Let's talk Manuscript Paper, Pens and other copying materials

Plates, sheets, pens, ink, pencils, paper; the tools and techniques of analogue notation.
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T Earl
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Let's talk Manuscript Paper, Pens and other copying materials

Post by T Earl » 14 Nov 2016, 12:07

Let's get a little catalogue of high quality manuscript paper going. I will be honest, I do seem to have an awful lot of manuscript paper round my room, and the chances of me using all of it is slim, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't get more, just in case... right?

A3 Paper
  • A lot of my colleagues use Panopus Score-System paper, however they don't seem to exist anymore. A good alternative I found is the Novello Manuscript Books. Books 18, 19 and 20 are A3 portrait and have 20, 24 and 26 staves. http://www.boosey.com/pages/shop/prod_s ... esID=10569
A4 Paper
  • I don't tend to use A4 paper, that's probably something to do with; the bigger the manuscript paper, the better the composer, right? Some nice A4 portrait paper I've used however is Mel Bay's Premium Quality Manuscript Paper Twelve-Stave Really good quality paper and it's nice being able to take individual sheets out rather than it being spiral bound. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Premium-Qualit ... manuscript
Do any of you guys print your own manuscript from software like Sibelius or Finale? What paper do you use and what do you think of it?
Last edited by T Earl on 25 Nov 2016, 11:44, edited 1 time in total.
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David Ward
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Re: Let's talk Manuscript Paper

Post by David Ward » 14 Nov 2016, 22:13

My slowly diminishing supply of A3 manuscript paper, single sided with different left and right margins, provided for me in 1989 (I think) and loosely based on the Panopus design.

I print my A4 sketchpad myself, 16 stave from Finale & comb-bind it. It's always with me in my hand luggage - in case… (plus 3B pencils, eraser, sharpener &c).
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OCTO
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Re: Let's talk Manuscript Paper

Post by OCTO » 15 Nov 2016, 04:28

T Earl wrote:Do any of you guys print your own manuscript from software like Sibelius or Finale? What paper do you use and what do you think of it?
I do.
Important: do not print on white paper. It is painful for your eyes. (My dyslectic colleague has revealed that when he changed from white to colored, he could compose without problem!).
I print on the first available color paper, such as Vanilla color.

I use: A4 for snippets, A3 for finished scores, or double A3 for large orchestra.

I print complete empty staves, no instruments or brackets. I tend to use 4,5mm staff size because I just like that - you always have plenty of room.

I compose by hand only.
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David Ward
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Re: Let's talk Manuscript Paper

Post by David Ward » 15 Nov 2016, 08:20

OCTO wrote:
T Earl wrote:… do not print on white paper. It is painful for your eyes… …I print on the first available color paper, such as Vanilla color.
Interesting. I've thought that my old eyes need maximum contrast and bright light, but I might try non-white paper for my 16-stave sketchpad and see how my eyes feel. Thank you OCTO for the tip. My pile of A3 paper is off-white (less white than Panopus).

I also have a small supply of landscape A3 which can be combined to make A2 portrait when more than 28 staves are necessary for my manuscripts.

I remember Schotts printing blank manuscript paper with a huge number of staves (90?) for Henze for his opera We come to the River.
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David Ward
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Re: Let's talk Manuscript Paper

Post by David Ward » 15 Nov 2016, 10:49

I think sufficient space between staves on manuscript paper can be as important as the size of the staves themselves. Some mass produced MS paper of the old days had far too little such space.

Measuring (with some margin of error) I note that the 24 stave paper, which I find the most widely useful from my A3 pile, has 5mm staves separated by 11mm spaces.
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T Earl
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Re: Let's talk Manuscript Paper

Post by T Earl » 15 Nov 2016, 13:17

Crikey, David! That's a lot of MS paper! Can you remember where it was provided to you from? Does anyone still make MS paper like this? Or the large score paper you were talking about?

Thank you for the tip, OCTO! The A3 paper I linked above is off white (I'm not sure what kind of off white it is as I'm colourblind, but it looks yellowish-offwhite). It's nice to work on!

I only have a small amount of the Panopus paper, it's 20 stave, but divided up into either 4 staves or 5 staves. Good for chamber work.
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David Ward
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Re: Let's talk Manuscript Paper

Post by David Ward » 15 Nov 2016, 17:10

T Earl wrote:Crikey, David! That's a lot of MS paper! Can you remember where it was provided to you from? Does anyone still make MS paper like this? Or the large score paper you were talking about?… …
It was a bulk order from a printer in Ireland, paid for by a publisher with whom I'd recently signed a contract. The publisher designed the paper more or less to suit my expected requirements.

(As it happens, we are lucky it didn't turn to waterlogged mush. I was living on the island of Yell in Shetland at the time, and the island carrier left the several packages at our gate, 200 metres from our house, but forgot to warn us. There was a violent North Atlantic storm forecast in the next few hours… Fortunately, my then wife noticed that there was something at our gate.)
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DatOrganistTho
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Re: Let's talk Manuscript Paper

Post by DatOrganistTho » 15 Nov 2016, 22:57

I do not buy premade manuscript paper. This is because the contrast is usually really strong, and I like a manuscript paper to be lighter than that. So, I make my own and send it to a printer. I use blue or gray as the color of the staff lines.

I'll upload those bits soon.

I make it all in LilyPond (no surprise there), and I customize it. I don't write on anything less than 8.5 x 8.5 in (216 x 216 mm). I generally try to write on 11 x 17 in (279 x 432 mm).

If I'm worried about posterity, then I'll ask the printers to print out on acid free paper.

EDIT: See attached for what I use.
Attachments
tabloidLand12-24.pdf
(10.42 KiB) Downloaded 99 times
tabloidLand12-24 LightSkyBlue.pdf
(10.34 KiB) Downloaded 85 times
11Square12-24 LightSkyBlue.pdf
(10.33 KiB) Downloaded 70 times
Last edited by DatOrganistTho on 19 Nov 2016, 21:08, edited 1 time in total.
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MJCube
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Re: Let's talk Manuscript Paper

Post by MJCube » 16 Nov 2016, 15:55

I, for one, have gone paperless. It’s been 20 years since I last used paper to compose or arrange. I have gotten used to the software tools, and now I no longer even have a working printer. I make PDFs, read them on my iPad, and let others do the printing they need.

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T Earl
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Re: Let's talk Manuscript Paper

Post by T Earl » 17 Nov 2016, 18:01

MJCube wrote:I make PDFs, read them on my iPad, and let others do the printing they need.
I bet orchestra managers love you ;)
"Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it." - Jasper Johns

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