Low-tech resources

Manuscript paper for square notation

The following PDFs contain manuscript paper with extra-wide line spacing specifically designed for occasional copying of medieval square notation by hand. There are versions for A4 paper and for US Letter. Whichever one you choose, print it at actual size on the appropriate paper from Adobe Reader or your favorite PDF viewer.

The line spacing is designed with the use of a 2mm felt-tip calligraphy pen in mind, held at a 90° angle to the baseline for most note shapes and stave elements, or 45° for semibreve note bodies. I'd suggest using the 4mm spaced paper when transcribing from manuscripts in the style of [E] where square note bodies touch at the corners in ligatures. The 6mm spaced paper is also meant for 2mm pens, but for transcriptions from manuscripts like [To] where the vertical spacing is greater and you want to reproduce the internal connecting lines between square note corners that are usually visible. I have found the Kuretake ZIG Calligraphy Pen 2.0 to be good for the job, but (a) it's the only one I've tried; (b) they're not paying me to say that; and (c) your opinions may vary. If you prefer to cut your own quills, on you go, and there's nothing to stop you just using an ordinary pencil either—it will still be much easier than using regular, narrow-ruled modern manuscript paper.

The PDFs themselves are my own work. They were created using GSView/Ghostscript from hand-written PostScript code, and the files are therefore minuscule in size, only 1.5K each.

 A4US Letter
4 lines, 4mm spacing ms4-4mm-a4.pdf ms4-4mm-letter.pdf
4 lines, 6mm spacing ms4-6mm-a4.pdf ms4-6mm-letter.pdf
5 lines, 4mm spacing ms5-4mm-a4.pdf ms5-4mm-letter.pdf
5 lines, 6mm spacing ms5-6mm-a4.pdf ms5-6mm-letter.pdf

You can print out and use as many copies as you like. All I ask is that you do not cut the web address off the bottom.