Extreme Home Improvement Tips Hardwood Floor Installation

hardwood floor photoHome improvement can add that special something to your home environment, help you make use of your space and of course often add value. If your budget will allow, you may wish to pay for experts to come in and do the job for you. On the other hand you may be somebody for whom home improvement is an enjoyable and rewarding project to undertake yourself.

Of course some tasks are more difficult than others. For instance hardwood floor installation is not as straightforward as you think. Installing quality, durable flooring requires some preparation and if you choose to install it yourself it is wise to get as much support as possible. Many internet sites offer advice in detail.

Below are some brief, useful tips for hardwood floor installation:
Hardwood is a natural product and may have defects. When ordering wood check for defects, either natural or from the manufacturing process before buying. To be on the safe side order an extra 5 10% to allow for any overlooked problems.

Remember some urethane cured hardwood glues come with bond only warranties but there are glues that do not have moisture protection warranties. Check whether you need glue with moisture protection.
Ensure the site is structurally sound and completed before beginning work.

As hardwood is a porous material and will contract and expand, all attempts must be made to control the humidity of the room. Painted walls should be dry. Exterior drainage should be pointed away from the house. Wood should be delivered as early as possible before installation to allow it to acclimatize to the air. Although the product is engineered to withstand moisture, it is advisable to check moisture levels prior to working and consult manufacturers recommendations re: acceptable levels of moisture.

Ensure that you prepare for your own safety and the protection of the wood during installation. Protecting your eyes with goggles is a must! Use a back brace for lifting. Soft rubber pads or cushion knee pads prevent abrasions to the floor surface.

Wetting the painted area first before scraping it off will help to keep dust to a minimum. Wet paint causes less dust than flaky paint.

Open all boxes of wood before starting to lay the wood to check for defects but also insures you get a picture of the color and texture variation before you start.

Establishing your baseline and the direction of the floor is a crucial step. Be meticulous in using measuring and marking lines. Remember the longest outside wall gives the best visual effect.

Floor boards are initially laid using a “staggered staircase method i.e. 3 boards fitted closely together with boards 2 and 3 being 6 inches shorter than the first board and placed above the first board. To ensure the boards do not lose their tight grip use 3-M blue tape 2 inches thick to secure them and ensure that excess glue is cleaned off the boards and your shoes before you go on to add more boards. Being meticulous with details can make the process quicker and easier.

Professional installers recommend rolling the floor with a 75lb roller. The advantage of this often overlooked process is that you can quickly remedy any air pockets or hollow spots before the glue has dried and apply additional needed pressure to deal with them.

If you have taken the time and money to invest in hardwood flooring it is wise to make sure you take care and maintain this material. Common-sense tells you to keep the floors clean particularly from water, food and grease. Use only leading brand cleaner made for pre-finished hardwood floors and do not use polish or oil-based wax. Reduce damage to the flooring by using floor protectors underneath all furniture and avoid walking on floors with footwear that will damage it like stiletto heels. The above points are by no means comprehensive but are aimed at highlighting the small details to bear in mind when installing your hardwood flooring. When looking for extra support particularly on the internet, look for a reputable company who not only offer guidelines for installation but who offer a hardwood floor installation video online to help you do as professional a job as is possible.

Environmentally Friendly Home Improvement

home photoBettering your home in an eco-friendly way plainly refers to improving your home is a way that is showing responsibility to the environment and are energy effective. You might have to come up with more money in the beginning but it is a matter of fact that energy amounts will be lessened. Below are some simple ways to make your home more eco-friendly while you’re making improvements.

When trying to be green a very good area to take a look at is your home furnishings. Sometimes the best way to be green is also a way to save money, as in repairing or reupholstering old furniture rather than buying new pieces.

Looking out for some quality used bits of furniture is a good option if buying really is a must. It is easy to come across appealing and fascinating furniture and accessories at antique auctions which can be found everywhere. You can pick up some good furniture that has plenty of character at a good price at auctions, so long as you’re not buying a high end antique. Although windows could be used for decoration and to give light in your house, they are also great for keeping the heat inside and for insulation. And, the form of windows you have can be a big determinant when looking at the cost to heat your home. Purchasing two-paned or three-paned windows could assist you in making your home better efficient with energy. Reducing your heat loss by close to fifty percent is possible when coating your windows with Low-E (low emissivity). Therefore exchanging your windows with ones that are more efficient with energy will be costly in the beginning, it will be cost effective eventually. Also, you will feel cozier in the winter.

You can enhance the aesthetics of your home and what is around it by practicing green friendly living in your landscapes and gardens. An easy thing to save energy is to carefully plant trees around the circumference of your home to give you better coverage in the summer and padding from the wind in the winter months. A garden where you grow edible plants and vegetables is a great way to get nutritious foods into your diet and save money on groceries. To settle on what plants you want surrounding you, the ones that are the most eco-friendly are the ones that do not need as much work to keep them healthy and those are the ones that area regionally native. The last point is to use natural alternatives to pesticides to keep insects and animal pests away from your plants and garden.

You can make your home a lot more eco friendly and energy efficient as there are a number of ways to do this. You’ll find it much easier to think up of creative green ideas as you start getting into this mindset. In addition to many of these ideas being good for the environment, they are also good for saving you money.

Elementary Home Improvement Concepts You Should Know

home concept photoIt can be very trying to wiggle a little extra time into your busy work and life schedule for a home improvement project. Of course, with such little time available there are many more enjoyable pursuits for your weekends. In the end, you need to deal with these problems when they arise or they’ll become bigger problems to handle in the future. The thing about repairs is that when they aren’t made in a timely manner, the problems will only intensify. It will take you much longer and require a larger investment to make those repairs in the future than it will to simply handle them now. Don’t put yourself through costly delays when you can fix the problem much easier right away.

Every home owner wants to have more space for living and just enjoying their environment. You will need to take a look at what is available in your home, of course. One idea would be to transform your basement. If you own an attic that isn’t full of all sorts of stuff, that is another area you could improve.

If your budget and zoning allows, you can always put an addition on your house. Some people have turned their ranch houses into two storey buildings. You really are only limited by your imagination and resources. If you need some help to come up with ideas, then you could use some design software. If you have been chronically experiencing power interruptions, and it only affects your home, then you may be exceeding the capacity of your breakers. Another possibility could be with a degraded circuit breaker either individually or elsewhere in your system. Or it could even be a small appliance that is past it’s prime. These are times when an electrician might be your best solution. If you are comfortable with it, sometimes you can isolate these problems if the same breaker keeps tripping. But just be sure to proceed in a safe manner.

Automating different areas of your home is a very interesting, enjoyable and high tech home improvement project you can undertake. This is something where there are many options to choose from but also can be pretty costly for most people’s budgets.

Some of the factors that will influence the cost include the size of your home and what you want the system to have. If you are pretty handy with electrical components, then you can undertake the project yourself and save quite a bit on costs. Actually, when you step back and look at what is done with automation, it really is not difficult to figure it out – plus there is a lot of helpful information online and in books.

Any home improvements that mean automation are attractive because the results are amazingly fun. You can do almost anything and the only limit is how creative you are.

Reasons Why You Should You select Pro America Security Alarm System

A lot of consumers are aware of Pro America Security in terms of protection from burglars, fire, and the like. It really is grown to be a household name for many; but with all the different companies that also supply alarms and such, why select Pro America House Security for the residence? What tends to make them the best burglar alarm system?

Twenty-four Hr Supervising

There are numerous organizations that can supply supervised security systems. What this means is the fact that when an alarm within your residence is tripped, it’s noticed by a real live individual at a monitor within the office of Pro America Security, and they right away respond. A lot of folks value this kind of assistance as they could become flustered and distressed when an alarm is tripped, or may panic and freeze if there is an intruder inside the house. By having someone there at Pro America that will call the police for you, there’s added peace of thoughts in knowing that you’re taken care of.

For some people, it might be the opposite problem – they are so afraid of setting off an alarm that they do not use it, thinking that they do not need to bother the police in case of a false alarm. Understanding that a person from Pro America House Security will immediately call and reassure them that every little thing is okay may truly encourage them to use the alarm on a constant basis. Either way, a monitored alarm method is actually a welcome relief for a lot of people.

Simple to Use Method

Even the smartest math wizard can be confused when wanting to determine and remember a number of the difficult keypads and systems that include some alarms. Pro America House Security prides itself in the usability of its keypads; even a kid can discover how to use it. Their keypads also include one-touch emergency responses, which means that if there’s a break-in or other emergency when the alarm isn’t set, a person can just hit that panic button and set off the alarm. This is good for emergencies throughout the day when you’re much less likely to set the alarm or when the youngsters are house alone or just having a babysitter for whom you do not need to give the code.

Trained Staff

When was the last time you talked having a salesman who knew less about their item or retailer than you did? Sometimes even those operating behind the counter of a fast food restaurant do not know how you can work their very own equipment! But with Pro America Home Security, their staff are thoroughly competent in not only the monitoring services, but in emergency circumstances as well. Whilst not being paramedics or emergency medical technicians, they are trained to remain calm and to manage emergencies regardless of their nature.

It really is no wonder that Pro America Home Security has won J.D. Powers & Associates prestigious “Outstanding Customer Service Award” for numerous years in a row. Pro America House Security takes their accountability and their commitment to you and to your family’s security very seriously.

How Can You Benefit From Solar Panels Photovoltaic

Solar panels photovoltaic are becoming increasingly popular because they enable you to save big on electricity bills by making the best use natural resources. Whether you are a business owner or home maker, you can greatly benefit from installing solar panels in your property and in this article, we will tell you how.

The biggest motivation comes from the various state-government run programs that offer attractive incentive and rebates to those who have installed the solar panels in their homes or offices. Thus, you not only save on the monthly electricity bills but also qualify for attractive tax benefits from the government.

Increases the value of your property:

When you install the solar panels photovoltaic in your Laguna Niguel house, it greatly enhances the overall property. Installing these panels means that those living in the house will be able to use the suns natural and renewable energy to illuminate their homes, and this energy is also used for the heating and cooling systems. The electrical equipments and gadgets also use this renewable energy, thus you do not need electricity for your day to day activities,

There are some homes that choose a hybrid system, which means that they use the stored suns energy for heating and cooling purposes, and electrical energy for other activities. And there are other houses that choose to turn green completely and this implies that all electrical needs are fulfilled by the energy produced by the photovoltaic cells in the solar panels installed.

Having solar panels installed in your house will greatly enhance the value of your property and if you consider selling your home, you will get a much better deal for it. These attractive incentives, perks and benefits have encouraged the house owners in California to opt for the installation of solar panels in their property.

Raises the visibility of your brand:

Going green is the new buzz word in the industry and almost all companies today are trying their best to reduce the carbon footprints and gain visibility as an organization that is sensitive towards the environment.

When you install solar panels to reduce the consumption of energy in your manufacturing unit or corporate house, it instantly adds value to you brand as you are identified as an ideal corporate figure that is environment conscious and makes effort to reduce any adverse effects on it. Thus, you not only save in energy consumption but also boost the value of your brand.

How a Bathroom Remodeling Contractor Can Save Time and Money

Many would-be amateur bathroom remodelers find out the hard way that this can be one of the most challenging types of home renovations. When dealing with a washroom or bathroom, not only does the plumbing need to be addressed, but so does wiring, fixtures and flooring come into play. This is especially true if the room has sustained water damage, has outdated plumbing or even worse, outdated wiring. Few amateur renovators are up to this type of challenge, which is why so many people choose to hire a bathroom remodeling contractor.

The bathroom is one of the most important areas of the home. Not only is it the one room that gets used daily by everyone who lives there, but it is also one of the rooms that adds the most equity value to a property as well. When these factors are taken into account, it really does illuminate the need for a properly updated and functional powder room. Unfortunately, the external appearance of a room may look fantastic, but it can still have wretched wiring or plumbing and few homeowners are aware of this fact until a renovation project has been started.

Before adding a dent into a home department store credit card and launching on an ambitious solo project to completely renovate a bathroom, first sit down and decide what the finished results need to be. Next, decide the actual amount of materials needed, the hours it will take to complete the job and the potential setbacks that might occur during renovation. This will give a clearer idea as to the level of commitment involved in a remodeling project of this nature. This also gives a reason to hire a bathroom remodeling contractor; they will be the ones to deal with all of these aspects and will have the tools, knowledge and contacts to get the job done.

If you’re looking to save a few bucks on your next home renovations project and think it costs too much to hire a bathroom remodeling contractor, first look into the option of getting free estimates from local contractors in the area. This will help place an average cost of the materials, labor and construction when done professionally. Next, add up your personal potential costs and labor if you do the renovating yourself and compare the two. Once the saved time and labor is factored in, it may be far more affordable than initially thought to get professional services to speed up a renovation project.

Home Improvements In Missouri – Upgrade Your Home with Siding

As the second major snowstorm of the season covers the state of Missouri in a blanket of snow, you cant help but wonder if it will ever end. The rolling meadows and grassy fields are far from sight beneath layer upon layer of snow. Dont give up hope. In just a few months, the beautiful weather will return. It will then be time to revisit that list of home improvement projects from last year. One of the most cost-effective upgrades to any home is replacing the siding. Your home is your largest investment. Why not improve its look and value simultaneously with new siding?

There are many businesses that offer this service. The best place to begin is to get referrals from trusted friends. Talk to your neighbors and find out who installed their siding. Additionally, you could perform a search online to find reputable contractors in your area. After you choose the company, obtain an estimate including all costs and labor. Make sure you get this in writing, so they are not able to make any changes later on during the job. It is customary to pay fifty percent of the cost up front and then the remaining amount when the installation is complete. That way, should there be any complications, you will have the upper hand.

When choosing the style of your new siding, be aware of the many options available on the market nowadays. Vinyl siding is very popular due to the array of colors and styles. It is, for the most part, maintenance-free and will last for years to come. Additionally, when a layer of insulation is added, your vinyl siding becomes an energy-efficient choice. Missouri residents can also benefit from polymer seamless siding. One piece can extend the entire length of the home, thus eliminating unsightly cracks and seams. Manufactured in Missouri, this material looks beautiful after installation is complete.

Other product choices include:

Log cabin siding
Shingle siding
Shake siding
Vinyl stone or rock siding
Vinyl brick siding

No matter which look is chosen, it is sure to increase your homes curb appeal. Log cabin vinyl siding is the perfect selection for those who prefer the outdoors. Shingle siding is beautifully crafted from cedar and will give your home a look of sophistication. If you prefer stone, then vinyl stone looks magnificent. Whichever vinyl siding you choose, it will maintain its beauty for many years.

Reuse,repurpose,and Repair!

Reuse, Repurpose and Repair. Repurpose, if you dont use that L shaped dining room maybe it would make a great computer area. The back bedroom will make a good office. The entertainment center can become a great craft closet in the den. Take those forty-inch tall office bookshelves, back them up to each other, bolt them together and use them as a room divider. The tall bookshelves can be stuffed with toys, piled with sweaters or refurbished with hangers for hats and coats in the mudroom. Repair paint or decoupage surfaces (frames, boxes, walls and furnture). Paint your old coffee table, upholster the top and you have an ottoman. Take the old secretary desk into the bathroom and have it hold linens and soaps. The old toy box can become a footlocker in the kitchen for storage and setting. Be creative and youll enjoy your home more and will get compliments from your friends and family because YOU did it. Many home improvement shows go thru the excruciating pain of throwing things away. Sell them or dump it mentalities can be heartless and disruptive. Better to avoid this by starting with a plan. Take advantage of your kids moving out to upgrade your livingroom set. Yes Sonnie boy you can have my old set! Hey kids, do you want your yearbooks, please take the Barbie dollhouse. Unload that extra set of dishes that pink dresser and even the highboy in the basement. If youre moving donate and gleam your closets of those extra boxes, Christmas decorations, Vhs tapes, and board games and puzzles from Aunt Nellie

Good style doesn’t have to be exspensive! So you want to save money, who doesnt. Today with all the things were locked in to paying for (insurance, medical, tuition, mortgage) its nice to have some control. Depending on your allotted budget we can do some pretty amazing things.

PICK IT UP! Have you seen any of the organizing shows on television? Guess my mother would have made a fortune consulting. In her day a stay at home mom was dubbed Mrs. Clean. Today my cleaning technique is more of a putting out fires style”. Laundry, dishes, bills and daily tasks fill most of my efforts. Eventually I can decorate a little at a time after all the mess didnt happen over night. Make a schedule. Get some help and attack the task a little at a time. When Im waiting for something to finish on the stove I wash that bowl I just used or put away the spices you are done with them. by the time dinner is ready youll have half the dishes done. Get a mobile phone and work while you talk on the phone (I know you do but I had to say it). When youre at the store buy the things you need for that weekend project. Youll be able to get more done when you have everything at hand. Set aside a block of time to work on your project and allow your self a real break to refresh yourself so the task doesnt become overwelming. Keep the dream( vision) alive in your head so as you can get past the realism of the intermediate mess.Once again have fun and enjoy the project, long after its over you can talk about your adventure. Remember when we talked?

Japanese Style Window Treatments

Going for that Japanese or Asian dcor? Read on for suggestions on the right window treatments for your home.

I have always been fascinated by Japanese culture and style and decided to put together the following suggestions.

Today’s decorating trends are all about globalization. As different cultures discover each other, they also appropriate traditional and modern elements of local interior design. Japanese influences were one the first to find their way into the multi-cultural design repertoire, and it’s easy to see why. Japanese culture is famous for its clean lines and use of natural textures, from bamboo to thin rice paper.

Bamboo wood blinds, which are also called woven wood shades, are a subtle and simple way to start off. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing and easy to use, they also offer high levels of light control and privacy. Another popular wood for Japanese window treatments is tatami, which is a thick woven read with a warm, natural texture. Both of these wood blinds can be stained to compliment an interior color scheme. Depending how far you want to take your theme, you can also look into sliding paper screen for your Japanese window treatments. These are a striking solution for covering unusually sized plate glass picture windows. Also known as shoji screens, these sliding screens offer a pleasant degree of light diffusion but do not provide complete blackout capabilities.

Though curtains are not inherently Japanese, many designers look to Japan’s traditional textile prints for inspiration. These prints, often found on kimonos and other clothing, can include everything from geometric designs to fanciful scenes of carp or eagles. These fabrics are usually employed as short hanging curtains, and can also be fashioned into caf curtains that subtly mimic the traditional hanging noren curtains found at the entrance to Japanese restaurants.

Another Japanese-style window treatment are panel track blinds, also know as sliding panels. Though not specifically Asian, panel tracks can lend to this kind of dcor readily. These window treatments are like oversized fabric vertical blinds and come in numerous colors, fabrics and textures. Panel tracks can also be used as a room divider, mimicking the Japanese sliding paper panels.

Last but not least are roman shades. Though, again, not specifically Asian or Japanese per se, the right fabric and texture choice could lend itself well to this kind of dcor. In my opinion, the best type of roman shade for this application would be the flat-style, not the hobbled or folded roman shades. Romans come in bamboo weaves, grasses and wood planks that would match well with the Japanese style of decorating.

A quick word of warning from personal experience – I have seen a few homes that have been decorated well in this style. And, kudos to those who have the vision, passion and artistic sense to pull it of; it is a bold choice, for sure. I have also, unfortunately, seen examples that did not integrate well or were taken too far. So, if you are interested in this motif, consider integrating subtle elements one step at a time and make sure you dont have clashing decorative motifs.

Relationship Between The Printing Press And Music

When thinking about the invention of the printing press an immediate response is to think about the impact that turning point in history had on literature. Often the musical significance of this incredible invention is overlooked.This article will outline the early history of the printing press. Almost as soon as the printing press was developed, type designs were introduced. Type designs were created and linked to printing in different countries.

Even today, it is possible to see the effects that the printing press has on modern living. With having written words it was possible to be expressive through writing. Printed word established the relationship between art and printing. Decorative printing was a step in developing art in printing. To understand the link between printing and music it is important to know the difference between literature printing and musical notation. One obvious difference is that music texts are for performance. Another significant difference is that music texts are deciphered twice: first, by the performer and then by the listener.

The printing of music creates a direct connection between the composer and the performer. It is essential that the printing of music is as accurate as possible as this will be the only communication between the creation and reproduction.

Before the printing press original manuscripts, or hand written copies, were used to perform from. The printing press changed the size of pieces from the original manuscripts. Reading off of a smaller score puts constrictions to the performance of the work.

Published music was invented before the invention of the printing press. Early published music was reproduced by engraving on plates. This process was time consuming and very difficult.

Despite the fact that the printing press was invented in the fifteenth century, the first copyright law was not in place until the early eighteenth century. The purpose of having a copyright varies throughout the world. When copyright was first established it was used as a noun, literally meaning having the right in the copy. Having the right copy refers to giving credit to the individual who created the original idea. The shift today is the use of copyright as a verb  the right to copy.

The printing press put many constraints on music. One constraint was the interpretation of music was limited. As the performance text grew further away from the composers original manuscript, the musical interpretation grew further away as well. Also, as mentioned earlier, there was a size difference in the paper produced from the printing press and original manuscripts. This size different changes the way the performer visually reads a piece.

With music being reproduced by printing presses and publishing houses, the need for a music editor arose. There are many disadvantages to have an editor working with music scores. A large problem musicians face is working with scores that have been over edited. Another related problem is the fact that many editors have not done significant research before they add material to the score.

With the rise of publishers, numerous editions are created, printing the same material. It is possible to buy two different editions of a piece with a discrepancy in something even as basic as having the correct notes. Some editions are not as researched as others, creating interpretations that may not be close to the composers original intention.


Printing previous to 1500 was referred to as the incunabula period. Incunabulum is derived from Latin which means cradle, therefore symbolizing the beginning of the art of printing. By the eighteenth century the term was applied to all books printed before 1500. In the nineteenth century, incunabulum meant any individual item that emanated from the printing presses of the fifteenth century.
Johann Gutenberg
Johann Gensfleisch zum Gutenberg began working with the invention of the printing press around 1440. He began working on this when he was a political exile at Strasbourg. Many people mistake Gutenbergs invention with the invention of published books. This belief is reinforced by the inevitable association of Gutenbergs name with the 42-line Bible. Gutenberg should receive credit for the invention of the method of producing punches and matrices to be used with a mold for metal types of identical height. Thereby it was possible to produce a type having a uniform rectangular body. The individual letters so cast could be placed by the compositor in proper juxtaposition to one another in free combination. They were interchangeable, hence the term movable metal types.

This printing press was large and very difficult to operate. The awkward machine made presswork toilsome; and it was incapable of printing a full sheet of paper at one pull. Despite this fact it still increased the number of literate people in the world.

Gutenberg quit working on the printing press for two main reasons. The first is that his source of funding was taken away. Gutenberg had a patron who in 1455 foreclosed on him and gave most of the presses and types to his soon to be son-in-law Schffer of Gernsheim. The second reason the Gutenberg gave up working on the printing press was due to physical reasons. Gutenberg became blind after 1460 and abandoned any further pursuit of his invention.

Gutenberg died in 1468 and his epitaph reads to the immortal memory of Johannes Gensfleisch, the inventor of the art of printing, who has deserved well of every nation and language. His invention influenced the rest of the world for many centuries after his death. After the early invention of the printing press it reached a state of technical efficiency not materially surpassed until well into the nineteenth century.

Consolidation Era

After the invention of the printing press, from around 1550 until 1800, the consolidation era was established. As mentioned earlier, no technical advancements were made to the printing press during this time. Neither were there any new inventions, regarding the printing press, made during this time. The consolidation era, as the name suggests, stabilized the printing industry.

During this time the working middle class people had the opportunity to learn how to read and write. Before this it was reserved as a privilege for the wealthy to be literate. Because more people were now reading it was necessary to provide information to people for them to read. The general publics desire for quick information and for regular entertainment brought into existence the periodical press.

The first public library was developed during the consolidation era. Before libraries existed with manuscripts but were for private use only, owned by various people like Julius Caesar.

Censorship of printed word was established in the consolidation era. It was the responsibility of the lay and the church to censor the publications. Printers and publishers did not always appreciate censorship and would use the smallest possible size, the largest possible types, and every other device which a century-old fight against censorship had taught them.

Nineteenth Century Printing

In the nineteenth century the technique of printing gradually changed. There was a hesitation from the public to advance further in the printing press in order to avoid mechanization. By the late nineteenth century, the concept of mechanization [began] to make an impact on letter-founding, type-composition, and bookbinding, and not until the late 1880s did the combined casting and composing machine become a commercial reality.
The nineteenth century brought about technical progress in the printing press. This was the century that began the slow process of turning printing from a trade into an industry.

The strict regulations for censorship had been lifted during this century. Censorship was now based on voluntary [agreements] of the parties concerned and not on compulsory measures of the authorities.
It was during this century that governments used the press for large scale, direct, and incessant appeals and orders to the masses. The Revolutionary and Napoleonic France governments were first to use press this way.
Type Design

After the death of Gutenberg in 1468, the printing press had spread throughout many different countries. By the middle of the sixteenth century every nation developed a certain type design. Type design throughout history has always had a deeper, more political meaning than it appears at first. When Roman and Italic types were invented they
represented the humanism in people. The type design of Germany, Russia, and Turkey represented the resistance to humanism. The importance of type design can be noted by the recent transition to the Latin alphabet by the Germans and Turks is a major step towards the unity of world civilization; just as the refusal of post-Lenin Russia to abandon the Cyrillic letter  nay, its progressive imposition on the Soviet colonials  is a significant omen of the deep cleavage between East and West.


After discussing type design it is possible to see the relationship between art and printing. With the beginning of printed books there was a high level of technical achievements but this was combined with great beauty of design, that the printing of music began. Visual effects of printed music are vital to the overall effect the music will have on the performer and audience. Engraving of music connected the visual aspect of music to the notating process. This process of engraving naturally led to a great increase in the use of pictorial title pages and decorated borders. Illustrations were sometimes used, even as far as to having comic pictures between staves and in the margins of the music.

Difference Between Printing and Music

There is a large difference between printing music and printing solely verbal text. A quote from Kings Four Hundred Years of Music Printing summarizes the difference between literature and musical notation:
the letters forming a word represent a concept to be conveyed by the eye to the brain, in music the note, whether accompanied by a text or not, is primarily an instruction to bring into action lungs or fingers, or both combined, in order to produce a sound at a certain pitch and of a certain duration.

The difficulty with musical notation is that the symbols need to be made as clearly and precise as possible.
There are two aspects of musical notation: horizontality and verticality. Horizontality refers to the horizontal aspects of music notation. One point in horizontality is the relationship between each note. This includes the intervallic relationship from note to note. Another aspect of horizontality is the changes in spacing between one note or group of notes and the next, as required by changes in time-values.

The vertical aspect of musical notation sets it completely apart from verbal text, as the concept of writing two words at the same time is not practical. The vertical part of musical notation is having the two or more notes in the same alignment on the stave. This vertical arrangement is important in vocal works as a precise vertical relationship has also to be established between the notes on the stave and the syllables of the underlying text.

If the printed musical score is altered in any way the horizontality and verticality could potential have a different meaning to the reader. This could in turn alter the performance and bring the work further away from the composers original idea.

Another main difference between music texts and literature is the fact that musical texts are performance texts. Musical texts presume a musical performance, with the result that music as manifest in print leads a dual life as text and performance. Understanding that in earlier times music reached people mainly by performances it is important to note that any history of the musical cultures of print must engage performative issues.

Deciphering music as a performative text adds certain angles that are not present in literature. It is important to note that performance and print both shape the way music conveys its meaning; yet while historians of music have long been cognizant of the former  that performers interpret and mold the meaning of the texts they realize  they have rarely theorized the implications of print in similar terms. Often performers will trust what is written on the page instead of looking for the true intention of the composer. The effect that printed music has on performance is so great that it [stands] alongside performance in the triangle if [forms] with composers and audiences.

Musical texts are deciphered twice which does not occur often in literature. Musical text meanings unfold twice as they are read both by musicians and then by audiences. In the first instance, the black signs cast across the pages of musical scores give musicians instructions for how to perform a given piece; the notes help musicians to produce a reading of a piece, public or private, whether with instruments, voice, or both. The only link that the audience has to the music is what the performer portrays and the only thing that the performer can give the audience is what he takes from the musical score.

Due to the fact that reading music produces an audible sound, it is understood that this type of reading is not transparent, like most literature texts. Interpretation of musical scores creates variant readings with each performance, impressing their individual marks upon the works they play. Because of this fact it is argued that musicians approximate texts. The appearance of the musical text is essential for a successful interpretation as it can [disrupt] the linear continuum between composer and audience in the same way that musical performances do. Print complicates and expands this middle ground by multiplying the material forms of texts and thereby multiplying their meanings.

It is possible to compare the performance of musical scores to reading a book to someone that is illiterate. The musicians mediate what for many listeners is an illegible text, pages of hieroglyphs that require special literacy: the score. Notation alone sets music apart from literature.

Like someone telling a story, the performance of a musical text becomes available to an audience of listeners who in turn read the music they hear, responding to it, making sense of it, multiplying its meanings.

Another difficulty facing printing of musical scores is the distance that the text is kept from the performer. In a performance music is usually placed further away from the eye than is the text of a book when being read, the factors of distance and proportion produce special problems of design. The musical text needs to be extra clear because of the distance kept from the performer.


The concept of representing music by notation is accredited to the Greeks since musical notation is as old as the alphabet, for that is as far as our knowledge goes; and the Greeks were the earliest to make use of this principle. By Pope Gregorys time, around the middle of the sixth century, it was important to write down music as it was realized that unless sounds are retained in the memory, they perish, because they cannot be written.

The time right after the invention of the printing press printed music became more popular. By 1465 printing began to supersede manuscript music. Despite the increase in using the printing press music printing remained very far behind the progress made in other branches of typography.

The first record of printed music dates back to 1473. This document only contains five notes of music. Even with the little amount of musical notation in this work it actually [formed] the foundation of music printing. The first book of printed music was made around this same time. It is a Gradual that lacks both a date and a printers name, but the type used to print the text is identical with that of the Constance Breviary one copy of which was lubricated in 1473. Another clue as to the date of this book is the fact that the press that was used to publish this book had a short life span.

The first printed music with an actual date is a Missal from Rome that was dated October 12, 1476. This music was printed in Roman notation, with initials in red or blue, and touches of yellow in the capitals, all added by hand.

Even though the printing press had been invented it was common in this time period to add details by hand. This would include adding colors or extra details that the printing press was not capable of doing. Sometimes the music staves would be blank and the notes would be added by hand.

By around 1690 improvements were being made to the design of printed music. John Heptinstall came up with the system of joining together the hooks of the quavers and semiquavers. Quavers and semiquavers refer to eighth and sixteenth notes that before this time had been written with separate flags. Hepinstall also introduced a further improvement, that of making the heads of the notes round instead of lozenge-shaped.

Even with these improvements in the seventeenth century there were still weaknesses in the printing of music. The weakness of movable type with musical notation lay in its clumsiness and lack of flexibility when used for printing chords and florid music.

The year 1683 marked the beginning of sheet music. This is quite different from sheet music as we know it today, as this was created by using metal sheets to engrave the music onto. Thomas Cross was practically the inventor of sheet music and after copying Purcells Sonatas of III parts signed his name on the bottom.

By the middle of the seventeenth century the variety of music expanded to include more concerti and symphonies, requiring more instruments and printed parts. This increase in parts meant that a large quantity of separate parts required had to be supplied in multiple copies more quickly than was usually possible by the use of movable type or by the employment of handcopyists.

The beginning of the eighteenth century marked the decline of music printed from type. The reason for this decrease
was that musical composition had become more elaborate and the old movable type was found inadequate to represent it. Copperplate engraving, which was then flourishing and largely used, was, therefore, naturally adopted. This method was, however, found expensive, so that it became in a measure superseded by the method of punching the notes on pewter plates.

Another important milestone in the eighteenth century was the printing of the first music book, in the United States, from movable type. This book was Fnff schne Geistliche Lieder, published in Germantown, Pennsylvania. It was published by Christoph Saur who was also responsible for designing the type.

At the end of the eighteenth century and the turn of the nineteenth century lithography was adopted as a primary source of printing music. Lithography involves [writing] on [a] stone with greasy ink, and then [coating] the surgace with a mixture of water, acid and gum Arabic. Finally [inking] the whole, and the ink was absorbed solely by the writing. Thus an impression was left which could be taken directly from the surface of the stone.

By the nineteenth century printing using lithography was not as common. This process was being switched from printing on stones to printing on metal plates [making] printing easier and quicker. This process produced many large works in the eighteenth century including eight full scores of Rossini operas and the seven-volume Raccolta di musica sacra.
Later in the nineteenth century lithographic stones were replaced by plates made of zinc and aluminum which increased the speed of production. More advances in printing have developed due to the invention of photographic techniques and other mechanical devices. It is possible with these machines to produce elaborate scores. However, despite the potential these new machines have the once tasteful and diversified art of music printing has generally reached a level of uniformity more widespread than at any time in its history. Failing a revolution in design or technique, the printed note now seems to have lost its former capacity to rival the range of processes and founts of type which were  and still are  available for the printing of books.


The invention of the printing press indirectly puts constraints on the performance of music. Constraints include things such as limited music interpretation, over editing and having numerous editions of the same piece of music.

In the Renaissance, when the printing press was first put to use, composers were worried about the effect that the printing press would have on their compositions. They thought that print represented a loss of control and compared their printed works to children sent out alone into the world.

With a standardized look modern printing has, printed music detracts from the art of the original manuscript. The desire of musical scores is to create a work that is as close to the composers original idea. Editions that have manuscript sources, , [promise] a version of the text that [seems] closer to the authors original or final intentions.

Many problems occur with the editors of music. It has been found that the variants introduced by earlier editors, the errors of compilers and typesetters, and the abbreviations used in early printed books all [stand] in the way of recovering the authors authentic text. In many editions something as basic as correct notes are not consistent which creates the need to identify the errors and correct them.

The invention of the printing press had a significant effect on history from that point and after. Type designs were created by various countries where the printing press had quickly spread to many countries.

Art is connected with printing in many ways. The printing press was another way for people to express their creativity. This could be done with adding color or other hand written details.

The link between music and printing is essential to understand before one can see the impact that the invention of the printing press had on music. The differences between literature and musical notation are significant. Musical texts are performance texts and are deciphered twice.

The history of printed music dates earlier than the invention of the printing press. The early forms of printing music ranged from engraving onto copper plates to carving pieces of wood.

Printed music adds many constraints on the performance of music. The musical interpretation can suffer from reading off of various scores. Also, it is easy for editors to make mistakes, which in turn causes confusion for the performer. Related to this, with many editions it is difficult for the performer to know which edition is the most accurate.

The printing of books is not what makes Gutenbergs invention so significant in history. The important thing to note about the printing press is its ability to produce a large amount of identical copies. This principle, with the help of technology, has made it possible to produce millions of identical newspapers within a few hours. It is this principle that has made Gutenbergs invention a turning point in the history of civilization.