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Benjamin Tubb
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   Posted 11/17/2010 1:11 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Although I've been using Finale's default (text/lyrics) font, Times New Roman, for many years, I've recently had second thoughts about it being the best for readability. Does anyone know what fonts some major music publishers use? From what I've read from some searching on the web, some recommended fonts (all of which I found on my PC fortunatly) are:

Bodoni
Century
Garamond
Palatino

If anyone is not using Times New Roman for their default text font, would you please say what else you are using and why?


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Vaughan
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   Posted 11/17/2010 1:28 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I agree with you wholeheartedly, although I'm a little more outspoken than you about my dislike of the Times Family™ for use in printed music. The fonts you mention are all very good. I personally use Stempel Garamond, which is a beautifully solid and very old typeface. Some like to use a more modern version of it. I also have Adobe Garamond Pro which is very nice. There are also narrower versions which are very good for lyrics as they don't disturb the music spacing so much. A friendly alternative is Gentium (see example).


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Dr. Wiggy
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   Posted 11/17/2010 4:27 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I use Bodoni Bold for all titling, text expressions and everything except lyrics.

Lyrics demand a font that is condensed and legible, such as the fonts you mention -- Century, Garamond Condensed, Palatino. Century does seem to be close to a face that many publishers have used in the past. (Though there are lots of different flavours of Century: New Schoolbook, etc.)

I use Photina, which is clear, precise, legible and compact. It was one of the first faces designed specifically for photo-typesetting. I use partly for the reasons stated, and partly because it is a little bit distinct, so adds a unique quality to my work.

As with Vaughan, I strongly maintain that Times [New Roman] has no place on a page of music!


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Post Edited (Wiggy) : 11/17/2010 3:30:05 AM (GMT-6)

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Benjamin Tubb
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   Posted 11/17/2010 4:52 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Thanks for the replies. Actually the fonts I listed were suggested from Wiggy at his website <g>. But I've never really bothered with font concerns in the past, so my adoption of others, especially for lyrics in music, will be a continuing discovery and comparison process.


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Michel R. E.
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   Posted 11/17/2010 6:33 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
My eye just isn't attuned to this type of detail... but I'd love to hear WHY exactly people display such a dislike for the Times font.


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Dr. Wiggy
Early music: modern methods



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   Posted 11/17/2010 6:56 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Times was designed for new print columns. Its metric are far too fat to be used for lyrics, as it has a greater tendency to affect the note spacing than other fonts. Traditional lyrics fonts have a much narrow body width, to allow more letters in a smaller area.

As for using it elsewhere on the musical page, I suppose that is more subjective, and whilst it might be suitable for titling, I'm just not convinced by it for markings such as "tutti", "Allegro ma non troppo", etc.

Using Times smacks of not choosing a font. It is the font that people use when they haven't thought about which typeface is appropriate for the use. (Graphic Designers can be equally guilty of this, though for them, the default font is Helvetica Neue Condensed smilewinkgrin )

However, if I were designing a newspaper or magazine, I might well consider Times for body copy or headlines, because it is well suited to that.


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OCTO.
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   Posted 11/17/2010 7:54 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I use Minion instead of TNR.


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N. Grossingink
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   Posted 11/17/2010 8:10 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
The sample below is from a G. Henle publication. Can anyone identify the text font? This is the typeface used by many engravers starting around 1870 and can be seen on publications of Peters, Bteitkopf, etc.

These days, Henle uses Finale and has custom fonts for their traditional music and text faces. Take a look at those flats - I think the shaping of the vertical portion is very classy and makes the symbol really stand out.

There are a few good resources for studying aspects of traditional music engraving:

G. Henle website (go to "Downloads" to download sample pages):

www.henle.de/index.cfm?open=02

IMSLP Public domain music library. Tens of thousands of files you can download legally. Piano, chamber and orchestral. There is a real mixed bag of engraving here, from the ridiculous to the sublime. Browse around - there is a lot to be learned about fonts, music spacing, and layout in the better done examples:
imslp.org/wiki/Category:Composers

Happy engraving,
N.


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Dr. Wiggy
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   Posted 11/17/2010 8:17 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
The "Tempo I" looks like Bodoni to me. And that's why I use it for such things.
The Italic looks like a Century face.

Here's Bodoni Roman (a little fatter than the Henle) and ITC Century Italic (looks pretty spot on).

ITC Century Book Condensed would also look quite similar for the Tempo.


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Post Edited (Wiggy) : 11/17/2010 7:21:07 AM (GMT-6)


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Michel R. E.
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   Posted 11/17/2010 8:48 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Is there somewhere a list of which text items should be the same size, which should be italicized, etc...?

I always wonder about things like "rit, accel," and the relation to "acro/pizz," and expressive text like "espr." and which ones should be the same, which different.

I remember seeing a page once that listed what should be italics, what should not, what should be smaller/larger, etc... but I can't find it anywhere.
And none of my engraving books seem to have a clear concise listing.


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N. Grossingink
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   Posted 11/17/2010 9:07 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
QcCowboy said...
Is there somewhere a list of which text items should be the same size, which should be italicized, etc...?


Maybe you're thinking of this site - look under "Fonts".

www.coloradocollege.edu/Dept/MU/musicpress/


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Michel R. E.
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   Posted 11/17/2010 9:19 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
wow, considering what's been said in this thread so far, I'm noticing that that website mentions "Times" a few times more than would seem healthy!


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Dr. Wiggy
Early music: modern methods



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   Posted 11/17/2010 9:37 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I thought the general rule of thumb was "Andante, Allegro, Presto" etc in Roman, "allargando, con sordino, cresc" in Italics.

In other words, everything in the Tempo Marks category in Roman; everything else in Italic.


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Michel R. E.
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   Posted 11/17/2010 9:59 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
according to the website cited above, things like "divisi" are non-italicized


Michel R. Edward
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N. Grossingink
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   Posted 11/17/2010 10:01 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Wiggy said...
I thought the general rule of thumb was "Andante, Allegro, Presto" etc in Roman, "allargando, con sordino, cresc" in Italics.

In other words, everything in the Tempo Marks category in Roman; everything else in Italic.


This is how I would sum it up, based on my own (not always infallible) observation:

Tempo marks - Roman bold

Technique/Procedural text - Roman plain, usually lower case
(pizz., Solo, a2, div., col legno, brassy, Harmon mute, con sord.)

Expressive/Dynamical text - italic, lower case
(lightly, con amore, dim., cresc poco a poco)

N.


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Dave BTW
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   Posted 11/17/2010 10:27 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I use Adobe Minion Expert for most of my text. Research several years ago showed that Minion is spaced so that in a given width there are more letters in a given line than Times, but it doesn't 'look' like a condensed or narrow font.


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Fred G. Unn
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   Posted 11/17/2010 11:07 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I don't have any problem with Times, as it is essentially invisible to the performer which is very important. It doesn't distract as another font might as everyone is accustomed to seeing it. That said, it is that it is so way overused so anyone trying to get an identifiable house style will definitely want to switch to something else. Robert Slimbach's Minion has been mentioned several times and it is an excellent typeface. I used to use it myself for years but mostly now I'm using another Slimbach design, Kepler. Since Kepler is a modern typeface I think it pairs well with the dynamics in Maestro but it's much warmer and not as rigid as something like Bodoni. Also when picking a font for music generally you would want a font with a fairly large x-height as it will increase legibility at smaller point sizes, and Minion and Kepler both have that going for them.

Robert Bringhurst's book "The Elements of Typographic Style" is really the bible of typography IMO, and is very highly recommended. (He sets the book in Minion, BTW.)

I think N.'s assessment of expression styles is right on the money.

Fred
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Dr. Wiggy
Early music: modern methods



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   Posted 11/17/2010 12:14 PM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Fred G. Unn said...
I don't have any problem with Times, as it is essentially invisible to the performer which is very important. It doesn't distract as another font might as everyone is accustomed to seeing it.

Mmm.. An invisible font might not be ideal....!!!
Whilst I agree that type design should not get in the way of the message (as with music engraving), I disagree that using a serif face that is different from Times will cause people a 'distraction'.
Indeed, most people are blissfully unaware of type, and while they may be able to point to a page as being well laid out, only those who take an interest are likely to notice a typeface.

Bringhurst's book is indeed good, and it sits on my shelf along with books by Ted Ross, Gardner Read, HW Fowler, Horace Hart, and other reference works, which I would consider indispensable.


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Dave BTW
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   Posted 11/17/2010 2:22 PM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Bringhurst's book is where I got my schooling and Minion as well.


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Fred G. Unn
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   Posted 11/17/2010 3:05 PM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Wiggy said...

Whilst I agree that type design should not get in the way of the message (as with music engraving), I disagree that using a serif face that is different from Times will cause people a 'distraction'.


I never use Times, and I certainly don't think using another well-designed serif font would be a distraction. I've definitely been in situations where someone has used a poorly designed or almost illegible font that has impeded the rehearsal though. Sometimes people go overboard and use fonts that are not suitable for music just because they think it looks "cool" and it's on their computer, and then it's definitely a distraction. Illegible fonts (like Jazz Font numbers) are also a common problem. A well designed font for music needs to be very legible at smaller point sizes, that's why I recommended using something with a fairly large x-height. I can't tell you how many times I've seen Jazz Font used at some tiny point size for measure numbers. There are also all sorts of freebie fonts available that have terrible kerning, etc.

A lot of Adobe's text fonts come with Creative Suite versions so often users can find them there. If not it's definitely worth the investment in a couple good text faces if you're serious about music engraving.

Here are a few good links I have bookmarked. I used to be really obsessive about fonts ;)

Adobe Type You can find Minion, Garamond, Kepler, etc. here and lots of good info
Identifont Helpful for identifying a typeface
Typographica Type reviews, commentary, etc.
Typophile Really good type forum
Fonts.com Tons of type from lots of different foundries
Emigre For some reason, I've always liked their stuff. You see Mrs. Eaves in print all the time. I've wondered how it or Filosofia would work as a music text font.

Fred
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OCTO.
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   Posted 11/17/2010 4:48 PM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
N. Grossingink said...
The sample below is from a G. Henle publication. Can anyone identify the text font? This is the typeface used by many engravers starting around 1870 and can be seen on publications of Peters, Bteitkopf, etc.

These days, Henle uses Finale and has custom fonts for their traditional music and text faces. Take a look at those flats - I think the shaping of the vertical portion is very classy and makes the symbol really stand out.




I believe that Bodoni has got some change during the time. It was a bit smaller than today.
One thing that why the computer engraved music looks sometimes to sterile is that all symbols are PERFECTLY placed.

The flat symbol is quite similar to one I use, but it is a bit wider.


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Post Edited (OCTOECHOS) : 5/7/2011 11:53:34 AM (GMT-5)

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OCTO.
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   Posted 11/17/2010 5:34 PM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
N. Grossingink said...
The sample below is from a G. Henle publication.



My customizing (here Tempo as "Modern No.20")


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Post Edited (OCTOECHOS) : 5/7/2011 11:54:36 AM (GMT-5)

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warrenbarnett
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   Posted 11/17/2010 6:00 PM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
N. Grossingink said...
I find that Times New Roman has pretty well become invisible to readers because they are so used to seeing it. It doesn't stand out in any way, and therefore only presents the information, and not "Hey, look at me!!! I'm a cool font!!!" It can, however, become quite boring. Same for Maestro Text, since is pretty much seems to be a clone of Times New Roman. In the G. Henle publication example, the itialicized sections always looked like the were fading off of the page. I'm sure that if that is the sort of thing that you are looking for, there are lots of homemade "grunge" fonts that specialize in fading from the page.


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Dr. Wiggy
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   Posted 11/18/2010 4:03 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
warrenbarnett said...
I find that Times New Roman has pretty well become invisible to readers because they are so used to seeing it. It doesn't stand out in any way, and therefore only presents the information, and not "Hey, look at me!!! I'm a cool font!!!" It can, however, become quite boring. Same for Maestro Text, since is pretty much seems to be a clone of Times New Roman. In the G. Henle publication example, the itialicized sections always looked like the were fading off of the page. I'm sure that if that is the sort of thing that you are looking for, there are lots of homemade "grunge" fonts that specialize in fading from the page.

No one is suggesting choosing a font because it looks "cool" or "grunge", or because it sticks out. We are talking about choosing the right font for the right job, and about aesthetics.

As I said earlier, I agree that good design should not get in the way of delivering the information, but I dispute that {any other serif font} will cause the reader to gibber with fear and confusion because it's not Times. For me, I gibber with rage and disgust whenever I see Times on a page of music. In fact, all the hideous gaffes in OUP scores distract me terribly from my sight-reading.

Most people, unless they are interested in typography, will not notice the difference, though they will hopefully like the way that the page looks for reasons that they cannot pinpoint.

A case in point. I once did some typesetting for a client, and when I presented it to him, he (a school headmaster) said "Excellent. I've always liked the elegance of Times New Roman." I then told him it was Bodoni.

I'm not sure what you mean when you talk of faded italics on Henle publications. But that's probably an artefact of the printing process, rather than the font itself. And I don't think that the fading is what people here are trying to replicate.


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Post Edited (Wiggy) : 11/18/2010 3:04:50 AM (GMT-6)

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Michel R. E.
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   Posted 11/18/2010 6:04 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
So, other than spacing for lyrics, there is no actual "practical" reason for the exclusion of Times New Roman as a font in scores.
At least, so far, the only thing I'm getting is that it's some form of snobbism issue.

Times isn't any less readable than another font.

No other font has any advantage over it, either.

It's all because "For me, I gibber with rage and disgust whenever I see Times on a page of music".

I'm still waiting for some technical reason that is more than just "because it's not pretty, according to me".


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