Recommended text fonts to pair with handwritten music font?

I’m using Nor’s Groove font for a chart (client requested a jazz font for this project):

…and I need some text fonts to pair it with. Any suggestions? @FredGUnn ?

It needs to look clear and legible, not like someone scribbled on it with a Sharpie.

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How about this? Pelikan Graphos with a Z1 nib. :grin:

I’m maybe not the best to ask as I sorta hate all “handwritten” fonts. For free, maybe Finale Broadway? Stay far away from Jazz font as it is awful. The lettering in Don Rice’s Golden Age was decent but not SMuFL. Eddie’s Groove or the Copyist are SMuFL and are quite clear. I guess I’ve never seen the point because none of them really capture the humanity of a real hand copied part so faking it always seems worse than just an engraved look. Obviously if your client wants it, then they want it.

Someone once told me the name of the lettering template that Ken Williams used, but I can’t recall it now. It looked pretty nice with his parts. Here is a chapter heading using it in his book:

I know Abraham did a “Ken Williams style” font, but he didn’t recreate the lettering template font, just the freehand font. (I think) He might know what that template was though. BTW, I have a lot of hand copying books and guides. If you wanted to tackle making something yourself, I’d be happy to scan and send you relevant pages.

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Thanks! In particular I’d like to get more guidance on any engraving conventions for jazz charts. I’ve done plenty, but always in-house, so I never cared enough about conventions.

Clinton Roemer’s “The Art of Music Copying” is probably the preeminent guide for this. Copies are usually available for reasonable amounts on eBay. If they aren’t currently, just set up an eBay alert and pounce when a copy is cheap. That said, I disagree with his chord nomenclature and tend towards the Ken Williams or Bert Kosow style. The Ken Williams book is really hard to find, so if you ever see his “Music Preparation: a Guide to Music Copying,” buy it!

Outside of chords, some jazz conventions are just shorthand conventions derived from hand copying. Some are frankly just poor copying as a result of time constraints. It’s tough to go wrong just sticking to traditional Ross/Gould/Stone/Read conventions.

In your above example, I’d add bar #s under the rests, move the opening ff under beat 2, center the rehearsal # box once you decide on a font, increase the bar # size to be more legible, and increase the metronome mark too. In jazz rehearsal time is at a premium (or sometimes completely non-existent) so spacing and layout is really important. I obviously don’t know the form/structure of this piece, but I would maybe bump letter C down to the next system. Spacing is way different than a solo piano piece that will be practiced until memorized anyway. My goal with jazz charts is to lay it out so a competent professional could sightread it on a gig as a first time sub with a band in a dimly lit club after 3 glasses of wine. I have occasionally resembled that comment. :grin:

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Dan, my name is Nor Eddine (written by French people as two separate words) but pronounced Norddine, so Nor’s Groove font :wink: Thanks for using my NorFonts by the way!


Dan for text fonts, you can try my NorFonts at Monotype website: NorFonts « MyFonts

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With no regard for tradition, I’d suggest any attractive ‘script’ typeface (with the emphasis on attractive).



or even Sanvito Pro

A face like Mercurius CT might also work.