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A sheet music stand is a pretty straightforward piece of equipment, so there aren’t a ton of detailed qualifications for what makes a good one. Basically, you need something wide and deep enough to hold all of your music (whether as sheets or in a songbook) and perhaps an iPad. Likewise, it also needs to be sturdy enough to withstand a good deal of weight without falling from where you’ve adjusted it for height.
The best music stands are all adjustable to some degree, so we took into consideration how user-friendly the adjustable function was. For example, many stands adjust from the back, which can be awkward, while others use a front-facing knob which some find more convenient. We love the convenience of friction-based adjustment mechanisms, but these can sometimes be unreliable. We like stands that can be adjusted to both seated and standing height and which have a wide tilting range to better customize the perfect angle. Though lightweight stands are preferred for the simple reason that they’re much easier to carry around, a stand that is too lightweight can indicate a lack of quality. Either way, you’ll want a music stand with a sturdy base that prevents shifting — and prevents your sheet music from spilling all over the floor.
1. Manhasset Model 48-Sheet Music Stand
If this music stand looks familiar, that’s because it is a model widely used in orchestras and school bands, and, according to the manufacturer, used by more schools than all other music stands combined.
It appears this is for good reason. The stand’s high-quality materials and excellent stability help it stay secure even while carrying heavy loads. It’s also easy to adjust to a wide variety of heights and angles. It is a friction-operated stand, which means that you need only pull or push to adjust it for height without the bother of knobs. The bookplate swivels all the way around and can even tilt all the way backwards.
2. Donner Travel Music Stand With Carrying Bag
If you’re looking for something easy to carry around and travel with, we look for folding stands like this one. This steel music stand is sturdy enough to withstand a good deal of weight — be it a large music book or an iPad — and can then be collapsed and stored in a carrying case (also included) for wherever you need to go.
In addition to the carrying case, we like that this stand comes with a slate of other helpful accessories, including a music stand light, USB cord and music sheet clip holder. This stand is easy to assemble and disassemble, though there is a slight learning curve when it comes to the knob-operated adjustment feature.
All things considered, it’s perfect for a musician on the go.
3. Kasonic Pink Folding Sheet Music Stand
This stand is ultra lightweight, flexible, adjustable, and collapsible, which means it is another easily portable option and perfect for customizing to the player’s exact needs. You’ll note how easy it is to set up and that there are no additional tools needed — which goes a long way in our book. We also like that despite how little the stand actually weighs, it’s strong and deep enough to hold large books or pads of music at once, thanks in part to the deep bookplate and tripod design which evenly disperses the weight.
Also, yes, we will not lie, we love that it is pink. You’ll never mix up your stand with someone else’s.