Advice on printing your own music, but high quality
  • sergeantedward
    Posts: 178

    I would like to print music from CPDL, IMSLP for my choral library, but do so in a way that is high quality, signals "something to be proud of" to singers, and stands up over time.

    Basically, I would like to know if anyone here does this. Print your own music for your choir, but in such a way that it is as high quality as a purchased octavo on fancy paper you can't see through, from a publisher.

    Regular printer paper just screams "cheap" to choristers, and doesn't hold up in a library scenario.

    Any advice from anyone who does this?
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 578
    Try looking for 24-28 lb copier paper - it has a more premium feeling than the cheap stuff. Unfortunately the low scanning quality of IMSLP and low engraving quality of many selections at CPDL will often contribute more to any feeling of "cheapness" than the paper used.
    Thanked by 1sergeantedward
  • SponsaChristi
    Posts: 175
    I do this for myself, I send the digital music to the printshop for printing. As a chorister, I have no issues with regular photocopies. I don’t think they look cheap, and the way people in my church choir go through music, it’s probably better not to invest too much money into printing high quality music.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,331
    Besides using 24-lb paper, it may be worthwhile to print sheet music as a "booklet" on 11 x 17" paper.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,383
    When printing scores of my own choral works (as well as a few other larger works that I've edited, such as Bach cantatas BWV 56 & 202) that will be used in performance, I use 24-lb cream coloured ("Color de crema"), vellum finish, Exact Opaque Colors paper from Wausau Paper. I have reams in 8.5 x 11 letter size, 8.5 x 14 legal size, and 11 x 17 tabloid size. Usually, when a choral score runs to three or more pages, I use the tabloid size, printed 2-up, landscape mode, on both sides, folded and staple bound (if there are two or more sheets) as a booklet. I also use tabloid (or sometimes legal) size paper for printing full (conductor) scores of large scale works with numerous staves (e.g. the 19 staves for "The New Colossus" & "Hymn for St Cecilia"), as well as for some instrumental parts (such as the harp parts). I have an inkjet printer which can print on widths up to 13 inches.

    The quality of scores available from CPDL is indeed variable, especially since older editions were often prepared with older versions of engraving software that produced what is now considered inferior results, especially at the hands of editors who weren't exactly knowledgeable on accepted music engraving standards. By and large now, though, newer editions of works at CPDL are better prepared — something we have encouraged over the past 10 years since CPDL was incorporated as a non-profit charitable organization). Of course, scores are still contributed, voluntarily, by different individuals, so some unevenness in quality is to be expected.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 263
    I typically create a fresh copy of the work in dorico to my preference and then print it on the church copy machine which has professional-grade output since it’s a full sized machine. I’m careful to format things nicely, and I frequently print booklet form on 11x17 so it is letter sized when folded up. For longer works I even use a utility which correctly orders the pages to print double sided booklets on 11x17 and then I use a long arm stapler to make proper booklets stapled along the crease. It’s a lot of effort but it’s very worth it, in my opinion, and we have scores that are worth keeping for the next year.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw