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How do you organize loose sheet music?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (4 votes) 
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HandsomeRyan
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December 3, 2012 - 10:05 am
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My apologies if this has already been covered but I tried a search but I don't think I was using the correct terms as I couldn't find anything. 

Just like the title says, What do you use to keep all your sheet music in an orderly and usable state? 

I know some of you probably play from song books which are already nicely bound for your convenience but what about individual papers printed (like the great free music available from this site!)

 

Even though I won't have a fiddle until the 25th (I promised my wife I'd act surprised when I open the fiddle-case shaped package) I have started printing hard copies of basic exercises and introductory level songs as well as some much more advanced songs that I aspire to play eventually but I wanted physical copies of to motivate me.

Right now they are all loose in a big envelope but I wondered if I should try to better arrange them and possibly even 3-hole-punch them and put them in a binder with tabs to define what are scales and practice exercises  what are songs I should realistically be playing, and of course a section for the stuff I am learning the basics to be able to play eventually. 

When my wife plays trumpet for the pit orchestra of a local community theater group she just keeps the loose papers clipped together and shoved into the side of her trumpet case. They quickly become ratty looking (and I imagine more difficult to balance on the music stand) so I am hoping to find something better. 

Any advice for me on storing/transporting/playing-from home-printed sheet music?

Best,

-Ryan

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TerryT
Coleshill, Warwickshire
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December 3, 2012 - 10:20 am
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You don't have an orchestra librarian?
Lol, nor I.
I keep them segregated between instructional, playing now, and played in the past. All alphabetical within those sections.
My filing sti looks like a pigs ear!

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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KindaScratchy
Massachusetts
December 3, 2012 - 10:31 am
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The days of loose paper sheet music are pretty much over for me. I've gone electronic. I made a little video review of my system and posted it a while back:

http://fiddlerman.com/forum/re.....ic-system/

 

Note: Although I started by scanning hard copy sheet music, I'm now building an all-electronic, editable music collection by gathering ABC notation files, importing them into MuseScore (a free, open-source music editing program), editing, if necessary, then saving them as PDFs before loading them into MobileSheets.

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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December 3, 2012 - 10:45 am
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Hmmmmmmm.... good question. Myself, I only have about 3 or 4 piece's of sheet music I have Dloaded and printed. Where they are is another good question. I think one is on my sofa, another is right here in front of me and the other one or two are still on the receiver tray of the printer.

I play stictly by ear (for the most part), but If I were to gather a lot of sheet's, I think I would do like you said and use a 3 ring binder with a paper punch to keep them organized. Take one out, set it on the music stand, which I don't have, use it then file it back to the binder.

That's my way.  dancing

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HatefulPain
Trondheim, Norway
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December 3, 2012 - 10:58 am
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Home I have sheets in a ring-binder. First up exercices and stuff like that for easy access, followed by the music sheets which are alphabetic organized.  On the go I use a cheap plastic folder and it can hold loads of sheets. (Unluckily my violin case don't agree on that one, since its half a centimeter too short for that to fit. So at this point I just bind it to my case with rubber bands.) 

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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Worldfiddler
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December 3, 2012 - 1:10 pm
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I have a unique system for organising my loose sheet music.

I gather the sheets and stack them all up, so they are in a neat pile, in alphabetical order.

I then use an industrial-strength nail gun to bind them all together, with a large nail through the centre. I them put them in an empty cheese crate, put the lid on, and secure it all the way round with 3" nails.

I find it easier to use a hammer, rather than the nail gun, as it's quite easy to miss the edge and damage my expensive 1734 antique polished walnut table.

Finally, I encase the whole lot in concrete, for extra security, and store it at the bottom of my fish pond.

 

OK, being serious now :) ......

 

I just use a hole punch on the paper margin, and keep the sheets in a ring binder. I don't use pockets, for two reasons. One, sometimes there's unwanted light reflection, and two - I often need to mark the music with fingerings and notes, while practising / learning a piece - so you need the bare paper for that.

 

Kindascatchy - that's a good plan you have with the music displayed on the tablet!

It's an excellent way to store and organise music.

I'm a gadget man myself, but for reason two, above, I wouldn't use it for reading music during practise. It has to be paper for me :)

 

Mr Jim  dancing

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Barry
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December 3, 2012 - 2:10 pm
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I have music shoved in various places all over the house, when Im looking for a certain piece I pack a lunch and go on a quest

There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart

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DanielB
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December 3, 2012 - 5:09 pm
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I don't have a lot of score I'm currently using.  But if I were trying to make sense of a bunch of print-out, this is my usual solution:

http://www.scrapjazz.com/topic.....ng/948.php

You can actually go a fair bit closer to the edge than they show in that how-to, to get something that will open fairly flat better than some soft-cover books.  It is probably the cheapest way of bookbinding, when you have things already printed out on full sheets of paper.  It is fairly durable (I've drop kicked things I've bound that way, with no ill effect).  Some cheap posterboard or coloured paper will make covers and then it can go right on a shelf in your library or bookshelf or whatever.

Most of the score I do actually use at this point (very little) I keep in digital on a laptop.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Kevin M.
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December 3, 2012 - 8:26 pm
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KindaScratchy said
The days of loose paper sheet music are pretty much over for me. I've gone electronic. I made a little video review  of my system and posted it a while back:

Note: Although I started by scanning hard copy sheet music, I'm now building an all-electronic, editable music collection by gathering ABC notation files, importing them into MuseScore (a free, open-source music editing program), editing, if necessary, then saving them as PDFs before loading them into MobileSheets.

 With this system can you mark up the pdf's and then save them or do you have to use something like musescore and then resave as pdf and transfer it back to the tablet?

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Kevin M.
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December 3, 2012 - 8:34 pm
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I set up manila folders with different designations of music. then each one would have the music alphabetized.

Now if I could only remember where those folders were. I'm sure they are probably under one of the piles of papers around the house.

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KindaScratchy
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December 3, 2012 - 9:53 pm
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Kevin M. said

KindaScratchy said
The days of loose paper sheet music are pretty much over for me. I've gone electronic. I made a little video review  of my system and posted it a while back:

Note: Although I started by scanning hard copy sheet music, I'm now building an all-electronic, editable music collection by gathering ABC notation files, importing them into MuseScore (a free, open-source music editing program), editing, if necessary, then saving them as PDFs before loading them into MobileSheets.

 With this system can you mark up the pdf's and then save them or do you have to use something like musescore and then resave as pdf and transfer it back to the tablet?

I do any editing in Musescore then make a new PDF to put on the tablet.

I do any editing in Musescore

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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Fiddlerman
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December 3, 2012 - 11:23 pm
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One way of doing it is to put them in a pile and number them as you flip through them. As you number a new piece you write the title down on a text document on your computer with the number besides it. When you are done you have your text editor alphabetize the list. Now you have a great index at the front. You can have two if you like, one alphabetized and one numerically indexed.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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RosinedUp
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December 4, 2012 - 4:05 am
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Fiddlestix said
Hmmmmmmm.... good question. Myself, I only have about 3 or 4 piece's of sheet music I have Dloaded and printed. Where they are is another good question. I think one is on my sofa, another is right here in front of me and the other one or two are still on the receiver tray of the printer.

I play stictly by ear (for the most part), but If I were to gather a lot of sheet's, I think I would do like you said and use a 3 ring binder with a paper punch to keep them organized. Take one out, set it on the music stand, which I don't have, use it then file it back to the binder.

That's my way.  dancing

Hey, your post would go great on that other thread entitled: "Attention everyone who has so much sheet music that they have a hard time keeping track of all of it: I almost never read music." !

treble-1226crotchet-1218semiquaver-1214devil-violinlaugh

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KindaScratchy
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December 4, 2012 - 1:13 pm
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KindaScratchy said

I do any editing in Musescore then make a new PDF to put on the tablet.

I do any editing in Musescore

 

In case anybody's wondering, that's the result of replying on my tablet, which doesn't play nice with this discussion board, then going back in to fix something and falling asleep before I finished.

sleepfacepalm

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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