Sample projects

In all projects we seek to collaborate with clients to meet their publishing aims.

With established publishing houses this usually means we focus on the typesetting and typographic design, sometimes doing something highly creative, and at other times fitting within an established house or series style. There can be as much of a creative challenge to produce a volume which fits exactly within an established house style, or which matches the work of an engraver 100 years ago, as there is in producing something totally new.

For other clients we ae involved in the whole process of turning a pile of manuscript into a printed volume of music. This typically involves:

Examples of the wide range of projects we handle include:

Hispaniae Cantica Sacra
Contemporary music
Hymn books
Teaching music
Choral music
Typesetting from disk

Hispaniae Cantica Sacra, is a new series historical Spanish music edited by Bruno Turner. The first volume is the Toledo Passion, which is the Passion of Our Lord according to Matthew, in the custom and chant of Toledo Cathedral, ca.1600. This volume uses original-style notation, specially designed by Silverfen and was published in the summer of 2000.

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New music presents its own typographic challenges. Sometimes the notation is conventional, but there are many occasions when new symbols and new layouts are needed: we’ve only once set music in a circle using a variety of colours, but we have always been able to meet the exacting requirements of modern composers.

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Modern hymn books present a range of typographic challenges. The finished volume has to look simple, and has to feel spacious and consistent. Yet there is usually substantial pressure to keep the size of the volume down, and so to make hymns occupy the minimum space, and the hymns themselves will usually span most musical styles from the last 400 years.

Fortunately our extensive experience of this field means that hymn book setting is something we can do with ease, and our other expertise enables us to help clients approach the planning of a hymn book with careful thought to maximise its spiritual and liturgical usefulness.

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Teaching music usually involves a close integration of text and music. There is often a great deal of material, and this needs to be laid out in a way which makes it look easy to the student, even when the quantity of material has the potential to be intimidating. Silverfen has considerable skill in this area, and many clients appreciate our ability to harness the technology so that, if changes need to be made later on, they are not expensive.

All of these things are well illustrated by Faber Music’s highly-regarded Improve your sightreading and Know your scales series, to which we have contributed many volumes over the last decade.

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Silverfen has typeset most of the Choral Programme and Motet Series from Faber Music, which are innovative and practical series. They both aim to be highly practical, and to provide value for money by accommodating a large amount of music in each volume. Silverfen has developed great skill at fitting large amount of music into these volumes without making them look cramped.

We have also re-set various early twentieth century choral leaflets dating from the time when engravers were extremely skilled at bending the rules of engraving to accommodate a great deal of music in a small space. It is quite an achievement to match those original volumes page-for-page, again without the finished product looking cramped.

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Silverfen is at the forefront of innovation, and has typeset several volumes submitted on disk and converted them to our own software for typesetting to our usual high standard, without the need for them to be re-keyed. Volumes completed in this way include Early English Church Music, volume 41, (The British Academy) and English Madrigalists, volume 40, (Stainer and Bell).

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