The term “miniature” is properly applied to scores that are printed in a reduced (usually photographically reduced) size. This is confusing, however, since most people think of “miniature” as simply meaning “small.” Some “miniature” scores are as large as full-size scores, either because the original was so large or because the miniaturized images are printed four to a page.

For this reason, the term “miniature score” is most commonly understood in a looser sense, as applying to a score smaller than 20 cm. in height. Some libraries, usually the ones with the largest music collections, shelve these miniature scores separately, both to take advantage of the more efficient use of shelf space and to reduce the likelihood that the small scores will be lost behind or inside of their larger neighbors on the shelf. Other libraries shelve all non-folio scores together so that patrons need only look in one place.

Where a shelving distinction is made, it is a good idea to be sure that catalogers, binders and circulation personnel all understand the ambivalent use of the term “miniature” in order to make sure that the short scores go on the short shelves.

Alice Carli, formats
Last updated: February 16, 2008, at 07:59 PM EST

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