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  • Printing a music book

    A relative of mine has asked me to help out with some simple graphic design for a book they are making about music, with some writing in it.

    I was just wondering what the possible, typical options, for dimensions are used for printing.

    Also what dpi and pixel width, height, should I be expecting per page.

    My relative thinks it will be in the region of A4 per page as that is the most presentable for the music. The book will also be bound, not stapled. That's just an expectation of my relative.

    This is probably a "how long is a piece of string" question but any realistic standards would help me find my feet. Thanks.

  • #2
    Can you visit a music shop and buy one or two books that you like in terms of shape and size and binding?

    As for res - you should be aiming at 300 ppi for printing.

    For binding - you can perfect bind (binding with a spine) any amount of pages. Typically you don't want to bind anything below 32 pages though.

    For saddle stitch (with staples) you can only do this up to about 92 pages after that you have to get it perfect bound.

    Other than that - you should consult on with the printers on the size as each printing company has different machinery and size can make a difference.

    For instance, I saved €10,000 on a print job by reducing the height from 260mm to 250mm. As with the smaller size you could fit more pages up on the sheet which cut down on the cost of plates and paper and machine time.

    So always consult the printers - see my sig - yeh follow that

    "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott


    • #3
      Quick thought on the dpi, my grandfather does a lot of song printing and in his experience he finds that 600dpi gives a much crisper look to the look. It isn't to say that you couldn't do it in 300, but as for all of the smaller parts of the notes (flags and dots come to mind) they just have a crisper look at 600.

      I do not have personal experience in this area, as I do not print songs, but I do trust what he says about it. He has been printing songs since the 80s.
      Some people don't know that they don't know...and they don't know how to find out.


      • #4
        If it's sheet music, I'd treat that as line art. If it can't be done in vector, I agree that 600ppi would be better.
        Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me.



        • #5
          Aren't there type fonts available for sheet music?
          People will believe anything, which means I will believe anythingI want to start believing in things that have shapeliness and harmony.
          -Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.


          • #6
            Yes there are. But for a full book I imagine it would be a pain to set, particularly when you need to notate something more complicated than a single note. A better option would be music software. I used Cakewalk for that back in the day, don't know what a better choice would be today. Also not sure about exporting the notation, though I'd (like to) assume pdf is an option.
            Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me.



            • #7
              Finale and Sibelius are the two most widely used programs for music notation. There are plenty of other programs that can do music notation, but that is a secondary function.

              If you are looking for a cheaper option, you can look into I don't know tons about it other than it does music notation and it's cloud based.
              Some people don't know that they don't know...and they don't know how to find out.


              • #8
                Be sure to get a software program that does the notation properly. There is nothing worse than trying to read music that has notes all squished together.
                I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not. ~ Kurt Cobain


                • #9
                  Is it for sheet music?

                  If it's scanning in sheet music then scan at 900 to 1200 firstly (google scanning line art)

                  Where are the images coming from? Are you talking about photographs or little musical notations on the scores?

                  "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott


                  • #10
                    It is sheet music. He want's the hand drawn look so no musical notation software will be used. There are a lot of pages so I am kind of glad.

                    Thanks for the line art scanning tips. That will be useful.

                    Images will be mostly hand drawn sheet music and some graphic stuff as well as possibly some photo's.


                    • #11
                      It is really a god topic to go through. I was looking for something like that. Coz some has asked me for the same thing. I was wondering how to solve the mystery. Then i came across this thread and got the idea.


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