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Set - Music Engraving Tool, Schirmer, Circa 1880 Object Reg. No: ST 041277

Music engraving tool set.

One of the ways that sheet music produced from about 1700 to 1920 was by printing from engravings on metal plates using a set of tools such as this. This set of tools was mostly used by Gordon Baker who worked for A. Kynoch & Co. Pty. Ltd. in Melbourne. The manufacturer of the tools was a New York based firm called Schirmer although the vendor states that the tools were made in Germany and were purchased second hand by Kynoch's first engraver, Bert Price, who bought them to Australia.

Gordon Baker was apprentice to his father Jack, and was for awhile the only music engraver working in Australia. Gordon was apprenticed in about 1934 and worked for the firm until 1984 or 1985.

Engraving ceased in 1984/5 when the three full-time engravers retired and the firm could not persuade anyone to take on the seven-year apprenticeship! Cheaper and same quality printing from Korea at that time became viable and so the engraver's art was lost to Allan and Company, and Kynoch Ltd. The Korean method involved stamps with the tails, expression marks and slurs added by hand. It was much cheaper and quicker than the engraving method. This type of music publishing through engraving also suffered to a large extent from the proliferation of the photocopier in the mid 1980s. By the end of the 20th Century, music was printed using a computer and printer.

The earliest known practical music to be produced on metal plate is from about 1536. The first account of the methods of music engraving appears in L'Encyclopedie about 1750. Engraving tools are described and pictured which are alike in detail when compared to this set.
Music engraving set comprising:
1. Music punches - box with 70 punches.
2. Music punches - box with 45 punches.
3. Engraver's hammer.
4. Box with stave cutters - not located
5. Music punches - box with 14 punches.
6. Leather punch pad
7. Pewter printing plates - 3
8. Litho stone.
9. Sheet music for examinations
10. *
11. Pewter Printing Plate
12. Pewter Printing Plate
13. Stave line cutter
14. Stave line cutter
15. Stave line cutter
16. Scraping tool
17. Stave line cutter
18. Vertical line cutter
19. Handle
20. Base clef punch
21. Treble clef punch
Discipline: Technology

More information

Tagged with: music, printing, tools
Themes this item is part of: Music Engraving - a description of the method using a metal plate, Information & Communication Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection
Primary Classification: COMMUNICATIONS
Secondary Classification: Printing
Tertiary Classification: music engraving
Manufacturer: Schirmer, New York, New York State, United States of America, 1861

The vendor of the music engraving set stated that he purchased the set from Germany. However Schirmer was a well-known musical publisher in the United States.
User: Mr Gordon Baker, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
User: Mr Jack Baker, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
User: Mr Bert Price, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
User: A. Kynoch & Co Pty . Ltd, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, circa 1985
References: http://www.answers.com/topic/g-schirmer - accessed 25 November 2008
http://www.newmusicbox.org/article.nmbx?id=543 - accessed 25 November 2008
Both provide information regarding the history of the firm that produced the set of music engraving tools.
  1. [Book], John Robinson, Fit To Print: A "Hyperhistory" of the Current State of American Music Publishing, NewMusicBox, 2000, 2000


SOLOMON AGBOGBOLI Posted on 25 Jun 2010 2:31 AM
I am engraver, i want to know more about engraving.

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