Music Engraving

Our student composer society invited me to come and speak to them about being a music engraver and working to create professional notation using Finale and Sibelius. I have been doing engraving work on the side for several years for Grand Mesa Music Publishers, located in Grand Junction, Colorado. Below are the notes that I have come up with for this presentation.

Music Engraving

Music Notation Rules

  • Most Common Issues To Fix (Examples from Grand Mesa Music Publishers)

    • No. 1 Rule: No Collisions
    • Dynamic Markings Horizontal SpacingHorizontal_Dynamics

    • Measure Numbers and Rehearsal Marks
    • Staff Spacing, Size, Number of Bars/LineLine_Spacing

    • Bowings and FingeringsBowings

    • Articulations Spacings, Slurs
    • Title, Copyright, Catalog Number, Headers, Page Numbers
    • Parts, Indent First Line


Using Sibelius and Finale

  • A Different Mindset
    • Finale
      • A Tool For Everything: Main Tool Palette
      • Fit Measure
      • Steep Learning Curve
      • Better suited for Modern Notation Needs
      • Petrucci, Maestro and Jazz Music Fonts
    • Sibelius
      • Always in Print Preview
      • Keyboard Shortcuts
      • The Create Menu
      • Magnetic Layout
      • Click and Drag
      • Ease of use for new users
      • Opus, Inkpen2, and Reprise Music Fonts
  • Linked Parts and Score
  • Sound fonts (not necessary for engraving)
    • Garritan Personal Orchestra
    • Sibelius Sounds or Kontact Integration
    • Vienna Sound Fonts

Working as an Engraver

  • Part Time
    • Supplemental Income
    • Independent Contractor
    • Work for multiple publishers
    • Paid hourly, fee is negotiable
    • Work Remotely
  • Full Time
    • Work for large publishers
    • Hollywood Score Preparation
    • Own Publishing Company
    • Self Publish Personal Compositions

Engraving Resources