It is not necessary in this work to define what music is, nor enter at all into any disquisition on the subject, as the object is the printing of it only; and all that I shall attempt is to give the plan of a pair of Music Cases, with the characters, and a specimen.
The English musical types have never to my knowledge undergone any improvement, till within a few years, when Mr. Hughes cut two new founts, which are looked upon as the best we have, and the largest of which I have used for this article.
Mr. E. Cowper devised a plan for printing music, in which one page was the lines only, and the other page was the notes, &c. only, and the chase was prepared to turn upon a centre fixed in the table of a press: thus the first impression was that of the lines without the notes, &c. on one page, and the notes, &c. without the lines on the other; the form was then turned half round, and the second impression was, the lines on the notes on one page, and the notes on the lines on the other. There is an objection to this plan for good work, which is, that the page of notes requires a different making ready to the page of lines, and when the two are completed they will be unequal in the effect, for either the lines will be too strong, or the notes have too little impression.
Mr. R. Branston struck out a different mode: he produced his music by the usual process for printing it with the rolling press, only the punches were struck deeper in the plate, and he then took a stereotype plate from it in type metal, and after the white parts were blocked out the music was sufficiently in relief to be printed at the type press. Both these plans were adopted to preserve the continuity of the lines, which in types got rounded off by wear where they joined, and spoiled the appearance.
In distributing music, the compositor should be careful not to injure the corners of the lines.