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Hildegard

How do you store your sheet music?

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This might sound like a weird question, but I can't really think of a good way to keep all my sheet music from covering every surface in my flat. Piles do have a tendency to fall and flow ...

Have you designed some sort of IKEA combination with lots of extra shelves? Do you do hanging folders?

Please give me lots of wonderful advice.

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I have those portfolio-type folders, like a file folder with pockets along the bottom, nice and slim and everything will stay together when it's placed on a music stand. I keep them on a regular bookshelf.

Laurel

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I store my loose music in binders, a different one for each type of music and a table of contents that shows the titles and the keys they are in...the holes on the side don't interfere with the music but photo copied music might be a problem if that is what you're using. It allows me to quickly find a specific piece, take it out, and then return it right back to where it was so I can find it again.

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The legal-size Hon file cabinets - I use the one where the drawers come out sideways - the full length of the cabinet is to the wall. Then use the Oxford legal size hanging file folders for a very flexible system. This has got to be tops and I love it. Everything you want is instantly available and has a place. You can file alphabetically by composer or song title - the choice is yours but a pile of sheet music is like not having it at all when you can't find what you want when you want it.

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I have two of the old-fashioned sheet music cabinets. They have horizontal shelves and hold quite a lot of music. The other systems suggested are probably more efficient, but if your music has to "live" in your living room or some other place where file cabinets or boxes would look lousy, the wooden cabinets are a nice alternative. I got both of mine locally, but they are often on Ebay. Prices range dramatically, from $50 to $500.

If money isn't a big issue, for $300-$500 you can buy beautiful new sheet music cabinets from Alden Lee and other suppliers -- look for ads in Strad, etc.

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I use one of those milk crate looking things that are made to hang folders in. They're pretty chep but very sturdy. I use one for my music that must weigh upwards of 45 pounds with everything in it, and one for important documents, papers, recpits and other stuff.

I think they were about $6 at office depot.

Ben

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Like Loren, I have two old-fashioned music cabinets for much of my music. For teaching and ensemble music, I have two two-drawer file cabinets (non hanging style). The music in them tends to collapse, but I usually straighten it with my hand and then adjust the back holder so that it's tight enough that it doesn't collapse. The rest of it sits around in piles in my studio/dining room! I use a roladex to keep track of what I have (but not necessarily where I have it).

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In those huge rubbermaid things that are in gallong or quarts, or ont he floor it all depends, my music is really all over the house, some is even in the bathroom, but i certainly didn't put it there. When i was oyunger i stored it in binders, but ym collection quickly outgrew binders

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I recently bought some modular cube units

for storing all my music stuff together. The sheet music goes in the cubes which are outfitted with narrow drawers. One drawer for etudes, one for concertos, one for quartets, etc. When you run out of room, you just buy more drawer cubes. Other units have shelves (for stereo components, microphone, metronome, CDs, tapes, etc) and plain cubes for old LPs. It works great. Everything is together and I can easily play, listen, record, etc with minimal interruption since it's all organized in the same place.

Another option I noticed is the "project shelf" unit in the Levenger catalog. It looks like the closest thing to sheet music storage of the type found in high school band rooms -- basically, a slotted wooden box.

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On a shelf or in those magazine holder things. But some music I have been looking for recently seems to have gone into that Bermuda Triangle that swallows up things I need every now and then.

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Yes, if anyone travels to the Bermuda triangle, please bring back my Bartok Concerto, my Hindemith Heckelphone trio, and the manuscript to my harpsichord pieces!

Jason Fruit, bereaved violist and composer.

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I guess I'm in a minority because I've always stored mine upright on a bookshelf, just like a book, alphabetized by composer. I did recently start a file cabinet drawer for orchestra parts.

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I use the archelogical filing system. For those of you unfamilar with this method one creates several large piles of music by placing the most recently played music on top. The retrieval system references both which pile and last time played to locate any specific piece of music. A benefit to this system is that sometimes one rediscovers a neat little piece.

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