Stencils were not very popular but they were used. The process was slow, but it did provide consistency in the size of the notes, clefs, etc. The stenciled copy could then be used to produce more copies using another process such as lithography or photography. Below are some examples of stencils that were used to print music.
The NOTEMASTER™ is a stencil device from the 1980s developed by Foster Music Corporation from California. The stencil below comes with a handbook. The following is the foreward from the handbook.
This handbook explains the basic rules of writing music in the manner developed by fine publishers to date, with an eye to current practice among the best publishers and the logic which dictates that practice.
These rules have been developed over centuries with the primary goals of clarity of expression and beauty of the printed page. Finely shaped, consistently uniform notation is just a start in that direction.
The spacing and grouping of different elements into patterns can assist the performer's sense of "time" and fluency of expression. It is those groupings and spacings, expressed with "musical looking" symbols that will give your manuscripts and other music writings the professional look.
This handbook was developed as a companion piece to the NOTEMASTER™ Music Template to allow users of the template to apply their properly formed characters in a manner consistent with good publishing practice. However, the information contained herein is valid with typewritten music as well as hand-written or autographed music and rub-off notation.
Because of this, we are making the NOTEMASTER™ Music Handbook available with or without the NOTEMASTER™ Music Template. If you do not own a NOTEMASTER™ Music Template, you may wish to order one after reading this handbook. A convenient order form will be found at the back of this book.
If you already own a NOTEMASTER™ Music Template, you may want to turn a friend on to a good idea. We hope you’ll pass the order blank along.
The NOTEMASTER™ Music Template was designed to fill the gap between inconsistent and laborious hand-written music and expensive music typewriters, none of which offers characters that conform to fine plate engraved music as of January, 1981.
With the NOTEMASTER™ system, template and handbook, uniform notation and other symbols can be applied to pre-ruled or custom-ruled sheets with jet-black, photogenic ink for purposes of duplication or highly legible one of a kind writings.
Your local instant printer can reduce or enlarge your written copy to give a staff-width to suite any purpose or type of music. A chart, giving staff lengths for reduction purposes, is included near the back of this handbook.
Our intention in introducing the NOTEMASTER™ system is to put the tools for fine music notation in the hands of all musicians.
The Notemaster™ from the early 1980s. (Private collection of the author.)
Instruction booklet for the Notemaster™.
The Music Master Set with letter stencils included. (Private collection of the author.)
The cover box for the Music Master™ Set.
A special template made by Keuffer & Esser Co.
1299i Music Composition - Designed for the music student, teacher, copyist or composer to draw musical notes, numerals, symbols and staff lines. Template can be used with 0.7 cm, 0.8 cm, or 0.9 cm paper.
R-1200 Rapid Composer - For the music composer, engraver, copyist, teacher or student to draw engraved style notes, numerals and symbols. Can be used with a 0.7 cm or 0.9 cm staff size paper or staff lines can be drawn using holes. Includes 6-inch scale. Suitable for use with drawing pencils or with #1 technical pen. Includes instruction sheet and package of self-adhesive TEMPLIFTR pads for inking.