DIY publication-quality music printing

Here's my method for on-demand printing of publication-quality sheet music.

You can read the blow-by-blow, or you can just watch the video. Or both (there's a bonus track if you read...)

Paper type(s)

All music is printed on 28# color copy paper.
. Parts: 11x17
. Landscape scores: 8.5x11
. Portrait scores: 11x17

This paper is high-contrast and low-glare. It is just heavy enough to print on both sides with no significant image bleed.



Parts are laid out with up to 4 pages per 1 piece of paper. They are printed in booklet format, which results in page 1page turnopen to spread with pages 2-3page turn—page 4. With a little bit of page shuffling in your PDF editor, you can get it to print with pages 1-2 on the front and pages 3-4 on the rear.

Parts (and portrait-oriented scores) that have more than 4 pages use additional sheets of 11x17 paper and are stapled together.

Landscape-oriented scores are bound with a coil binding.


Bonus Track:  Printing

(this information is not in the video)

Everything is printed from PDF on a high-end networked copier at my local print shop. This copier also folds and staples the paper as needed, so the parts are ready to go when they come out of the copier.

So, to have music printed, I email the PDFs (individual document for each part or score) to my copy guy Steve. I organize the PDFs in folders based on printing instructions. See this screenshot:

8.5x11_2-side_coil this is a landscape score, double-sided, coil binding.

booklet-fold — these are the parts that fit on a single sheet of 11x17 paper (i.e. up to 4 pages of music)

booklet-fold, staple — these are the parts that require more than one sheet of 11x17 (i.e. more than 4 pages of music)

ivory_11x17 — this is the card-stock cover for the entire set of parts and score

Posted on September 9, 2015 .