Page Numbering Standards

Hi all,
I’m trying to understand how to best conform to page numbering standards while still having my piece’s page numbers make sense. I was reading about standards on a few sites and gathered the following:

" Page Numbering

  • Odd-numbered pages on the right (recto); Even-numbered pages on the left (verso). There are never any exceptions to this rule.
  • In music, we do not count the front matter (pages before the music starts). The first page of music is page 1, and the rest of the book should continue sequentially. The convention is to put page numbers in the top “outside” corners; odd numbers on the right, even numbers on the left.
  • If you have a large number of pages in the front matter (e.g., more than 4-6 pp.), they are numbered with lower-case roman numerals, centered at the bottom of the page.
  • The first page number is never shown (e.g., page 1 or page i)."
    –from: Music Preparation Guidelines for Composers — Mostly Modern Festival

If I have a piece of piano sheet music that starts with a cover page, I currently have it open to page 1 (unlabeled) then page 2 is on the right. This seems to break the rule, but it doesn’t make sense to me that I would change it to page 3 and have the first page labeled as page 2.
How do most people/publishers go about this?

Odd #s are virtually always on the right. If you start with a Cover page as page 1 and the music starts on the left with page 2, it’s fine to show the page # so everything is clear. Here’s Gould pg 484:

Well, the one exception to this is usually found in high school level published music where the entire part gets flipped. 1-2 left-right and then 3-4 left-right after the whole part is turned over.

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The music starts on page 2. Whether you show the numeral on the first page of music is up to you.

One Dorico-specific thing to remember: if you use the same page Template for page 1 and for the start of every new Flow – make sure there are page numbers on all the subsequent flows! There’s nothing worse than trying to find page 13 when it doesn’t have a number!


I added the page token to my First page template and then created another without the page number called First Without Page Number. That way, in a multi-flow collection with each flow starting on a First Page Template, I need only custom assign the version without page numbers to the opening page.


Thank you all!