How can I turn my sheet music into a book?

You can do this, but there are at least three distinct methods.  Each has different compromises.

The destination: single PDF

For the purposes of this exercise, we want to finish with a single PDF document, storing the entire book. This is what you want almost all the time, including:

  • Printing yourself, with the printer on your desk
  • Sending files to other people to download and print
  • Taking to your local print shop
  • Selling via print-on-demand

PDF may not not be sufficient if:

  • You want to share work other people can edit – for this, provide your original notation file and also export to MusicXML
  • You want to distribute your music with interactive playback or video – tools exist for this, but are too complex to discuss here
  • You are working for a major publisher – in this case, they should provide specific file and formatting guidelines

So, how do we go from notation to a single PDF?

Continue reading “How can I turn my sheet music into a book?”

What are vector graphics? When should I use them?

Vector graphics are images defined by shape coordinates, instead of the more common method of defining them by pixels.

You should use vector graphics whenever a vector file exists and the application you use can read it. Neither circumstance is as common as it should be.

Describing pictures

Below is a picture. Take a moment to think about how you would describe it.

Black arrow pointing to the right, looking sharp on most screens.

Continue reading “What are vector graphics? When should I use them?”