Text fonts in musical scores

Music notation symbols, fonts, font sources and font creation, SmuFL.
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jan
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Re: Text fonts in musical scores

Post by jan » 02 Jan 2017, 13:43

>mmm, the link dosn't work anymore
It's a work in progress ... when I am updating things the link might not be working.

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Fred G. Unn
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Re: Text fonts in musical scores

Post by Fred G. Unn » 03 Jan 2017, 17:52

benwiggy wrote:It might be very nice to have a list of what typefaces the leading publishing houses use. Even if they are customized versions of common typefaces.
Here's Schirmer:
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Fred G. Unn
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Re: Text fonts in musical scores

Post by Fred G. Unn » 03 Jan 2017, 17:55

... and here's Boosey:

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jan
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Re: Text fonts in musical scores

Post by jan » 03 Jan 2017, 18:04

Thanks a lot, Fred!

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Fred G. Unn
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Re: Text fonts in musical scores

Post by Fred G. Unn » 03 Jan 2017, 18:54

jan wrote:Thanks a lot, Fred!
You're welcome! I can't guarantee either of those are completely current, as it's been several years now since I've done any work for either of those publishers, but at least those are the typefaces called for in the editions of their style guides that I have.

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Fred G. Unn
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Re: Text fonts in musical scores

Post by Fred G. Unn » 03 Jan 2017, 19:05

Also, OCTO had posted the UE Style Guide last summer:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=188

Here's the page on their type settings:
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benwiggy
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Re: Text fonts in musical scores

Post by benwiggy » 03 Jan 2017, 19:22

Many thanks, Fred. I have the Schirmer guide, which they sell: I asked B&H and they said it wasn't available "yet". I have a fantastic book by B&H written in 1952 by Norman Gray: "A Note of Music Engraving and Printing".
It may be as well first to reflect on the fundamental difference between a manuscript page of text matter (for a book), and a manuscript page of music. Briefly, the former represents a mechanical proposition to be solved mathematically by calculating the number of letters, spaces etc. that can be conveniently printed on one page, with certain regard for paragraphs, chapters, etc. anything left over being carried forward to the next page. But not so with music. Just consider for a moment whether you know of any piece of music where a movement finishes short of the end of a line, or the conclusion of the work itself is other than both at the end of a line and the end of a page; this is not accident but design, the design of the music engraver.
His aim is to present the work by means of conventional symbols, perfectly dispositioned. This dispositioning is a two-way calculation, for music notation has both a vertical and a horizontal relationship, unlike typesetting, which is only horizontal. In the main, the engraver works from the whole to the part, i.e. the complete composition or movement thereof is divided into the most convenient number of pages, with especial regard for the turn-overs. Next, these pages are broken down into lines and then bars per line. Not one of these factors is automatic, i.e. neither the lines per page nor bars per line are repeated mathematically, but are determined solely with the view of arriving at the best overall musical picture to be presented by the page.

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Fred G. Unn
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Re: Text fonts in musical scores

Post by Fred G. Unn » 03 Jan 2017, 19:37

benwiggy wrote:Many thanks, Fred. I have the Schirmer guide, which they sell: I asked B&H and they said it wasn't available "yet". I have a fantastic book by B&H written in 1952 by Norman Gray: "A Note of Music Engraving and Printing".
Thanks, I was unaware of that Norman Gray book. I'll have to see if a copy comes up for sale sometime. I believe the B&H guide is still only for in-house distribution. I did a project for them a few years back and have a copy from then.

benwiggy
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Re: Text fonts in musical scores

Post by benwiggy » 08 Jan 2017, 10:21

Vacillating once more, I've come across a font bundled with OS X that works rather well with lyrics: Marion. It claims to be "an original transitional serif typeface, with some aspects of Century Schoolbook, softened by little Baskerville flavor. Angled elliptical ball terminals, gently suggest a nib angle while claw-hammer shapes give the C, G and S a somewhat aggressive personality."

It's only a little bit wider than Minion Condensed, but it more in keeping with the style the other fonts on my page. I've contacted the designer, Ray Larabie, of Typodermic Fonts, and challenged him to create a font ideally suited for lyrics!

benwiggy
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Re: Text fonts in musical scores

Post by benwiggy » 12 Jan 2017, 07:34

Interesting discussion with the type designer above, who told me that his font Marion "was never tested on paper", and was intended purely for screen display.
However, he did say that for best results, I would need to use a face with an optical weight designed for small sizes: e.g. "Caption" type styles.
I had already been using Minion Condensed Caption, which works well, but he recommended Kepler SemiCondensed Caption. This matches the style of my pages much more, and is very legible at small sizes.

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