Behind-the-Scenes: The Music Font Comparison from Elbsound.studio

What is it ?

Music Font Comparison is an online A/B comparison of 150 music font families rendered using four musical examples. The font examples were created in a fully automatic font conversion process in Finale with a JW Lua plugin from a master document in Maestro font. No manual adjustments were made afterwards.

score-excerpt

Online Music Font Comparison from Elbsound.studio : The images on the website are downscaled JPEG versions of the PDFs created from within Finale.

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Boxing Clever : Handwritten Font Enclosures for Music Notation

The Finale Copyist Text, Broadway Copyist Text and Jazz Text fonts by MakeMusic work with a variety of music scoring programs, including Finale and Sibelius. These fonts include the ability to surround text with handwritten looking boxes. To do this, special enclosure characters are available as part of the character set; a nice touch.

(use the regular, not extended versions of these music text fonts for this).

Finale Copyist Text and Broadway Copyist Text have a cool preassembled box which works really great with single numbers or letters. Simply type the tilde ~ character first, followed by a single digit or letter. They look like this:

handwritten-font-single-number-letter
For longer text strings, you could use standard open and closed bracket shapes. The main bracket shapes [ and ] produce just what you would expect. Shift-Open-Bracket and Shift-Closed-Bracket { and } produce a wider version of the open and closed bracket character.

However, if you just type either lower case or shifted open bracket followed by two or more letters or numbers and a closed bracket, you’ll see a separation of the enclosure:

font-normal-brackets-w-break

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Legni Woodwind Fingering Font for Finale & Sibelius

Good music engravers are always on the lookout for inventive and elegant solutions to make their work easier. To me, one of the more interesting niche areas of typeset music notation are graphical fingering diagrams for musical instruments.

Fonts are the optimal solution for creating fingering diagrams in Finale or Sibelius. Since font characters are essentially vector graphics (as opposed to bitmapped graphics), they will look great when printed at any size, and remain clear and legible on screen.

There are several shareware and freeware fingering diagram fonts currently available for both woodwind and brass instruments from enterprising font designers. I covered a few of these in a previous post.

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Sibelius: Use Percussion Pictographs for Staff Names or Instrument Changes

This tutorial is also available for Finale.

I recently typeset a piece of music for children’s choir and percussion. The percussion part, which was on three different instrument lines, needed to be as clear and readable as possible for the kids performing. The publisher requested that we use percussion pictographs instead of abbreviated text for the percussion instrument names after the first system:

01-perc-inst-name-pictographs

I thought this would make an interesting tutorial, useful for worksheets and other specialty applications (like my kid’s choir project). I hope you agree. Let’s take it from the top…

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Finale: Use Percussion Pictographs for Staff Names or Instrument Changes

This tutorial is also available for Sibelius.

I recently typeset a piece of music for children’s choir and percussion. The percussion part, which was on three different instrument lines, needed to be as clear and readable as possible for the kids performing. The publisher requested that we use percussion pictographs instead of abbreviated text for the percussion instrument names after the first system:

01-perc-inst-name-pictographs

I thought this would make an interesting tutorial, useful for worksheets and other specialty applications (like my kid’s choir project). I hope you agree. Let’s take it from the left edge…

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