Tools

Pens

Draftsman's Ruling Pen
A draftsman's ruling pen was capable of drawing hair-thin lines up to 1/8 of an inch wide. (Courtesy of Keuffel & Esser Co.)

Dip pens and fountain pens were both ideal. There were special nibs that were suited to writing music. These nibs had two or three points. The Esterbrook fountain pen was a popular choice. A draftsman’s ruling pen (see image below) was a good choice for drawing bar lines and other straight lines. The pen was dipped into ink, and the line width could be adjusted from a hair-line to nearly one eighth of an inch by a small thumbscrew.

For lettering, a steel point pen was used such as the Speed Ball. The following pens were used for lettering. They are graded from fine to heavy.

  • Gillotts No. 70
  • Spencerian No. 1
  • Esterbrook Falcon No. 048
  • Hunt Speedball No. B – 3
  • Hunt Speedball No. B – 5

Cleaning materials for the pens were also needed. These included pen wipers and pen cleaners for clearing up clogged pens.

For correcting mistakes a soft rubber eraser was used. Sometimes it was necessary to scrape out the mistake, cut it out, or paste over it. If the mistake was too severe, it was more efficient to redo the entire page.

Cleaning materials for the pens were also needed. These included pen wipers and pen cleaners for clearing up clogged pens.

For correcting mistakes a soft rubber eraser was used. Sometimes it was necessary to scrape out the mistake, cut it out, or paste over it. If the mistake was too severe, it was more efficient to redo the entire page.

Rulers

A 15-inch T-square and ruler provided the copyist with measurements and helped with drawing straight lines. Metal rulers were preferred as they were more durable.

Lettering Devices

The following were used for writing uniformed performance indications, titles, vocal texts, and other directions or information needed on the score.

Leroy Lettering Instrument

Leroy Lettering Instrument

An instrument in which an arm with a point followed the grooved letters in a guide. The other arm held a pen or pencil which wrote the letters on the paper.

Leroy Lettering Instrument

Leroy Lettering Instrument

The writing device of the Leroy Lettering instrument.

Braddock-Rowe Lettering Triangle

Braddock-Rowe Lettering Triangle

Lines were drawn by placing the tip of the pencil in the holes of the device. The triangle was moved across a T-square to keep the lines straight. The letters were written with ink which was allowed to dry before the penciled lines were erased.

Ames Lettering Device

Ames Lettering Device

The instructions include additional applications which includes music.

Lettering Device

Lettering Device

A lettering guide for writing uniform letters on a musical score.

Dividers

These were used mainly to mark off measures, usually in equal distance. When writing the music, attention was given to detail. All notes, clefs, bar lines, etc., had to be uniform. In other words, they had to appear the same, which was difficult to do free hand.

Divider

Divider

A divider that was used to evenly divide the measures.

Flexible Curve

Flexible Curve

A flexible curve could be bent into almost any shape. It was used to draw slurs and other curves in music.

Fountain Pen

Fountain Pen

A fountain pen with five nibs which was used to draw the staves.

French Curves

French Curves

French curves originally used for drafting, were used by copyists to draw slurs and curves in the music.

Handwritten Music

Handwritten Music

Professional, high-quality, handwritten music suitable for publication.