At present most musicians still play from paper scores, rather than electronic music displays. However, there are already advantages to publishing music electronically. Moving the cost of printing from the publisher (today usually a self-publishing composer) to the consumer removes a major financial hurdle from the publisher while giving the consumer more control over the cost and durability of the final product.

Meanwhile, libraries and archives around the world are publishing digital copies of rare scores and books, and some libraries may wish to make some of the digitized scores available to their patrons on paper.

More and more, libraries will have the option to obtain music by download, and in many cases this will be in the end a cheaper and better option, since publisher bindings so often need to be modified or replaced for library use. Taking advantage of the electronic option will generally require a tabloid printer with software that will allow it to print letter-size images in “booklet” format at full size on 11″x17″ paper. These can then be printed out, folded into pamphlets and sewn as usual.

Thicker scores can be printed (duplex) on letter paper and adhesive bound. For a score or book that is likely to receive very heavy use, an adventurous technical services department might print the volume in 16-page “booklets” and have these sewn through the fold for a very sturdy binding.

Alice Carli, formats
Last updated: February 16, 2008, at 07:58 PM EST

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