Music engravingWhen we know what symbols to print, we have to decide where to put them so the the result looks pleasing. This art is called music engraving. The term derives from the traditional process of music printing. Only a few decades ago, sheet music was made by cutting and stamping the music into zinc or pewter plates in mirror image. The plate would be inked, and the depressions caused by the cutting and stamping would hold ink. An image was formed by pressing paper to the plate. The stamping and cutting was completely done by hand. Making corrections was cumbersome, so engraving had to be done correctly in one go. Of course, this was a highly specialized skill
- Music engraving is a traditional craft, and was learned in practice. An accomplished master had to complete around 10 years of practice.
- Most of the knowledge was passed from master to apprentice during practical training. Consequently, little has been explicitly laid down about the rules of elegant engraving.
- Finally, engraving is about selecting proper distance and blackness for scores. The quality of the end result must be judged visually. This is virtually impossible to capture in formal rules.
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