Topic: Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality  (Read 6372 times)

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Offline smoggrocks

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Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality
« on: November 02, 2005, 12:30 PM »
okay, i'm referring to professional manuscript paper for scoring orchestral music, not sheet music with another composer's music already notated on it. it seems some folk use the terms interchangeably.

what does one look for when purchasing a high-quality version of this manuscript paper? so far, i've only found one retailer in all of nyc that carries MS paper, and their supply is quite limited.

what material or paper type is considered very high quality? do you know a good resource for procuring it? and does one use a specific type of pen when writing on it?

i'm looking to surprise sir smoggy with a stack of this stuff for the holidays, as i know he's working on a classical piece for a full orchestra.

other questions:

if you're dealing with a full orchestra, how many staves to a page should you have on this stuff?

also -- does one generally notate the parts in pencil first, or does the composer go 'straight to press' so to speak, with ink?

so far, all the google sources i've found only offer sheet music, so any insight you can offer would be great!
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Offline Louis Russell

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Offline smoggrocks

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Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2005, 01:26 PM »
thanks, louis. i checked that place already, too. i'm looking for something unbound, and preferably with no "Mel Bay"-type art on the cover. also, i don't think the stuff they offer has enough # of staves.

but they do like like the ultimate resource for "regular" sheet music!
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Offline Stewart Manley

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Re:Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2005, 01:58 PM »
Do you need it in quantity? And do you mean the conductor's score, or for individual instruments? You can get PDFs to print out to give you individual instrument manuscript blank pages.

Offline Jon E

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Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2005, 02:09 PM »
The final number of Staves is simply determined by the instrumentation.  That said, there is plenty of "standard instrumenation" stave paper out there--whether it be labeled for Orchestra, Concert Band or Marching Band, etc.

Probably 12 to 18 (or even more depending what he's doing) stave paper, laid out Landscape is the way to go (well, it's what *I* prefer for full band/orch. notation).  18" x 12" is reasonable size.

Also, Finale makes a Program called PrintMusic that sells for about $50 that does a decent job (especially for the price!!!) of doing notation via the computer.  I still use that too.

Offline Stewart Manley

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Re:Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2005, 02:16 PM »
Infactomundo, here's a nicely configurable  http://www.incompetech.com/beta/linedGraphPaper/staff.html]online manuscript PDF generator  I just stumbled across.

Gosh, maybe this internet thing will catch on after all...  :)

Offline Joe

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Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2005, 02:32 PM »
does one use a specific type of pen when writing on [this paper]?

Lots of times, a fountain pen with some kind of medium italic point.  Others use a dip pen, others a Pilot Fineliner, and still others a dark pencilâ€"whatever photocopies well.  I don't know how much Finale or anything caught on (I know this stuff secondhand).

Quote
does one generally notate the parts in pencil first, or does the composer go 'straight to press' so to speak, with ink?

I'm fairly sure that, with the exception of a copyist who may use a pencil, that the music is written only once; time is of the essence, and the copyists who are working the most bat out copy like you would be able to play two-and-four in your sleep, for instance.

Why, offhand, I'd think that writing a pencil draft first would be akin to a bowling scorekeeper using a calculator, to use a particularly obscure reference.
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Offline James Walker

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Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2005, 03:17 PM »
These folks should be able to set you up, Smogg:

 http://www.judygreenmusic.com/]http://www.judygreenmusic.com/

...they're the company I went to back in my college days, when I was cranking out arrangements for my jazz arranging and orchestration classes (in the dark days before computer notation software...)
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Offline Larry Lawless

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Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2005, 03:37 PM »
First of all, it has been years since I've actually used manuscript paper. When I did, I prefered a heavy weight cream colored background paper made by Passantino. For a full Orchestral score, you would need at least a 20-24 stave paper. I suggest you go here  http://www.bookstore.juilliard.edu/shopping/product_details.php?id=18686]http://www.bookstore.juilliard.edu/shopping/product_details.php?id=18686 . Also, first composition will be done in pencil, a softer lead as in a #1 for dark noteheads. My favorite was the Blackwing by Eberhard-Faber, because it was the pencil Igor Stravinsky used, but I haven't been able to find them in awhile. Inking in final copy was usually done on onionskin with dark india ink in a fill tip, medium to fine point.

Having said all that, the last time I used manuscript paper and pencil and pen was for my Master's Thesis in Composition. Since then, everything I do is in the Finale Music Notation program. Music copyists don't use paper and pen anymore, all the publishers use Finale or maybe Sibelius. When I send stuff to a publisher, I just print my Finale files on my laser printer, or just email the files. No copyist or engraver is necessary. Other benefits of using a notation software program are instantaneous playback of what you are working on and best of all, no copying parts. When the creative process is finished, just a mouse click and it automatically separates the score into individual parts in their own files. Finale has made my life as a composer so much easier.
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Offline Roger Beverage

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Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2005, 03:39 PM »
Quality full size MS paper is getting harder and harder to find in stores.

The original score is generally done on a score pad with the basic instumentation pre printed for full orchestra, concert band, marching band, stage band, etc. and is generally done in pencil.

Then the copyist gets to write out all the individual parts.  If Sir Smoggy is doing it all, he will need both types of paper.  

I would suggest the Finale printing program suggested earlier. You can upgrade that program to the full Finale program later if you wish.   In fact, with Finale 2006 on the market, they will likelyly be offering a deal on 2005.  I have 2003 and got it for half price at this time of year.

Roger

Offline smoggrocks

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Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2005, 04:59 PM »
ooh, thanks so much for all the insight, folks. lawless, what you described is really where i'm at. we are traditionalists at heart for many things, which is why i want to present this to him the old-fashioned way. i'm aware of the new notation programs and such, but i know he enjoys going through the full process, the way i like baking my own bread.

i found 20-stave "landscape" paper at the place behind carnegie hall, and may go with that, if it's high quality. but i also want to check out julliard and the place james walker mentioned.

but it's 6 on the dot now and i have the chance to escape, so escape i will.

peace and thanx!
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Offline Todd Norris

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Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2005, 05:49 PM »
If Sir Smoggy is doing it all, he will need both types of paper.  


Hey Rog!  "Sir" Smoggy is a "Gal".  Just thought I'd save you from any future foot-in-mouth disease!  

Sounds like Finale is the way to go....

Offline Joe

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Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2005, 06:21 PM »
Hey Rog!  "Sir" Smoggy is a "Gal".

Male significant-other:

i'm looking to surprise sir smoggy with a stack of this stuff for the holidays, as i know he's working on a classical piece for a full orchestra.
I'm not a particularly slow player, yet I don't play fast.  I play half-fast.

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Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2005, 08:10 PM »
Quote
Hey Rog!  "Sir" Smoggy is a "Gal".

Nawwww she's a W-o-m-a-n! (Where is a Helen Reddy MP3 when you need one?)

Offline Larry Lawless

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Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2005, 05:27 AM »
lawless, what you described is really where i'm at. we are traditionalists at heart for many things, which is why i want to present this to him the old-fashioned way. i'm aware of the new notation programs and such, but i know he enjoys going through the full process, the way i like baking my own bread.

I understand completely. There's something about the feel of the paper and pencil that connect you to the piece. I will often print out rough drafts from my Finale files just to get the whole perspective on the piece, and pencil in parts. Finale is just a tool, like anything else. And my wife even grinds her own wheat to make her bread.
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Offline smoggrocks

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Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2005, 09:56 AM »
whoa, your wife's got me seriously beat! that's awesome!:D

yeah, i get goofed on by lots of people because i like to do many things the old-fashioned way. i still write all my copy by hand, with a pencil, then i sometimes transfer it to pen, then i type it on my computer. i can't stand writing directly to computer. it feels impersonal.

i recently sent my pal a hand-written letter and she loved it. e-mail has made that kind of stuff almost obsolete. i love beautiful paper and beautiful writing instruments, and i still take pride in the fact that i have rather nice penmanship. not as beautiful as my mom's, but quite nice regardless.

i guess they call it 'the lost arts' for a reason ;D
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Offline Louis Russell

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Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2005, 06:24 PM »
i love beautiful paper and beautiful writing instruments,

Remind me to tell you about my Waterman fountain pen some day.  I love writing with a genuine pen.  

Edit:  oh yeah,  I changed channels on the TV the old fashioned way today.  I was walking by the TV at the time though.  
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Offline Mark Schlipper

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Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2005, 09:18 PM »
OT I know ... but it is kind of related to the quality of staff paper ...

John Cage wrote a piece once based on flaws in the paper.  Where there were dark bits, flecks, etc he would put notes.
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Offline David Crigger

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Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2005, 10:22 AM »
Smogrocks -

I get my supplies from Valle Music here in LA. www.vallemusic.com

Though I shopped at Judy Green's for years - either one have best quality, professional stuff.

Manuscript paper, as a term, can be an umbrella term for all these papers - or - often refers to the paper used for individual parts. It sounds like you are looking for "score paper" or "orchestral paper" - which comes in pads in various sizes with varying amounts of pre-printing.

The number of staves (basically how many lines or "parts" vertically), whether or not bar lines are pre-printed (usually 4 or 8 or none per page horizontally) and whether or not the staves are labeled with the names of the various instruments.

Since this is a gift, I would go with something big and full featured (which you can always modify by just crossing out a name here or there) - then let your writer experiment with their preferences later.

For full orchestra, it sounds like Valle's orchestral paper #444 might be appropriate - big, versatile and certainly will make one feel they're writing for FULL orchestra. It is like $19 for a pad of 50 sheets.

I don't know anyone who writes scores in ink - so some good music pencils are in order as well. I don't know what's current but I'm sure the folks at Valle or Judy's can help you there.

The "fun" of this process has long since escaped me - so I'm pretty much a computer guy these days.... which leads us to "part" paper. When it is time to copy the score on to parts - these places will be your best source for the paper for that as well. Nothing like parts copied on proper sized "9.5" x12" manuscript paper - from Valle's catalog this would #600 for a folded 8 stave title with a 10 stave second page ($44 per 100) plus some #602 (two folded 10 stave pages) for parts that go past page 2. Getting the right tape for parts is a good idea for this phase as well.

Anyway, hope that helps.

David

Offline smoggrocks

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Question on manuscript ("sheet music") paper quality
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2005, 10:36 AM »
Smogrocks -

I get my supplies from Valle Music here in LA. www.vallemusic.com

 :o

wow -- that's my last name. how cool; another valle that digs paper. i may have to fly out there!

i can't thank all of you people enough for this info. i feel like you've given me my own personal paper catalog. vic [sir smoggy] is going to be mighty pleased upon opening this giftie!

oh, and louis -- today is as good a day as any, so do dish on the waterman. i had a lovely montblanc fountain pen granted to me by my company when i was promoted to a writing post. some schmuck stole it from me, though.
The most wasted day of all is that on which you have not laughed.

 

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