Musicians are constantly battling loose music sheets on their stands while carrying them between practices and performances and handling them as they learn or even write new compositions. Music directors are also responsible for transporting pages and pages of music while planning for productions and during practice times. Composers may even have notebooks full of completed compositions and any creations currently in drafting phases. And while folders and notebooks sometimes are a good solution to loose sheet music containment, many musicians, composers, and music leaders have turned to music book printing to solve this age-old problem while also creating beautiful books with a multitude of purposes.
Who Can Use Music Book Printing?
Music book printing is perfect for anyone who uses sheet music in any capacity. Composers can create a book of their compositions to present their work to potential clients or to combine works for sale to others in the industry. Many music directors love to compile their programs into a professionally printed book for use by their musicians. Musical educators often use music book printing to develop beautifully bound copies of each season’s productions. Friends and family members of their bands or orchestras enjoy the books as a keepsake or memory of the year. Students appreciate having their music bound professionally as well as for performance and practice purposes, since books with lay-flat pages add convenience and keep the pages from becoming jumbled or dropping. In truth, just about anyone who reads or uses sheet music can benefit from a music book since they are a beautiful and helpful way to collect music pieces.
Variations on a Theme: Different Reasons for Music Book Printing
The music sheets that musicians, composers, and directors use are convenient and easy to transport for just about any use. But music books housing a collection of sheet music, notes, and key information can be useful in various situations, including:
- To organize show music
- To collect a season’s music into one location
- To make a practice book for students
- To sell a collection or grouping of original music
- To give to a class, group, or another performance group
- To sell to participants or their friends and family as a keepsake of a show
- To use for lessons or another educational setting
- To sell at concerts or give along with a performance
- To commemorate an event or activity
Getting the Details Right
To create your own music book, your project should include key elements that support how you or others plan to use the book.
Consider who is going to use your collection of music. For those who are older as well as young children, consider using large graphics for music, wording, and titles. For instructional books, think about adding in supportive text, explanations, or dedicated areas for students to make notes so they can get the most out of the music book.
Be sure to use a clear, readable font sized correctly for your readership. If the book is a memento, the font can be more decorative than the font used in a book that is for students to use to practice. Books made for performances should also have readable fonts that do not distract from the musical notations, so musicians will not be distracted during performances.
Think about what other items should be included in the book that would be helpful or appreciated. Music books that are mementos or sold alongside a performance might include pictures of the composer, director, or performers. Performance information or seasonal content would be of interest to the audience or customer as well. Some books might be created with a web address or QR code for customers to download the musical performance. Student books might be developed with incrementally more difficult lessons to extend learning or practice time.
One of the most critical aspects of creating a music book is to consider applicable copyright laws when duplicating sheet music. All creators should be familiar with what is acceptable on both a national and local level, and make sure that their publication complies with all regulations.
Choosing the Best Binding
One of the larger decisions to make when constructing a music book is what kind of binding will be used to complete the book’s publishing process. Books can be bound in four different ways and each has a unique benefit for different kinds of music books.
- Plastic Coil Bound — This type uses a lightweight but strong spiral of plastic coils to bind the book together. Ideal for many applications and safe enough for children to use. Plastic coil music books will be able to lay flat or even open only to one page, making them a great choice for binding a practice or performance book.
- Perfect Bound — This traditional style of binding uses strong adhesive to create a book with a spine. Perfect bound books look fantastic on display so this style is ideal for mementos, keepsakes or other music books that will be viewed but not necessarily used as a performance or practice book.
- Saddle Stitch Bound — This pamphlet-style of binding only utilizes staples to bind the pages together. Saddle Stitch is great for smaller music books or performance or practice music books that will be held rather than placed on a stand as these pages don’t automatically lay flat or open to a single page without reinforcement.
- Wire-O Bound — Similar to Plastic Coil but made with sturdier metal material, Wire-O binding looks sophisticated and is a great option for all kinds of practice and performance music books. Books made with Wire-O are strong and sophisticated and work best for adults due to the potential for sharp edges on the binding.
Don’t Let Your Cover B(e) Flat
Just because you are creating a music book doesn’t mean the cover has to be boring or an afterthought. For practice books or educational materials, the cover can inspire students to do their best and be open to learning. Performance music books should excite musicians and stir emotion and passion for the upcoming performances.
Don’t be afraid to enlist the aid of a design expert to help you get the cover just right. A standout design can help attract buyers, evoke emotions from friends and family members who want to support their musicians ,or even just clearly indicate the mood or feel of the pieces included in the book. Just like the cover of a novel, the cover of a music book should give a hint of what is inside through the color choices, graphics, and pictures included in the cover design.
Creators should consider what kinds of materials will be used on their music book. Laminated covers are sturdier than paper covers, while high gloss covers attract attention and look more stylish making them a good choice for music books that will be sold or used for a fundraiser.
Tips For Making a Music Book to Sell
Composers, educators, musical directors, and organization leaders may make a music book with the intention of selling it in some way. Whether the sales will be direct to students or classes, at an event or through retail outlets, creators should include a few extra details in these music books to make sure they are appealing to buyers and are easy to sell.
- If the music book will be sold online or through traditional retailers, creators should consider including an ISBN number and barcode on the cover.
- Consider a laminated cover for durability.
- Include a brief description of the kinds of music included in the book for customers to understand at a glance.
- Include a Table of Contents at the beginning of the book for quick access to music and other contents.
- Consider putting an Index at the back of the book for an alphabetical listing of songs by title, author, instrument, or other organization that makes sense for your collection.
Creating Your own Music Book
Putting together a collection of music, notes and other meaningful information to prepare for music book printing is just the first step in publishing an attractive and useful book. Working with a trusted printing partner like Dazzle Printing is another key step in making your music book look fantastic as well. With their years of experience working with self-publishing authors, Dazzle Printing has the expertise to print a beautiful music book that you will love to use or sell. Whether your book is to sell, give to students, make available to fans and friends, or just to make a collection of your own favorite pieces, creating a music book is a notable project that anyone with a love of music can easily accomplish.