Indexing Real Books On iPad

A Music Toolbox

iPad has become a great music tool which I use daily for practicing, performing and teaching. It is especially a great mobile solution for your music – audio and video playback and streaming, scanning, recording audio, and video, pitch and speed control for music transcription, a midi controller for virtual instruments, drum loops, music notation, taking notes and more.

Music Library – Sheet Music, Scores and Music Books

iPad is a very handful tool for storing and reading music scores. It can save you a huge amount of space (and weight in your bag:) by going completely paperless. Just scan your music or load your sheet music into it.

There several apps for it, like forScore, unrealBookiGigBookDeep Dish GigBook and others but the best to my opinion is probably forScore

forScore App for iPad and iPhone

I’ve been using the forScore app since I’ve bought my iPad Pro 10.5 in 2017. It is a really powerful app. Besides storing and opening PDF files with sheet music it does annotation, sharing, scanning, syncing with audio files creating bookmarks, organizing and reordering music, setlists and more. All of this works fast in a beautiful elegant interface.

forScore is been great not only for single scores and parts. You can also load Real Books and Fake Books that have hundreds of songs in one giant file. forScore version 10 adds a great feature that allows you to add indexes to large scores by uploading a CSV file that links the song titles to specific page numbers of the PDF. You can now search for a specific song and open it in seconds within a huge book.


I have found the list of downloadable index files for apps like forScore and unrealBook here. Just download the CSV file and open it in forScore to sync with a corresponding book. Your Real Book will become indexed with a table of contents corresponding to songs. You can search and share the specific song within the app.

Music educator Robby Burns from Columbia, Maryland has made this video on how to add index files to forScore iPad app:

Real Book 6th Edition Index

I could not find the Real Book 6th edition index file anywhere on the internet.  So I have created it myself. Here is for you an index CSV file for Real Book 6th edition which has an exact match to its pages. You can download it here:


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I hope that the information in this post is helpful for you. If you have questions or any thoughts, please write them down in the comments area.

The Best iPad Score Reader For Most People

Here is a very nice and informative review on iPad score reader apps a from scoringnotes.com (NYC Music Services), a post from January 10, 2019, by David MacDonald.

“We spent time with each of the main iPad score reader apps — forScoreNewziknkodaBlackbinder, and Piascore — to assess the current state of the category, and to help musicians decide which of the excellent options best suits their needs…”

forScore 11 release further refines the best-in-class iOS score reader

Another review from May 2, 2019, by David McDonald (NYC Music Services) on recent forScore version 11 update. He writes: “forScore has released forScore 11, the first major update to the iOS score reader since 2016. It’s largely an evolutionary update; current users may not notice much difference on the surface.apart from the slightly flatter icon style. However, the improvements are thoughtful, practical, and welcome. Best of all for current users, the update is free!”

You can read it here.

Alec is a jazz pianist, composer, arranger and educator from Tel Aviv, IL. He loves performing, writing, teaching and learning music. Alec has built his website on Wordpress two years ago, he likes writing and sharing ideas and useful stuff.

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Phil Smith
Phil Smith

You could have saved yourself a lot of time with respect to the Real Book 6th Editon index. The iGigBook app contains indexes to over 80 different fake books and real books which includes Real Book 6th Edition, Real Book Vol II 2nd Edition, Real Book Vol III 2nd Edition and Real Book Vol IV.

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