August 16, 2013 at 9:07 PM
I thought I had come up with a clever system for my sheet music. About 10 years ago, after much research, I bought a large cabinet with two big file drawers and two smaller storage drawers.
The file drawers are deep enough to place my books and over-sized music upright, then in between, I can sandwich various files for xeroxed orchestra music, etc. It's alphabetized by composer (mostly), with hanging files for each composer containing file folders of various works.
This worked quite well -- until I filled all 60 inches of file space. At this point, several things started happening.
1. Every time I opened the heavy, music-laden file drawer, the entire cabinet tipped forward ominously, threatening to spill all its contents, send the items atop the cabinet flying, and crush me beneath. Certainly I could not rummage through these files in search of things, knowing that simply opening the drawer would lead to such a spectacular spill, and possibly grave injury. Sometimes, the drawers would just roll open on their own, as if a ghost was examining my music. I began getting the vague sense that I should keep toddlers and small children well away from the cabinet, just in case there was an earthquake (I live in California after all).
2. Because it was so full, I stopped filing music inside the cabinet. Instead, I started piling music books and copies in various places around my studio: in a wicker magazine basket, in plastic magazine files, and in free-form stacks that filled every appropriate-sized nook and cranny. At this point, the next step might be to start a TV show: "Sheet Music Hoarders."
This whole unworkable scenario evolved over a long period of time. I became so accustomed to working around the scary music drawers that I did not realize the obvious: this was not working.
This spring, I finally ran out of space, and it occurred to me: perhaps I could drop my "clever" system and get a (drum roll) big book shelf instead. The basic book shelf seems to work for most people, and I'm not sure why I was over-thinking things quite so much. After at least three months of thinking, looking around, and procrastinating, I finally just did it. I ordered a book shelf! (Here it is). It has quite a lot of space, and it's basically in the form of twelve 15-inch cubes.
It's supposed to come on Monday. Now comes the simple task of emptying the old cabinet, building the shelves and re-arranging my music into a new system. Then….I will have access to my music! Seems almost symbolic. I'm very excited!
Those dreaded words...
Please post results!
The only reason I don't like shelves for music is dust. The shelves where the music I use most--no problem. The shelves that really 'store' things get dusty, which is both unsightly and makes me feel guilty. I found that a pretty curtain, tacked over the shelves, worked for me--out of dust's way, completely accessible, and not visible to others who don't need to know I'm a closet music hoarder.
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