About Music Type
The Printing Press and Music Type
In 1450, Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press. As with previous methods of printing, it would soon be utilized to print music. With moveable type every note, line, beam, etc. had to be assembled into a “puzzle.” The correct notes, lines, and other music symbols were lined up in the correct order of the written music. The music had to be assembled correctly from left to right and in reverse. Errors had to be avoided as the workers would not get paid for corrections. From this point the types were locked together, placed on the printing press, inked, and pressed onto paper. Assembling the music was tedious and expensive, but the printing press made it possible to duplicate music at a faster pace. Copies of the music could now be sold and distributed to more people.