I am often asked what books I recommend that focus on preparing scores and parts for performance and publication. Below are the books that I own and reference.
- Berklee Contemporary Music Notation by Jonathan Feist (2017).
Includes everything you need for creating readable scores and parts. Jonathan’s writing makes this a fun and informative read. If you only want to purchase one book on the topic, start with this one.
- Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide to Music Notation (Faber Edition)
by Elaine Gould (2014).
One of the most comprehensive texts dedicated to music notation. 600+ pages. An indispensable reference.
- Music Notation: A Manual of Modern Practice
by Garner Read (1966, 1971)
A classic book on the topic and one of the first. It provides information on the history and proper practice of conventional “classical” music notation
- Music Notation: Preparing Scores and Parts
by Matthew Nicholl, Richard Grudzinski (2007)
Excellent information on page layout and design.
- Music Engraving Today: The art and practice of digital notesetting (second edition)
By Steven Powell (2003)
Comprehensive text with lots of specific score examples.
- PAS Guide to Drumset Notation
by Norman Weinberg (2002)
If you write for drumset, this is an indispensable book.
- Music Preparation Guidelines For Orchestral Music
by MOLA (Major Orchestra Librarians Association)
An in-depth, succinct list of recommendations for score and part preparation.
- Standard Music Notation Practice
Music Publishers’ Association (1996, 1993)
Free download. Some helpful information.
- The Art of Music Copying : The Preparation of Music for Performance
by Clinton Roemer (1973, second edition, 1985).
An oldie, but a goodie. One of the first books I read on the art of music preparation. Out of print, but worth it if you can find a copy at a reasonable price.
Do you have others to add to the list? If so, please post a reply below.