Making Music Type

Development Of Music Fonts

Music fonts were developed by shaping metal into the shapes necessary to produce a metal punch. The punch was tempered and used to make a matrix in which molten metal was poured to produce the type. The type included notes, staff lines, and other music symbols. The following examples are taken from Grande Musicque by Hendrik van den Keere (1577).

Steel punch with music staff lines

Music Staff Steel Punch

A steel punch is made in order to create a music matrix with staff lines.

Matrix with music staff lines to create the music punch

Music Staff Matrix

A music staff matrix is punched with the steel punch into copper or another metal. Molten metal is poured onto the matrix.

Music Staff Type

Music Staff Type

When the metal cools, the type is removed, polished, and ready for use.

Assembling the music type

Assembling The Music Type

Pieces of other music type were added to place the notes on different parts of the music staff.

Music Moveable Type

Music Moveable Type

Examples of music moveable type that were pieced together in order to print music on paper.