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Nikolas
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   Posted 9/19/2011 12:02 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Hello,

I would like some opinions (or facts) on size of orchestral full scores (conductor, not study scores).

I was a pianist for many years so I rather know how large the page is for a piano score or similarly medium size scores, but for larger scores (large orchestral stuff), I only own DOVER editions which are certainly a bad example to follow...

I know that some things might be custom (depending on the music), but I think that I could settle for a large size score...

So for those who own, or have links or other, could you share your information on the page size of large orchestral scores, please?

Thank you all!

Nikolas


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David Ward
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   Posted 9/19/2011 12:16 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
If there are not too many staves, B4 is a good size for most orchestral scores. I've recently finished a large score which, in a couple of places, goes onto 45 staves. This is perfectly legible on B4, but the conductor should be offered the option of an A3 score instead. For my 2nd cello concerto (2003), which uses a fairly modest orchestra, the conductor has been perfectly happy with a full score printed on A4. In other words, it depends very much on the number of staves.

If you live in North America, you may wish to work with the roughly equivalent US sizes to those mentioned above. However, the international A and B sizes have one very great advantage. They are all of the same proportions, so you can supply different sized scores according to requirements from one unaltered Finale file. All you need to do is to change the percentage in the PDF print dialogue (on a Mac anyway, but I'm sure there's something similar for Windows).


David Ward
www.composers-uk.com/davidward

Finale 2010b
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Nikolas
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   Posted 9/19/2011 12:24 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Hi David,

Thanks for your comments and post.

I'm in Europe (Greece), but I will be using professional printing services for my scores. This gives me the advantage to use any kind of size (as I don't really enjoy the A4 size and the A size 'group' all together (too slim)). For example my piano scores are 23,5x31 (9,25x12,20 inches)... This gives me a great advantage to really go custom on the page size... I do enjoy a little more on the B4 size (I had done an orchestral score at that size once... But very amateur like: I did it in letter format, took the margins off, printed in A4 and enlarged the size at a photocopier! LOL!... Now I'm aiming to do a better job! :D)

For the study score I'll go custom again but I can test it here on my own printer (A4 size or smaller), but for the large ones... I want to make sure the conductors won't need glassed to perform a work! :D

Again thanks for your help!


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Motet
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   Posted 9/19/2011 12:49 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
In general, bigger is better, but there are practical considerations such as fitting the score under a stand light. I think 13" or 14" is a good height.


Finale 2011b, 2005b, TGTools
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David Ward
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   Posted 9/19/2011 12:58 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Motet said...
In general, bigger is better, but there are practical considerations such as fitting the score under a stand light. I think 13" or 14" is a good height.
B4 is just under 14.5 inches high. Another consideration is portability: conductors often mark up scores during international flights. An A3 score may be difficult to carry in permitted cabin baggage. The stand light issue could also be relevant, but the conductors' rostrums in large opera houses and the like ought to be able to accommodate very large scores when necessary.


David Ward
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Finale 2010b
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Motet
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   Posted 9/19/2011 1:02 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Right--I was thinking more of smaller organizations with regular stands and lights.

Stuff from Kalmus tends to be 10 x 13.


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Nikolas
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   Posted 9/19/2011 4:05 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Motet: The Kalmus size seems almost too small...

My problem is exactly the scores that have simply too many staves at some point. The ones where you have to go at 48% of the size (in an A4 page) and I want that to be quite large in real print... :-/.

Thanks for the input thus far!


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Benjamin Tubb
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   Posted 9/19/2011 4:20 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I've bought and helped edit several conductor "sized" orchestral scores. They all use either tabloid (11" x 17") or legal (8.5" x 14") sizes. Indeed I have two (tabloid sized) scores being prepared now for my publisher. However, if you need to reduce them after the fact, simply print them, from within Finale, to a virtual PDF printer driver, then print them "scaled to fit", within your actual printing application driver (I use "FinePrint", "Foxit", and/or "Adobe Reader X") to fit whatever size your printer supports, which is my case is "just" letter (8.5" x 11") sized. That method avoids the need to directly re-size the page size(s) used within the document.


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David Ward
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   Posted 9/19/2011 4:56 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Benjamin Tubb said...
I've bought and helped edit several conductor "sized" orchestral scores. They all use either tabloid (11" x 17") or legal (8.5" x 14") sizes.
Is the 'legal' size the nearest US equivalent to international B4?

I have just measured a B4 score which is near enough 10 by 14 & 3/8 inches. Actually, I think that's the so-called Japanese B4, very marginally larger than the international, but which seems to be the paper provided by the one B4 supplier here in Scotland. A3 (international) is near enough 11 & 5/8 by 16 & 1/2 inches, which is I suppose equivalent to US tabloid. The point is, though, that these A and B sizes (including Japanese B4) are all of identical proportions to one another.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_sizes gives comprehensive information about paper sizes (including the Japanese variant of B4).

For myself, I like B4 (whether or not Japanese!) as a size for a full score when practical. A3 seems much more awkward to handle and carry around, so is best used only if absolutely necessary. However, I have seen some very much larger scores. That for Henze's opera We Come to the River (premièred at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 1976) was absolutely huge.


David Ward
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Finale 2010b
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Motet
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   Posted 9/19/2011 6:23 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Legal is only 8-1/2" wide.


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diz
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   Posted 9/19/2011 7:29 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Hi David - here in Australia, The Australian Music Centre publishes conductor scores in A3 size, I've bought a couple of them, with spiral binding, and clear plastic covers and backs.

This A3 size is great, they use A4 for the band parts (which I don't like, just a little too small). I've used B4 for band parts, and it's a lovely size. Expensive to buy, and you need an adjustable A3 laser printer (which can also be expensive).

Nice thread - everyone's got their own agendas here, and all are interesting.


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