My Book Won't Stay Open

March 10, 2018, 8:59 PM · I just got the International Edition of thr Bach S&P, with the facsimile of the autograph manuscript, but the book is so thick that it won't stay open on my stand. Does anyone have this edition and how should I keep it open? All I can think of is using something to weigh it down, but then I can't see all of my music.

Replies (19)

Edited: March 10, 2018, 9:10 PM · Take it to a good copy center. They can cut off the binding and replace it with a spiral for around $10. I have done that with many of my music books (including ALL of my O'Connor books).
Edited: March 11, 2018, 10:34 AM · Shortly after this edition (edited by Galamian) came out I dutifully bought it and took it with me to my lesson with Mr. Galamian who commented, "you must not have practiced very much on your Bach since the music doesn't stay open." This, in fact, is a true story.
March 11, 2018, 11:26 AM · You can do as Paul suggests, or you can do as Bruce suggests. :-)

If you open the book and press the pages down on both sides, enough to bend the spine, it will stay open.

These days I use Szeryng's edition (published by Schott).

March 11, 2018, 11:58 AM · How about the Barenreiter? it's staple binded so it'll stay open like a separate part
March 11, 2018, 12:01 PM · I have done as Lydia suggests many times, but personally I don't feel that one should have to break the binding on a book to have it lie open. One disadvantage of spiral bindings, though, is that they don't shelve well. But ... do we buy our music to have on our stands where we can play from it, or to sit on a shelf where it will collect dust?
March 11, 2018, 12:52 PM · Clothespins?
Edited: March 11, 2018, 4:04 PM · It is supposed to fall apart after many years of usage!
March 11, 2018, 2:05 PM · I also use the Szeryng, which is nicely printed. Some of the suggested fingerings are quite useful, but others I don't like. Crossing those out and adding my own makes things a bit cluttered. Pondering to buy an Urtext-edition instead.
March 11, 2018, 2:10 PM · I went to a good print shop, had the spine cut off, and the pages spiral-bound. Now it works great. :)
March 11, 2018, 3:45 PM · Some years ago I bought a copy of O'Neill's "1001", one of the great compilations of Irish dance music tunes. In order use the book effectively I had to force it to stay open at the pages I was using. A year later the inevitable happened. When was I taking it down from the bookshelf the binding "exploded" and about 100 sheets of music were instantly scattered all over the floor. I collected the sheets, assembled them in order, and spent a few minutes working on them with a 4-hole paper punch, so that I was able to insert them in a 4-ring binder. A perfect and permanent solution.
March 11, 2018, 4:44 PM · I know your question had to do with bindings, but I can't help but comment on editions.

Like so many, I started with Galamian. I later switched to Szeryng because he was such a well-regarded performer of the S&P. I also have the Henle and Bärenreiter urtexts and a few others.

Recently, I discovered Rachel Barton Pine's edition, and it is the last edition I will ever buy. With RBP, you get the thoughts of a highly-regarded soloist who is also a scholar and performer of Baroque music. She started by creating her own urtext (which is downloadable) and then added her own dynamics, fingerings, and bowings.

I'm learning the Chaconne from her edition now, and I find great simplicity, logic, and consistency in her editorial suggestions. I've learned 9 or 10 other movements of the S&P in the past 1.5 years, and I plan to go back and re-learn them using her edition.

She does not shy away from first position and open strings. Not only is this more appropriate from a HIP perspective, by eliminating unnecessary technical challenges, it allows me to focus more on phrasing and articulation.

RBP created her edition around the time she released her recording of the complete S&P, and the two together make a great learning tool.

March 11, 2018, 4:48 PM · To answer your original question, if you live in the US, you can go to FedEx office. They will chop off the binding and spiral bind it for you. Between the chopping and the binding steps, I take the unbound pages home and feed them through a scanner in order to make a PDF and load them into ForScore.
March 11, 2018, 5:24 PM · Clothespins. You're welcome.


March 11, 2018, 5:29 PM · Binder clips should do it.
March 12, 2018, 4:34 AM · Take a metal clothes hanger, cut off the top section at the 90 degree bends where it squares off coming into the hook part, bend the two ends back into little loops and then you have a thin holder that should keep the book open with minimal visual obstruction of the pages. The long part goes against the spine of the book and the two looped ends are on the inside against the pages. Cheap, easy, effective, don't have to modify your book.

Not sure how to post a picture here, but if this doesn't make sense, I can email you a pic.

When I'm not using mine, I hook it on the knob of my music stand; out of the way, but easily accessible.

March 12, 2018, 7:30 AM · I use binder clips - you can clip the book open onto your stand, or use the clip wire wings to hold your book open.

I am currently using the Barenreiter edition of the S&Ps.

March 12, 2018, 7:57 AM · Hire a page turner until you have it memorized.
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective...
March 13, 2018, 9:19 AM · Bärenreiter.
I don’t want anyone’s fingers or dynamics or articulation.
March 14, 2018, 4:07 AM · You can just print the facsimile from IMSLP...?

Guess what you can also do while on IMSLP, you can also print out Anna Magdelena Bach's version and see what's different.

And all of this will stay flat on your music stand.

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