Music library materials are published in a variety of formats ranging well beyond the usual hardcover and softcover books. Thin scores of a few pages traditionally arrive printed and bound as pamphlets, but may also be comb bound, spiral bound, or the individual pages may be attached with tape, glue or staples. Thicker scores may be adhesive bound or sewn through the fold. Media materials come in various formats and also a wide variety of packaging. Some types of binding and packaging lend themselves to library use, while others need to be modified or replaced entirely.

Another factor that libraries must consider is that music scores that share the same format may need to be treated differently depending on the kind of use they will receive. Heavily used performance scores need sturdier paper and page attachments than heavily used books, study scores will be used like textbooks, and “light use” scores may never leave the shelf. For libraries with tight budgets it will be worth considering the type of expected use as well as the publication format when making binding decisions, since it may be hard to fund binding for every score – and unnecessary as well.

If some of the binding terms are unfamiliar, the section on library binding terms may be helpful.

Outline of score section

Sandi-Jo Malmon, Scores and Sheet Music editor

Last updated: March 16, 2008, at 04:22 PM EDT

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