp in your music
    case as well so that you can easily dim it down if it turns out to be too
    distracting in a performance.


  3. This is for home practice - I could care less how much light spills
    onto the sofa....
  4. David Lee

    David Lee Guest

    CJT wrote...
    Not at all - they are expected to be able to read their music without
    difficulty but behave with consideration for everyone else involved in a
    production - and particularly the audience. However when it comes to lights
    they tend to have a nasty habit of being just plain difficult. Typically a
    muso will come in to rehearsal at the last minute from brightly lit daylight
    and curse and swear that their lights are too dim and they won't be able to
    read the dots with less than 500watts when you know damn well that within a
    few minutes their eyes will be sufficiently dark adjusted to read the music
    with a candle. A common stage managers trick, where desk lamps are on a
    dimmed circuit, is to start with them on full and then very gradually creep
    them down until they are too dim. When someone eventually complains that
    it's too dark to see the music you immediately agree with them and bump the
    lights back up to the proper level. After that everyone is happy for the
    rest of the production run!

    Just wish that the psychology was as simple when it comes to musicians and
    fog effects!

  5. David Lee

    David Lee Guest

    jeff wrote...
    Fairy Nuff! Although I would have thought whatever light you use for
    reading should also be fine for playing.

    However, bear in mind that professionally designed desk lamps - like the one
    you were suggesting - will be designed to give a limited amount of
    illumination for just the reasons I gave, so you may be better going for a
    nice standard lamp. Possibly the sort with adjustable spotlamps that you
    can angle as you wish.

  6. The complaints about not being able to see are warranted. Picture
    tiny dots clumped together, often several at the same time. It's
    really important to be able to read this stuff properly and without
    too much visual strain. Obviously onstage this is a balancing act but
    being able to see what you have to play is at least as important as
    the ambient stage setting.
  7. David Lee

    David Lee Guest

    jeff wrote...
    No they are not warranted - re-read what I wrote: "they are expected to be
    able to read their music without difficulty". I have every sympathy with
    the amount of light that a musician needs - I have been there and read the
    dots! I have sung difficult choral works from a score and frequently
    stage-managed operas where I have to follow the dots myself by the light of
    a 15watt bulb whilst also having to follow a cue sheet and possibly a
    libretto and at the same time having to watch the action on a brightly lit
    stage, rather than just the hands and face of the conductor. I have never
    had complaints about the lighting level in the pit during a performance but
    I guarantee that what is considered by the musicians to be perfectly
    adequate in performance would have been rejected out of hand in rehearsal
    when they had come straight from sunshine into a darkened auditorium without
    time for their eyes to dark-adapt. In a performance, when they have to wait
    for the conductor in a gloomy pit their eyes are always fully dark-adapted
    before thay start and so there are no problems.

    The problem is not just with musos - I have exactly the same trouble with
    arrogant young stage crew who insist in staying in a brightly lit crew-room
    until the last possible moment before a scene change and then curse and
    swear that they can't see a thing because I haven't given them enough scene
    change light, whilst to my dark-adapted eyes the stage seems bright as day!

  8. There is no such a thing as "cleaner" light, and the spectrum of fluoro
    light is *not* "broader" than that of incandescent light.
  9. d parker

    d parker Guest

    Drugs eh?

  10. Certainly is --- electric lamps are cleaner than kerosene
    lanterns :)

    Vic Roberts
    To reply via e-mail:
    replace xxx with vdr in the Reply to: address
    or use e-mail address listed at the Web site.

    This information is provided for educational purposes only.
    It may not be used in any publication or posted on any Web
    site without written permission.
  11. Thanks, the Lampcraft products seem excellent......
  12. TKM

    TKM Guest

    Jeff, I'm a lighting engineer, not a professional musician; but I have to
    ask. Do you think musicians would be interested in replacing their sheet
    music with a thin, tablet-like self-luminous screen? Such a device might
    answer your question too. It seems to me that an electronic screen device
    that could display the music (positive or negative contrast with variable
    brightness), page automatically, increase or decrease the size of the notes
    and eliminate the paper, page turning, mixed up and dropped sheets, etc.
    might be step forward. I suggested this to my musician daughter, though,
    and she wanted none of it.

    Terry McGowan
  13. David Lee

    David Lee Guest

    Brandon Anderson wrote in message
    I think the answer is definitely going to be No - musicians wouldn't be
    interested! However a continuously scrolling display could be the way to
    go, not scrolling the stave - if ever you have tried to follow that sort of
    display in a Midi package it's horrible - but perhaps scrolling the screen a
    line at a time. There would be trouble controlling the scroll-rate - I
    can't imagine many musicians wanting to be distracted with a pair of
    footswitches or some such to speed-up or slow-down! However it may be a
    runner for musical shows where the MD follows a click-track to keep in sync
    with all the pre-recorded stuff - but programming it would be a nightmare!
    If you have 132 bars rest I think you would rather have the comfort of
    seeing your next phrase in front of you all the time rather than a mile of
    blank staves scrolling past - although the system could include a count-down
    cuing display - perhaps even an alarm facility to warn you to putdown your
    copy of Motorsport in time for the next cue or even an electric shock to
    wake you up 5 bars before the end of the cadenza!

    The real killer is what do you do with your soft pencil! The problem with a
    score is that it tells you what the composer wrote but not exactly how to
    play the music so an average part is covered with pencilled in expression
    marks and personal notes and reminders - so every desk would need to have
    its own workstation and editing keyboard. However the violins would
    probably appreciate being able to leg it to the pub early, leaving the poor
    leader to key in all the bowing marks on his own - and the librarian
    certainly wouldn't miss the many hours of rubbing-out before he could send
    the parts back!

    Basically a good enough idea but not really practicable!

  14. That's primarily because if you're going to use a computer, then you
    might as well load it with Cubase and ditch the musicians. Problem
    solved, and the orchestra pit lift will consume much less power when
    it's going up. :)
  15. Sound's like a great idea to me, but you just lost the
    opportunity to patent this by posting here :)

    Vic Roberts
    To reply via e-mail:
    replace xxx with vdr in the Reply to: address
    or use e-mail address listed at the Web site.

    This information is provided for educational purposes only.
    It may not be used in any publication or posted on any Web
    site without written permission.
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