Books about Music Engraving and Notation:

  • Steven Powell, Music Engraving Today: The art and practice of digital notesetting, (Brichtmark Music, New York, Second Edition, January 2007). This book, by our Managing Editor, is the first engraving book written since the advent of the personal computer--click on the link for a look at the table of contents.
  • Ted Ross, Teach Yourself the Art of Music Engraving and Processing, 3rd edition (Hansen Books, Miami, 1987). The most complete book available dealing with traditional plate engraving.
  • Gardner Read, Music Notation: a Manual of Modern Practice, 2nd edition (Taplinger Publishing, New York, 1979). The most comprehensive book of its type.
  • Kurt Stone, Music Notation in the Twentieth Century, (W.W. Norton, New York, 1980). Out of print, but worth searching for in libraries and used bookstores. It includes a great deal of information on both traditional and contemporary music notation, including some on engraving practices.
  • Tom Gerou and Linda Lusk, Essential Dictionary of Music Notation, (Alfred Publishing, Los Angeles, 1996). A useful quick reference guide to notation practices. Includes a reasonable number of "engraving" issues.
  • Standard Music Engraving Practice, (Music Publisher's Association, 1966). More of a booklet than a book, this publication covers several standard engraving issues.
  • Alan Boustead, Writing Down Music, (Oxford University Press, London, 1975). Particularly useful for its medium-related examples: chorus/keyboard/chamber music/instrument-specific problems. (Listed as out of print.)
  • Carl A. Rosenthal, Practical Guide to Music Notation, (MCA Music, New York, 1967). Out of print, but a useful general purpose book on the subject.
  • Anthony Donato, Preparing Music Manuscript, (Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, 1963). Like Rosenthal's book, above, this is out of print, but has a lot of useful, general purpose information.
  • Mark McGrain, Music Notation, (Berklee Press Publications, Boston, 1986). A good book for beginners. Good explanations of notational practices. Listed as being in a second edition (which I have not seen), the first edition looked amateurish, but had useful content.
  • George Heussenstamm, The Norton Manual of Music Notation, (W.W. Norton, New York, 1987). Another useful book for beginners. Oriented toward copyists.
  • Clinton Roemer, The Art of Music Copying: The Preparation of Music for Performance, (Roerick Music). The classic text on traditional music copying.
  • Gary Persons, The Finale Resource (for PC), (Chilton/Allen Publishing, 1997). A book of Finale tips and tricks; it includes a particularly useful 32 page section filled with music font samples. Also available is the author's The Finale Resource (for Mac).
  • James Felici, The Desktop Style Guide, (Bantam Books, New York, 1991). This little book has nothing to do with music, but is an invaluable reference guide to printing/publishing issues. Where else could you learn which special symbols (+ - = # @ & < > . . .) are preceded or followed by a space, when to use skews and wraps, or what the optimum number of words is using either serif or sans serif fonts? (Note: listed as "out of stock")


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