David from www.SilverClefMusic.com writes:
While it is fascinating and wonderfully educational to learn all these DIY Bookbinding techniques, I have a situation that needs a unique solution. Perhaps all the fine minds here can suggest something.
Music publishers, particularly self-publishers which are an ever-growing segment of the industry, often need to bind music scores that can consist of just a few pages or more than fifty pages. There is a large percentage of these scores in the 12 to 30 page range.
These scores must open easily and lie flat when opened, without having to be held by hand, since musicians’ hands are always busy doing something else while they are reading these scores.
Most traditional binding methods either tend to have the opened volume attempt to close itself when released, or have such bulky extras, such as combs or coils, that make it impossible to put a dozen scores into a single music folio.
What binding method can we use that will (a) not be bulky, thereby allowing us to put a dozen or more volumes into a folio; (b) hold all the pages securely; and (c) allow us to open the volume or turn the pages then remove our hands, and still have the volume lie flat (NOT try to close itself) on a horizontal or near-vertical music stand?
If we can come up with a solution for this, we could revolutionize the music publishing and self-publishing industry.
DIY Bookbinding Responds
In my personal experience, most bound sheet music is delivered on letter sized pages (8.5″ x 11″ in the US.) The simplest way to bind something of that size which will perform in the manner described is to print booklets on tabloid sized paper (11″ x 17″ in the US) and bind the pages with staples. Each sheet of paper will reproduce 4 pages of music at 8.5″ x 11″ per page. Creating a booklet with 15 sheets of paper (60 pages) is well within the limits of a stapled booklet binding (20-25 sheets is generally the maximum number of pages recommended depending on the weight of the paper.)
Most word processing and page layout programs will allow you to print out a document in booklet form. This process will re-order the pages so they will display in the proper order when the binding is complete – this process is called imposition.
The equipment required to print and bind is straight forward, but a little expensive. The most expensive part is the wide format printer. I prefer to use laser printers over inkjet printers because of both speed and ink stability. A laser printer that handles 11″ x 17″ paper is going to cost a lot more than standard sized printers. The initial investment in a wide format inkjet printer will be lower, but the print speed will be much slower and the ink will be more prone to smudging. I also use a bone folder to crease the spine after stapling.
Recommended Booklet Making Tools
Do have any thoughts or questions about the best method of binding music scores for publication? Leave a comment below or on the YouTube page for this video.