"Buy Now" to view and securely purchase the available paperback / digital editions at our publishing partner Hal Leonard LLC.
Berklee Textbook
  • Suggested Retail Price: $16.99
  • Format: Book
  • Pages: 160
  • Dimensions: 9 x 12
  • ISBN: 0-87639-074-2
  • SKU: 50449540
  • Publication Date: April 17, 2007

Related Online Courses & Programs

Music Notation Using Sibelius

Learn to create lead sheets, choral and instrumental scores, drum maps and guitar notation, and explore many other ways to use Sibelius for your own personal and professional needs.

Music Notation Using Finale

Create great-looking music quickly and easily with the powerful Finale music notation software, and learn techniques to maximize speed, control, and accuracy.

Master Theory, Harmony, and Ear Training Certificate Program

This program will help you gain a professional command of the mechanics behind most of the contemporary music that you enjoy.

Bachelor of Professional Studies: Music Composition for Film, TV, and Games

Gain the practical skills to compose, arrange, and orchestrate effective dramatic music for visual media, including film, television, and interactive media.

Make your music easier to read.

Whether you notate music by hand or use computer software, this practical reference will show you today’s best practices for how to render the details of your scores and parts. Improve your music’s legibility and express your ideas clearly to get the best possible representation of your music.

You will learn to:

  • Create scores that are easy to conduct and parts that are easy to perform
  • Understand the unique practices and standards for handwritten vs. computer-generated scores, such as those by Finale® and Sibelius®
  • Lay out scores with proper instrument order, measures per page, and common alignment practices
  • Understand the publication standards for orchestral, big-band, vocal, and rhythm-section–based scores
  • Use appropriate practices for different styles, such as pop, commercial, classical, and jazz
  • Master the details of setting notation elements such as measure numbers, rehearsal markings, chord symbols, dynamics, lyrics, and many more
  • Use specialized notation, such as measure repeats, col, slashes, hits over time, and others

Music Notation: Preparing Scores and Parts is used as a notation textbook by Berklee College of Music’s Contemporary Writing and Production Department. It presents the definitive word in score and part preparation, based on contemporary publishing-industry practice.

Music Notation: Preparing Scores and Parts is a must-have book for both professional and beginning composers and arrangers. It is a completely up-to-date and thorough treatment of the subject and includes all of the latest practices for both computer-assisted and handwritten notation. It is the most comprehensive book on this topic I have seen, and it is written and laid out in a clear and easily readable style. I endorse this superb book as a required text at Berklee, and highly recommend it to anyone aspiring to be a composer or arranger.”

—Kari Juusela, Dean of the Professional Writing Division, Berklee College of Music

“What’s often missing in composers’ training is the correct, professional way to prepare scores and parts. Fortunately, this much-needed new tome by Matthew Nicholl and Richard Grudzinski ‘fills in the blanks’ about music notation. It’s an inspiring and well-organized presentation, with clear and concise explanations pertaining to the most vexing notation problems. All composers should place this book at the top of their next-to-read list.”

—Alf Clausen, Composer (The Simpsons)

“This quality, in-depth tutorial encompasses all you need to know regarding the preparation of scores and parts. These valuable guidelines will help you to write clear scores, facilitating better performances and recordings, and saving you time and money. This comprehensive work is a ‘must have’ for all composers, arrangers, and copyists.”

—Victor Vanacore, GRAMMY®-winning Arranger, Composer, Conductor (Ray Charles, Barry Manilow, the Survivor television series), Conductor of orchestras worldwide

“A clean and precise part or score is essential—an intrinsic element of any music production or performance. Recently, I worked closely with Richard Grudzinski on one of my own scores, and I witnessed first-hand his expertise in turning my musical thoughts and intentions into artistry, in a clean and cogent music preparation. This book is invaluable for anyone interested in communicating their musical language precisely and intelligibly through music notation.”

—Philippe Saisse, Keyboardist, Arranger, Producer, Recording Artist (Rod Stewart, Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau, David Sanborn)


Matthew Nicholl

Matthew Nicholl is Chair of the Contemporary Writing and Production Department at Berklee College of Music. He has composed soundtracks for…

Richard Grudzinski

Richard Grudzinski is an associate professor at the Berklee College of Music, where he has taught since 1985. He teaches arranging,…