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  1. 6/8 time
  2. A (note)
  3. Abc notation
  4. Accidental
  5. Articulation
  6. B (note)
  7. Bar
  8. Beam
  9. Braille Music
  10. Breath mark
  11. Canntaireachd
  12. Chord
  13. Cinquillo
  14. Clef
  15. Coda
  16. Copyist
  17. Da capo
  18. Dal segno
  19. Dotted note
  20. Double whole note
  21. Drum tablature
  22. Dynamics
  23. Eight note
  24. Ekphonetic notation
  25. Fermata
  26. Figured bass
  27. Fingering
  28. Flat
  29. Ghost note
  30. Glissando
  31. Gongche notation
  32. Grace note
  33. Grand staff
  34. Graphic notation
  35. GUIDO music notation
  36. Guido of Arezzo
  37. Halfnote
  38. Harmony
  39. Hundred twenty-eighth note
  40. Italian musical terms used in English
  41. Kepatihan
  42. Key
  43. Keyboard tablature
  44. Key signature
  45. Klavarskribo
  46. Leadsheet
  47. Ledger line
  48. Legato
  49. Letter notation
  50. Ligature
  51. Marcato
  52. Mensural notation
  53. Mensurstriche
  54. Metre
  55. Modern musical symbols
  56. Musical notation
  57. Musical scale
  58. Musical terminology
  59. Music engraving
  60. Music theory
  61. Nashville notation
  62. Natural sign
  63. Neume
  64. Note
  65. Note value
  66. Numbered musical notation
  67. Numerical sight-singing
  68. Octave
  69. Ornament
  70. Parsonscode
  71. Partbook
  72. Pizzicato
  73. Portamento
  74. Prolation
  75. Qinpu
  76. Quarter note
  77. Rastrum
  78. Rehearsal letter
  79. Repeat
  80. Rest
  81. Rhythm
  82. Rythmic mode
  83. Rhythmic notation
  84. Saptak
  85. Scientific pitch notation
  86. Shape note
  87. Sharp
  88. Sheet music
  89. Sixteenth note
  90. Sixty-fourth note
  91. Slash notation
  92. Slur
  93. Sound painting
  94. Staccatissimo
  95. Staccato
  96. Staff
  97. Swung note
  98. Tablature
  99. Tacet
  100. Tempo
  101. Tenuto
  102. Thirty-second note
  103. Tie
  104. Time signature
  105. Time unit box system (TUBS)
  106. Tongan music notation
  107. Triple metre
  108. Tuplet
  109. Unfigured bass
  110. Virtual music score
  111. Vocal score
  112. Whole note
  113. Znamennoe singing

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Music engraving

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sample of hand-copied music manuscript, in ink, of a piece composed for piano.
Sample of hand-copied music manuscript, in ink, of a piece composed for piano.

Music engraving is the art of drawing music notation at high quality. The term music copying is almost equivalent, though music engraving implies a higher degree of skill and quality. Plate engraving, the process engraving derives from, became obsolete around 1990. The term engraving is now used to refer to any high-quality method of drawing music notation, particularly on a computer ("computer engraving" or "computer setting") or by hand ("hand engraving").

Early engraving techniques

Plate engraving was the traditional process of engraving music, directly onto a zinc or pewter plate in mirror image. Staff lines were created by dragging a 5-pronged "scoring tool" across the plate, thus the designation, "score" for printed music. Fixed symbols, like note heads and clefs, were punched into the metal with dies, and variable symbols, such as beams or slurs, were engraved by hand.

Plate engraving produced high-quality results, but was only one of several competing technologies in use for reproducing music. Others included:

  • Moveable type with music symbols on - a centuries-old method, often used for hymn books, but which produced low-quality results
  • Music typewriters - like moveable type, this produced low-quality results and was never widely used
  • Hand copying with pen and ruler, which if done by an expert Music Copyist can produce high-quality results
  • Notaset - dry transfer symbols similar to Letraset
  • Brushing ink through stencils, a high-quality technique used by Amersham-based company Halstan & Co.

Music engraving in the 20th century

In the distant past, a composer was required to draw his own staff lines (staves) onto blank paper. Eventually, staff paper was manufactured pre-printed with staves as a labor-saving technique. The composer could then compose music directly onto the lines in pencil or ink.

In the 20th century, music staff paper was often printed onto vellum or onionskin: a durable, semi-transparent paper which made it easier for the composer to correct mistakes and revise his work, and also enabled copies of the manuscript to be reproduced through the ozalid process. Also at this time, a music copyist was often employed to hand-copy individual parts (for each musician) from a composer's musical score. Neatness, speed, and accuracy were desirable traits of a skilled copyist.

Computer music engraving

With the advent of the personal computer in the late 1980s and beyond, hand engraving has become a lost art, as all of the "drawing" of each note, symbol, staff, written instructions, can now be accomplished by computer software made especially for this purpose. There are numerous computer programs, known as scorewriters, designed for writing, organizing, editing, and printing music, though only a few produce results of a quality comparable to plate engraving. Even individual parts of an orchestral score can be extracted and printed using such programs. MIDI software is also available, which enables the composer to play notes, melodies, chords, etc. on a piano-type keyboard and have the result transcribed into manuscript format.

There are many music engraving programs available to consumers, such as Finale, Sibelius, and LilyPond.


  • Ted Ross. Teach Yourself The Art of Music Engraving & Processing Hansen Books, Florida.
  • Clinton Roemer. The Art of Music Copying: The Preparation of Music for Performance. Roerick Music Co., Sherman Oaks, California.

See also

  • Musical composition
  • Scorewriter

External links

  • Engraving - GNU LilyPond
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