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jazzer*austin
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   Posted 12/27/2009 5:21 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I may be getting very "picky", and this may start a lot of opinionated replies,
but I took the advice of a previously thread to make my parts 10x13, so called "pro" size for orchestral parts, or string quartets.

I already printed a set at 9x12, and while it's a very comfortable size, it still looked small.

But now the 10x13 looks huge, and a tad too wide with .75 L/R margins.

I feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland (drink me), or maybe Goldilocks (too big), but is there a consensus on the page size for professional parts??

I can't find the thread, but at some point someone mentioned 9.5x12.5.... really?

Also, I have found a larger bottom margin of 1.75 to be nice on parts, so as to not have a player having to peer down at the bottom of a music stand.


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Peter West
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   Posted 12/27/2009 5:41 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
There is no concensus. In the UK Chester Music and Boosey & Hawkes each have their own specific custom sizes, Schott & Co ask for artwork on A4, but I don't know what size they print. In Denmark Edition Wilhelm Hansen use B4...

I don't see how 10x 13 can look huge if 9x 12 looks small, maybe the staff size is to blame. The music Publishers Association produced a document on the subject recommending staff sizes no smaller than 7mm, preferably 8mm for performance parts. At this size B4 or similar works well. Generally we try to keep margins to 2cm all round

If you pm mw with your e-mail address I can send some actual size pdf files as samples from the various publishers.


Peter
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Philip.
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   Posted 12/27/2009 5:54 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
For orchestral parts, I have found that 9x12 paper, 0.3 in staff size (7.6 mm) and margins of around 0.66 in generally work well. If the part needs be scaled to 8.5x11 or 10x13 (which sometimes happens in real time situations), it doesn't get too small or too huge.


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encephalon
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   Posted 12/27/2009 5:54 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I find professionally published parts in different sizes all over the map, all over the world. It depends on a variety of factors (concert music, pit music, opera, theater, etc.).

Why not find a piece of published music that seems "professional" to you and then measure it? That's what I did a while back -- and I had custom paper cut to those specs. IIRC, it was 10x13 for musical theater pit parts. Just now I measured a concert piece printed by Luck's Music library: 9.5 x 12.5.

In my years of experience composing, arranging, orchestrating, printing, and conducting I have only rarely encountered comments on paper size. The number one compliment I get from orchestral and band musicians (no matter where I am) is the quality (not size) of paper. I use card stock for single sheets (won't blow away as easily outdoors) some lighter varieties for multi-page. 70-pound bond is the minimum regardless. I stay away from cream (and other versions of yellow), although that's what Luck's prints. I also get compliments when the music is not too small to read (old musicians, mostly =).

Here is my personal "formula" for paper decision-making:

1. If it's a "gig" where the music will be played once or a few times, I print to Letter Size 70 lb, or 11x17 (folded/taped) for multi-page. Even if there is an odd number of pages, I'll still print tabloid and fold in the blank page. This saves a lot of time. 70 lb is a great compromise, especially if I have to carry the music on the plane. On a recent concert trip to Australia, I used an entire carry-on suitcase to hold 2 hours' music of full orchestral parts. It got really heavy really fast.

2. If I'm printing for "posterity" or for concert-type music, I'll use 9x12. I was at Kelly Paper a few weeks ago and found in their clearance rack a stock of 6,000 sheets of really nice custom-cut 9x12 (70 lb) that a customer never picked up or paid for. I got it for $50, so I'm set for quite a while. =)

Here are some issues that you'll encounter with custom paper size:

1. Your HP laser printer will have to be manually set up to handle the paper, and most HP printers only handle one "custom" paper size at a time.
2. If you make PDF files of your music to send to collaborators, they may not be able to easily printed. Of course, any modern print driver can scale a PDF to standard size, but that is often less than desirable.
3. If you format your scores to custom paper size, and need to reprint in the future, you will need to have the custom cut paper available, or reformat your scores.

These are the margins I prefer:
Top: .5
Bottom: .5
Left: .625
Right: .5

I don't agree with the 1.75" bottom margin. It makes the page look unbalanced. I prefer to fit as much music (within reason) on a single page as possible. Page turns are hated by musicians, even if there is plenty of rest time. You want to make reading your scores require the *least* physical effort.


encephalon
Lush Music

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Jetcopy
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   Posted 12/27/2009 6:11 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I've always considered 9.5 x 12.5 to be the size for commercial or jazz. I say this because in the days before computers, the companies that made professional music paper for hand copywork (Alpheus, Judy Green, Valle, etc...) used this size for there most common staff paper.

In school or "classical" I would use other sizes.

JT


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David Young : chambermusic
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   Posted 12/27/2009 6:23 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I am using 12.5 x 9.5 for my string quartet scores and parts. This size allows me to make the staves large enough to meet MOLA guidelines and I can put up to 10 staves per page for the parts, so I have a little flexibility for spacing out my measures so that I have rest measures at page turns. (True to romantic string quartets, it isn't very often that there are not all four instruments playing, so there are a few and rare rest measures.... but I make sure that I put them in. I think that the 12.5 x 9.5 size looks good. I am not a professional composer or engraver nor do I have the express endorsement by any publisher, so I am definitely not the final say on this matter.

9 x 12 must be okay as well. And you have the advantage in that most, if not all, printing places have the ability to spiral bind 12 inch sides. I have to go to Staples to bind my 12.5 inch sides and I have to have the spirals specially ordered. Neither Office Depot, Office Max nor Kinkos can bind 12.5 inch. And I had to do my homework to find a place that would specially cut my 12.5 inch spirals. (Actually, they cut it 13.5 inch so that I have a margin .... just in case.)

I have some parts for some Haydn String Quartets, made in Europe. They are approximately 9.5 x 12.5.

David


David Young


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jazzer*austin
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   Posted 12/27/2009 9:18 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
encephalon said...
70-pound bond is the minimum regardless.


Yes, that was my next comment. #70 just barely cuts it. I have found some #80 11x17, but only in white:

www.paper-papers.com/Lynx-Opaque-WHITE-11-x-17-Paper-80lb-Text.html

I found some vellum cream #70 11x17, and I like the cream and vellum texture, but it's just on the verge of too flimsy:

www.paper.com/Catalog_Brand/WausauExact/wausau-exact-offset-opaque-70-text---cream---vellum---11-x-17---500-sheets.htm

Then I found some Cream #80 11x17, but it's double the price of #70:

www.paperworks.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=CUTKCCRCR31&Category_Code=SEV&Product_Count=72

David Young said...
I think that the 12.5 x 9.5 size looks good. Neither Office Depot, Office Max nor Kinkos can bind 12.5 inch.


I think that's the way to go with a string quartet, too. It looks just right.
I have a Miller's BluePrint here in Austin that spiral binds up to 11x17. They do legal work as well as architectural, so I guess they're used to it. Staples has only offered to put 12" centered on my 12.5, which I guess could work, too.

I didn't fully explain. I'm printing parts on a new Ricoh Aficio MP 5000 PS commercial printer, and with mirrored margins L/R, duplex.
I can do any size, and just do 2 trim cuts from a 11x17. So 12.5 x 9.5 is easy.


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Post Edited (jazzer*austin) : 12/28/2009 2:09:43 PM (GMT-6)

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David Young : chambermusic
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   Posted 12/28/2009 2:14 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Staples has only offered to put 12" centered on my 12.5, which I guess could work, too.


Don't mess with it. I don't think that the spirals will stay put. Not all Staples can do it. Our local Staples store recently purchased a machine that will cut up to 14 inches. My work has probably paid for their purchase already. (Meaning that I should get my own machine.... but our house is full and the garage may not work out.)


David Young


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Finale 2.4 to Finale 2010.  Logic Pro 8, Digital Performer, Loaded MAC Tower, two screens, a whole bag of sample libraries including Full GPO, some VSL, True Strike 1 and 2, and now Xsample Chamber Instruments and I have a long ways to go to understand how us all of this.... but quite familiar with Finale!

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David Young : chambermusic
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   Posted 12/28/2009 2:16 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
"Staples has only offered to put 12" centered on my 12.5, which I guess could work, too."


Don't mess with it. I don't think that the spirals will stay put. Not all Staples can do it. Our local Staples store recently purchased a machine that will cut holes in paper up to 14 inches. My work has probably paid for their purchase already. (Meaning that I should get my own machine.... but our house is full and the garage may not work out.)


David Young


Historicist Composer of classical-romantic style chamber and orchestral music.
Finale 2.4 to Finale 2010.  Logic Pro 8, Digital Performer, Loaded MAC Tower, two screens, a whole bag of sample libraries including Full GPO, some VSL, True Strike 1 and 2, and now Xsample Chamber Instruments and I have a long ways to go to understand how us all of this.... but quite familiar with Finale!

Join us at www.composeforums.com for
arranging and orchestration!

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David Ward
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   Posted 12/28/2009 6:07 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Is there somebody on the forum who can provide the international equivalents of the US weights for paper mentioned above? It would be interesting to know what people are talking about here!

In the UK, and I believe also in most other countries, we describe paper in grammes/square metre: thus 80gsm for standard office copy-paper, 100gsm for rather better quality &c. As for size, we are largely confined either to the A & B sizes, which for music mostly means A4 and B4, or to specially ordered custom sizes.


David Ward
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Peter West
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   Posted 12/28/2009 7:14 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
David, this will provide you with the answers, I'm sure, and hours of interesting, but perhaps pointless browsing to boot...
http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/


Peter
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jazzer*austin
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   Posted 12/28/2009 9:39 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
a concise list of paper density conversions:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_density#Conversions


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Post Edited (jazzer*austin) : 12/28/2009 1:54:53 PM (GMT-6)

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Michael Mortilla
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   Posted 12/28/2009 12:51 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
9.5" x 12.5" here as well. 10x13 seems large to me. Just check a good music paper supplier and pick their brains. I'm sure they'd be more than happy to answer you technical questions. Locally, I use Vallee music. You might want to have a look at their online catalog.

http://www.vallemusic.com/Custom.html


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Motet
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   Posted 12/28/2009 2:44 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
What matters is the size of the music, of course, not the size of the paper. I've seen reprints from Kalmus and Luck's on 10 x 13 paper with huge margins, so the same thing could have been printed on smaller paper. If it's too big, it's going to be a burden for the players to carry around, and have trouble fitting under a stand light.

I don't recommend what's commonly called "spiral" or "comb" binding (the typical copy-shop "reader" binding), because the pages can get caught and hang up. "Coil" is quieter and more durable. Either is going to seem somewhat home-brewed, though. For really professional-looking parts, print 2-up on large paper and fold and staple..


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Ronwass
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   Posted 12/28/2009 3:17 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Dear Goldilocks:

9X12 too small
10X13 too big
9.5X12.5 just right.


Ron Wasserman
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David Ward
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   Posted 12/28/2009 3:44 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I've just been watching a DVD of Tristan as recorded from La Scala, Milan in December 2007 conducted by Barenboim and directed by Chéreau. Unless my eyes deceive me, the string parts at least appear to have been printed on B4 with comb binding, which has the advantage of lying flat on the stand, although I should prefer coil (which also lies flat) - see Motet above. Given that large houses usually own rather than hire parts, this choice was presumably a considered one by the orchestra librarian (of course it's possible than Barenboim arrived with his own parts, complete with his preferred bowings etc). Folded and stapled parts are fine for a moderate number of pages, but for Tristan ... My own publisher usually prints my parts two-up from PDFs onto A3, then folds and staples to provide A4 pages. The system size is usually reduced to 81%, and the result receives no complaints from professional musicians, whether orchestral, chamber or solo. I should however prefer a B4 page in an opera house, or with heavily divided strings on a concert platform. B4 might also be best if there is a percussion score for several players.


David Ward
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jazzer*austin
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   Posted 12/28/2009 4:03 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Ron Wasserman said...
Dear Goldilocks:

9X12 too small
10X13 too big
9.5X12.5 just right.


Dear White Rabbit:

One 10X13 makes you larger.
And one 9X12 makes you small ...


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Motet
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   Posted 12/28/2009 6:37 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Touche on really thick parts, and it's true that some players prefer the flatness of comb binding. I know the orchestra librarian of a major opera company, and they often make copies of their parts and comb bind them themselves, as a way of dealing with wear and tear. But it seemed like the original poster was concerned with a professional look; a folded and stapled part is also longer-lasting.


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Ronwass
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   Posted 12/28/2009 11:50 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Boo to comb bindings for classical music performances. They make way too much noise when you turn the page. My orchestra only uses them for Sleeping Beauty complete ballet, and I wish they didn't.


Ron Wasserman
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". . . I love music, and anything that interrupts music, I hate."
Astor Piazzolla, Central Park Concert

"Music: incredibly easy to understand on a basic level, but profoundly difficult to speak with any fluency."
Ron Wasserman

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Peter West
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   Posted 12/29/2009 5:14 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Comb bindings are a pain in recording sessions, especially when an instrument is close miked, though page turns usually mean not playing which in turn means can be edited out.

When I was hand copying parts on transparency in the 1980s all parts were hand written on B4 and printed that size. The cheapness of computer setting has brought back the option of infinite variety of sizes that existed when music was engraved, but new printing technology is focussed more on a small range of standardised sizes, many of which are based on fold and trim technologies. Therefore, depending on the amount of trim, pages that are slightly smaller than a fold-division of a printers paper size will work better for long runs. For short runs print is usually directly to individual sheets (at most 4-up print and staple), but this as has been identified causes binding issues. Some are too stiff, some not suitable for thick parts, some too noisy. All the work I do is printed in-house by the publisher-client, so all I need to concern myself with is the setting. I think the best option for anyone making their own parts will always be to find a friendly small jobbing printer, discuss the options and work together.


Peter
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HBegun
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   Posted 12/29/2009 11:48 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

I use a 9.25 x 12.25 inch page for jazz/commercial parts. I know this is an odd size (I would have preferred the standard 9.5 x 12.5) but it allows me to print 2-page spreads on my LaserJet 5000 (maximum paper size is 12.28 x 18.5) then fold and tape them accordion-style. I've been using this size for about 10 years and none of my clients have complained about (or even noticed) the missing 1/4 inch.

For orchestral parts, I use 9 x 12. I settled on this size based on the recommendation of a couple of orchestra librarians who I worked with. I print both sides in booklet format (4 pages per 12 x 18 sheet), fold and staple.

For choral parts, I use 8.5 x 11 so they can 3-hole punch them and put them in a notebook if they choose. I print these booklet style (on 11 x 17 sheets, folded and stapled.)

For PDF files that I provide to clients as a backup, I pre-scale them to letter-size paper (or legal for scores) using Finale's "fit to page" option.

I recently purchased a coil binding machine for conductor scores and thicker choral booklets. Since I need this only rarely I went with one of the cheaper models, a manually operated punch without an electric coil inserter. (It's very easy to insert them by hand though it would be tedious to do so in volume.) I chose an "open-throated" model which permits punching large sheets in two passes. Including a supply of coils (which come in 12" and 36" lengths) and the required crimping tool, it cost about $165 and was well worth it just for convenience and time saved. It's very difficult to find a commercial shop that can bind an 11 x 17 inch score. Plastic coil binding allows the pages to lie flat but unlike comb binding, it's silent when turning pages.

-Howard

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Musikfind
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   Posted 1/9/2010 5:54 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

MOLA Guidelines for Music Preparation

The professional recommendations for the "size and look" of orchestra music in the U.S. can be found at:

 

http://www.mola-inc.org/

Click    Resources (on the left side)

Under MOLA Publications:

Click  The MOLA (Major Orchestra Librarians' Association) Guidelines for Music Preparation

for Orchestral Music -  3rd revision 2006

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Motet
Isorhythmic



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   Posted 1/9/2010 6:37 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
http://www.mola-inc.org/pdf/GuidelinesBrochure.pdf


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Musikfind
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   Posted 1/9/2010 7:24 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
The revision of 2006 of the MOLA Guideline is the one now posted on the MOLA site. The pdf file is the 2004 wording.
These ideas from orchestras librarians are invaluable when commissioning a new work. Many hours went into the wording of
this "scholarly document" and you are encouraged to share it with composers and engravers.
These are not rules, as every orchestra has their own, but they are good recommendations.

Many other resources can be found in the public section of this website.
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Motet
Isorhythmic



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Date Joined Dec 2002
Total Posts : 12849
 
   Posted 1/9/2010 9:08 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Perhaps you could post a specific link. the website is rather opaque and I had a hard time finding the one I linked to--had to do a Google search. I'm sorry to hear it's out of date.


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