Published piano music is typically printed on
paper that is at least 9 inches wide by 12 inches high—and for good
reason. At the
distance of the music
stand 9 x 12 is just large enough for a person of average vision to
read the notes.
Now some music available for download on the
Internet is not too clear to begin with—it might have been scanned at a
resolution, or the page not placed flush against the scanner glass.
Even, when the scan is of reasonably good quality
it can be difficult to read notes that are densely packed, when printed
8-1/2 inch by 11 inch paper. The
solution to this problem is to print music on 9 x 12 inch paper.
Easier said than done! First,
there is no such thing as 9 x 12 inch
paper. Well, that
is perhaps an
can easily find 9 x
12 inch sketch pads, or reams of soft drawing paper with ragged edges
leave a residue of dust in the printer, not to mention getting all
Ah, but one can purchase very good
that is 12 inches by 18 inches in size.
As anyone who excelled in arithmetic can deduce, 12 x 18
exactly twice 9 x 12 inches. Almost
that is needed then is to cut the paper in half.
Do not use scissors! It
might be theoretically possible to cut
paper exactly in half with scissors, but this is not recommended as a
use a rotary paper
cutter. The one I
use is a Carl model
Perhaps it should be mentioned that this article
is predicated on the assumption that one wishes to print more than a
of music. For just
one page, it might be
less costly to visit the local print shop.
In addition to paper and a cutter, what else is
needed? Oh yes, a
ordinary small computer printer won’t
do. You might
think, “what’s an inch
more or less?” An
inch is the difference
between works in your printer and does not work in your printer!
Fortunately large format printers are not much
more expensive than small office printers.
The Epson model WF-7510 that I use cost less than $200 and
serves as printer,
copier, and fax “all-in-one.” It
larger paper than the 9 x 12 size that is desirable for printing music. In fact it might be
possible to print two
pages side by side in this printer—I haven’t tried that.
once you have the paper and printer, it
is necessary to configure the application to print the specified size. This is easy.
Here is what you would do to configure 9 x 12 inch
printing in Adobe
Reader, for example:
Print, Select Printer
Size = User-Defined
| a. Paper
width = 9-inches
| b. Paper
height = 12-inches
| c. Save
as ‘Music 9x12’ or any desired name
the paper type has not changed. Click OK
“Page scaling” to “Fit to page”
OK to print
When everything is working, be sure to
lots of music in order to enjoy economies of scale.
If you buy a printer or a cutter just to
print music, the first few pages will be expensive!
But depending on the selection of music,
those pages might turn out to be an excellent value.