Sunday, September 24, 2006

Handmade

Computer notation programs are now so obiquitous, that it's easy to forget how the work was done before we had these machines. Courtesy of Henle Editions, the most traditional of the traditional German music publishers, is a must-see video (WMV format) featuring one of the last virtuoso Notenstecher (music engraver) at work, scratching and hammering a metal plate in preparation for printing. Virtuosity here means eight hours work for a single page of music. This video, which I heard about via the Finale Users's list, is something I'd show to everyone studying music, if only to restore a little wonder about something we tend to take for granted.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I use Finale, but not regularly. Presumably, I'd get better at it, i.e. faster, if I wrote more frequently. At this point, I can still put music to paper much faster than fiddling with the computer. The computer is a great tool and has its advantages, but sometimes I just long for a No. 1 pencil with the aromatic smell, freshly-sharpened to a needle point and a blank sheet of paper.

pgabhart said...

I left the previous post but am new at this so inadvertently it came out as "anonymous." I viewed the video about engraving and found it fascinating. Thanks for posting it. I intend to tell my musician friends to check it out. Although I knew something about engraving, I had never seen a video of it being done.