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Note set designates (similar to the text record in the printing) the dressing of notes in publication and form. The principles of the note set differ however fundamentally from those of the text record.

The note set relating to crafts is displaced since the end of the last century by the computer note set, which finds both during the artwork production and for the spreading of music over electronic media use.

The beginnings of the Notendrucks

Into the second half 15. Century could be multiplied notes exclusively handwritten and spread. The oldest well-known, probably with wooden plates in the block compression matter (woodcut; see block book) printed notes come from the year 1473. Also the copper pass was inserted to the pressure by notes. Both techniques were however complex and notes assistance of these techniques were accordingly rarely multiplied.

The pressure with mobile types

Ottaviano dei Petrucci (1466-1539) developed a technology, which just like the Gutenberg text record with mobile types worked. In this way music could be printed for the first time favorably and in larger editions.

Petrucci printed Notenlinien, note characters and text in several pressure courses. The pressure phases precisely to the coincide to set was very complex. Pierre Attaingnant (1494-1551) simplified the procedure, by he Notenlinien and - indication in a type united. This resulted however in visible gaps in the Notenlinien (see illustration), because this by a number of individual types were built up. This procedure found nevertheless due to its economy spreading.

In the baroque the developing further notation was to be against-admitted with this procedure however no longer adequately. Johann God praise Immanuel broad head (1719-1794) divided the types therefore into smaller segments, in order to make it more flexibly combinable. In addition, this procedure was strongly reduced in relation to the hangeschriebenen notation. The copper pass however equaled the handwriting at flexibility almost. J.S. Bach used even the copper pass for the duplication of its music.

The note pass with steel temples

Around 1730 the Englishman John Walsh (1665-1736) invented the note pass with steel temples and combined with it the advantages of the flexible copper pass with those of the efficient type printing. Instead of types it used stamps, which could be struck in any place with a hammer into a pressure plate from soft Pewter. Also text could be hit by means of stamps into the plate. Lines (Notenlinien, clock lines, necks and bars) as well as elbows were stung further similarly to the copper pass. Pewter is an alloy from lead, tin and antimony, which already before was for the manual pass used. In the consequence also different metals found such as tin use.

By the stung plate could be printed in the gravure technique. A plate was usable however only for a limited number of pressures. By wear the print format lost gradually at sharpness. The Lithografie and later photo-mechanical reproduction methods made it possible to print with only one departure of the stung plate high editions.

The occupation of the Notenstechers was passed on and perfected as handicraft from generation to generation. Our current conception of the appearance of the notation elements and their arrangement was coined/shaped crucially by the note typesetter handicraft. The quality of artworks manufactured by experienced Notenstecher is considered practically as unsurpassed. All later procedures orient themselves therefore at the note pass.

Alternative methods for artwork production

The photo-mechanical reproduction method made it possible to use arbitrary black-and-white diagrams as artworks. It was therefore looked for for economic alternative to material and labor-consuming note pass. The simplest possibility consisted of it using by hand written notes (Autografien so mentioned). Experienced note commercial artists, who drew notes with india ink on transparent foil or paper, could obtain results, which are to be differentiated of stung notes only on closer inspection.

Ajar against the note pass there was the Stempelautografie in such a way specified and the Notaset. The indications hit with the pass by stamps were applied here by stamps and printing ink and/or by abrading the indications by rub off transparencies on Transparentfolie or paper, manufactured for this purpose. The elements stung with the traditional pass without stamps were drawn with feather/spring and india ink.

Computer note set

In relation to the text record useful software solutions for the note set were relatively late developed only. On the one hand the structure of the notation is more complex than from normal text, on the other hand one there are no obligatory rules for the accurate arrangement of the note characters. In the note set relating to crafts the positioning of the indications took place often after empirical values and aesthetic feeling. An automation of the note set is extremely difficult therefore to realize.

The first automatic music formatting programs found therefore particularly for simple situations like the notation of Songmelodien use. In the beginnings partial elements had to be supplemented such as elbows manually. A current, advanced formatting program is Lilypond. It does not possess a graphic user surface. By means of an input language semantic information about pitches is entered and - to last, which are converted from the program into graphic note picture to tracing, Verbalkung etc.. For the production of artworks for the publishing house-moderate Notendruck pure formatting programs cease to apply today however.

One of earliest still applications with graphic user surface, used, is Score, which orients itself relatively strongly at the note pass. First versions of the report-producing program over a plotter were into the 1970er years description of usable on the product homepage von Score. Similarly to pressure plates it stores music side for side in separate files, like when operating steel temples permits it to position the notation elements completely freely. Formatting automatisms are however possible on user instruction. The program applies frequently with professional note setters, who work for renowned publishing houses.

Today world-wide the furthest common notation programs, which are used both in the professional note set and by other users, are final and Sibelius. They are on the one hand so comfortable in the operation that they can be used also by laymen, and on the other hand sufficiently flexibly, in order to be able to manufacture thereby notes for the pressure.

Unusual notation of contemporary music becomes partially direct with usual diagram programs like e.g. CorelDraw, Freehand or also Illustrator provide.

Critics are the opinion that even with better computer typesetting programs set notes in many cases look unaesthetic than such, which were relating to crafts manufactured by trained note setters. Quintessential point of the criticism is that no more do not separate the placement of the notation elements be based on the know-how and that aesthetic feeling of a human note setter pre-defined algorithms will leave. These algorithms, for example for the determination of the horizontal distances of the notes, are on the one hand less flexible than a note setter and do not rely on the other hand frequently not on tradierte procedures, which are guessed/advised in oblivion already to a large extent, because they were further-obtained usually only verbally in the training of the note setters. Martin Gieseking writes in addition in its 2000 appeared thesis: "The trained eye [it recognizes] easy whether a score at the computer or on a pressure plate was sketched. Beyond that it is missing particularly to many small publishing houses at detailed knowledge of the notation, without which a computer, as mentioned, supplies only moderate results. By a complete automation, which considers all special cases, we are still far." Martin Gieseking: Was based generation of interactive note graphics. 2000. P. 23. To reread also on-line

The computer note set brings many economic advantages in relation to the procedures relating to crafts however. It is less time-consuming, permits extensive and fast corrections and improves the archiving barness and reusableness of notes already set enormously. No special cost-intensive working material is needed. During substantial facilitation of work it is less error-prone, for example during the voice excerpt as well as the Transposition or the automatic clock numbering. By the employment of MIDI the note setter in addition of visual control can examine a score additionally with the hearing for errors.

See also

  • Note typographic composition program



  • Martin Gieseking: To the history of the Notendrucks - an overview. In: Bernhard Martin Gieseking, olive Kautny (Hrsg.): Music in the spectrum of culture and society. 2001. To reread (also on-line.)
  • Herbert Chlapik: The practice of the note commercial artist. Vienna 1987. ISBN 3900035962
  • Ted Ross: The kind OF Music Engraving and processing. Miami Beach, Florida 1970.

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