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How to keep a sheet music book open when playing? #2719081
03/05/18 01:23 PM
03/05/18 01:23 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 3
A
alhambra Offline OP
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alhambra  Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2018
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Hello friends,

When playing piano I often use softcover editions that are hard to keep open. E.g. my editions of Beethoven and Schubert piano sonatas have quite many pages, and no matter how much I fold them the problem seems to persist.

Do you have any gadgets or tools that you have found useful?

I was thinking of it was possible to create something out of plastic or metal that would turn out to be useful ?

[img]https://imgur.com/a/RamoX[/img]
[img]https://imgur.com/a/9l4Nf[/img]

~alhambra

Last edited by alhambra; 03/05/18 01:23 PM.
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Re: How to keep a sheet music book open when playing? [Re: alhambra] #2719089
03/05/18 01:58 PM
03/05/18 01:58 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,494
Florida
dogperson Offline
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dogperson  Offline
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Florida
If I have any sheet music books that will not stay open, I will take the book to an office supply store where they will bind it for around four dollars a book. Well worth the money


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: How to keep a sheet music book open when playing? [Re: alhambra] #2719102
03/05/18 02:33 PM
03/05/18 02:33 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,513
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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BruceD  Offline
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Victoria, BC
Originally Posted by alhambra
[...]
Do you have any gadgets or tools that you have found useful?

I was thinking of it was possible to create something out of plastic or metal that would turn out to be useful ?

[img]https://imgur.com/a/RamoX[/img]
[img]https://imgur.com/a/9l4Nf[/img]

~alhambra

[...]

If you develop a "gadget" or "tool" to hold the pages open, what are you going to do when you have to turn the page? Stop, remove the gadget, turn the page, replace the gadget? That seems highly impractical.

I fear that the plastic used to bind books may become brittle with age. That's only a speculation, but what I do know from experience is that books already bound with plastic "rings" or "combs" risk scratching the finish on the music desk and the plastic rings or the edges of the combs occasionally catch on other books or covers.

What I do for somewhat recalcitrant bindings is the following:

1) Hold the book between your hands on a flat surface with the spine of the book against the flat surface.
2) Then, open and press the back cover against the flat surface and run a finger of your left hand down the gutter to encourage the cover to remain open.
3) Then do the same with the right hand to the front cover.
4) Then, working from back to front, do the same with each page, until your hands meet in the centre.

Here is advice from a librarian. The only difference in "my" technique is that I don't take multiple pages at a time, rather one page at a time, but this video illustrates the technique.


This process works for every volume for which I've needed to use it - except for some Dover publications.

It's worth a try.

Regards,

Last edited by BruceD; 03/05/18 02:38 PM.

BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: How to keep a sheet music book open when playing? [Re: BruceD] #2719111
03/05/18 02:53 PM
03/05/18 02:53 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 3
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alhambra Offline OP
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alhambra  Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by BruceD

This process works for every volume for which I've needed to use it - except for some Dover publications.

It's worth a try.


I happen to have all the Dover editions ! smile

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Re: How to keep a sheet music book open when playing? [Re: alhambra] #2719164
03/05/18 04:34 PM
03/05/18 04:34 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,513
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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BruceD  Offline
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Posts: 21,513
Victoria, BC
Originally Posted by alhambra
Originally Posted by BruceD

This process works for every volume for which I've needed to use it - except for some Dover publications.

It's worth a try.


I happen to have all the Dover editions ! smile


My sympathies to you! smile


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: How to keep a sheet music book open when playing? [Re: alhambra] #2719166
03/05/18 04:44 PM
03/05/18 04:44 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,667
Chicago, Illinois
David Farley Offline
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David Farley  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,667
Chicago, Illinois
In the old days this is why we kept a couple hymnals near the piano. But I recently discovered that flat-style lithium battery power packs are nice and heavy, and just the right size to hold recalcitrant pages open. Doesn't solve the page-turning issue, though.

Re: How to keep a sheet music book open when playing? [Re: alhambra] #2719187
03/05/18 05:34 PM
03/05/18 05:34 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 223
North East
ocd Offline
Full Member
ocd  Offline
Full Member
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 223
North East
I keep a clipboard on the music desk and I use two large clips to clip (pardon the repetition) the left and right sides of the music book to the clipboard.


"Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen."
Re: How to keep a sheet music book open when playing? [Re: alhambra] #2719191
03/05/18 05:54 PM
03/05/18 05:54 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2,555
SE USA
WhoDwaldi Offline
2000 Post Club Member
WhoDwaldi  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2,555
SE USA
What BruceD says, but these have their uses:

Music/Book Clamp


WhoDwaldi
Re: How to keep a sheet music book open when playing? [Re: dogperson] #2719249
03/05/18 11:51 PM
03/05/18 11:51 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 227
Bellevue, WA
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benjamink Offline
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Bellevue, WA
Originally Posted by dogperson
If I have any sheet music books that will not stay open, I will take the book to an office supply store where they will bind it for around four dollars a book. Well worth the money


+1

I bound most of my scores about 15 years ago at Kinkos and continue to get most of my books bound. Easily, one of the satisfying musical investments I ever made. The books I have bound with spirals stay open on the piano with zero effort. None of them are falling apart.

There are a few downsides of spiral bindings:
1. You need to look at the front cover to identify the book since the spine is removed. I have probably 100+ books that are spiral bound, so finding the correct book can take me a little longer than it would if it still had its spine. A decent organization system allows me to find the books pretty quickly.
2. As Bruce mentioned, I think the spiral can be a little bit harder on a piano's finish. This is pretty minor, but I have noticed slight imperfections in my piano's finish on the music desk compared to the rest of piano. Even with this, I don't regret my decision to put my books in spiral bindings - it makes playing much more enjoyable for me.
3. Sometimes if the margins are too narrow, then Kinkos will clip notes close to the margins. Fortunately, this only happened to one of my books which was relatively cheap. If the book has margins less than an inch, I don't bother getting it bound.

Re: How to keep a sheet music book open when playing? [Re: alhambra] #2719262
03/06/18 01:09 AM
03/06/18 01:09 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 243
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Corvus Online content
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Corvus  Online Content
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A few years ago, I started putting music books that don't easily stay open just in front of the music desk on my grand piano, so the book is resting over the tuning pins.

That works well on a grand; won't help on an upright.

Re: How to keep a sheet music book open when playing? [Re: alhambra] #2719373
03/06/18 12:08 PM
03/06/18 12:08 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,620
Seattle area, WA
gooddog Offline
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gooddog  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,620
Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted by alhambra
Originally Posted by BruceD

This process works for every volume for which I've needed to use it - except for some Dover publications.

It's worth a try.


I happen to have all the Dover editions ! smile

Dover editions are notoriously difficult to keep open. As Benjamin suggested, you can take them to a print shop like FedEx and have them rebound with soft plastic spirals. I use small, leather, map weights that are filled with lead shot. They won't scratch your piano. Unfortunately, I can no longer find any smaller than 4" on the internet. (Mine are 3" X2"). .


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: How to keep a sheet music book open when playing? [Re: BruceD] #2719374
03/06/18 12:10 PM
03/06/18 12:10 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,620
Seattle area, WA
gooddog Offline
5000 Post Club Member
gooddog  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,620
Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted by BruceD

I fear that the plastic used to bind books may become brittle with age.Regards,

This seems to apply to pianists too. smile


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: How to keep a sheet music book open when playing? [Re: alhambra] #2719375
03/06/18 12:17 PM
03/06/18 12:17 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,667
Chicago, Illinois
David Farley Offline
1000 Post Club Member
David Farley  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,667
Chicago, Illinois
I used to have a lot of music cut and spiral bound, but the quality became unreliable. I'm toying with the cut-and-scan idea, and then maybe putting the original or a slightly smaller printed copy into a 3-ring binder, if I really need a printed copy. Nice binders are dirt cheap at Costco, and printing on a laser printer is relatively inexpensive. The sum total might be cheaper than the ring binding. I've done a lot of IMSLP material this way. I don't like the idea of buying printed music and basically destroying the book, though.

Re: How to keep a sheet music book open when playing? [Re: alhambra] #2720896
03/13/18 04:21 PM
03/13/18 04:21 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,091
Orig. land of Svear&Götar
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RaggedKeyPresser Offline
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RaggedKeyPresser  Offline
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R
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,091
Orig. land of Svear&Götar
I use wooden clothespins.
Cheap and simple.


Czerny's Piano School Vol. 1. Reviewing basics/ear training/analysis in interesting exercises.
Opus 599. Now at #77 and giving it a break.
Re: How to keep a sheet music book open when playing? [Re: alhambra] #2720912
03/13/18 05:50 PM
03/13/18 05:50 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 29
Berkshires, MA
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Bill Reed Offline
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Bill Reed  Offline
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Posts: 29
Berkshires, MA
I take things to my local print shop and have them chop off the binding and make it into spiral bound.


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