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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 4

Our Exchanges

page 83

Our Exchanges.

In the Typographic Advertiser a new and simplified system of music notation is described, and is greatly belauded. It totally dispenses with the use of stems, tails, angles, and straight and sloping lines. » The various time-values are expressed by differently-formed note-heads. The longest (semibreve?) is an open square, the half-note is represented by the ordinary semibreve sign; the quarter, by a tailless crotchet; the eighth, by a black square. Two other characters, the sixteenth and thirty-second (described as « occasional » ) are represented by a black lozenge and a black triangle respectively. Slurred and tied notes are connected by curves in the ordinary way. We presume that the « rest » signs are unchanged, nothing being said about them. The simplification of composition, and enormous saving of time in this system are evident enough—but what about the manuscript? No one who has had much to do with MS. music will believe that the average scribe would make any distinction between his round and square open notes, and as for the four black signs, who, with whom time was any object, would carefully draw a chord of triangles, or squares turned sidewise? We pity the comp who should set from average copy. We would have liked to see a bar or two in type; as we doubt whether the printed music, though decidedly neater and more compact, would be as legible as the accepted style. We would be glad to have specimen signs, and a few inches of the two staves to illustrate the novelty in Typo for the benefit of musical readers and our typographical friends who do not see the Advertiser. It is well that this innovation did not appear in the German empire. No one ventures to print the tonic sol-fa there. It is (or recently was) an offence punishable with imprisonment to tamper with the staff notation!

It would not be easy to speak too highly of the superb printing of Paper and Press. It is certainly not excelled by any periodical in the world. Moreover it is in good masculine style, with no dilettantism (except perhaps the affectation of using old-style letter—a complete anachronism in the nineteenth century). The April number contains some magnificent reproductions from steel and photography by a new process—the « Auto-glyphic » —a patent of the Levytype Company, Seventh and Chestnut-streets, Philadelphia.

The Inland Printer for May contains a full-page fac-simile of another marvel of French rule-work—a design entitled « La Papier: sa Fabrication—son Usage.»

The National Publisher and Printer (Louisville) says: « The International Copyright Bill was defeated in the House of Bepresentatives on May 2nd by a vote of 126 to 96. We chronicle this event with a feeling of deep regret akin to shame. »

Stationery and Bookselling has made a special effort with its spring number, and the result is a paper of 140 large quarto pages, so full of matter that one doubts if the busy people for whom it is specially prepared will find time to read one-half of it. It abounds in pretty initials and typographical ornaments which we read are all « lent » by a certain electrotype agency. Therein our home contemporary has the advantage of us!

We have to thank Bruce's Sons & Co., of New York, for a copy of their third supplement, completing our specimen-book to date. It contains eight styles of type; which, as they have been out for five years, it would be somewhat late to note in our column of Becent Specimens. We would only remark that we wonder that the excellent « Chirograph » script here shown in three sizes has not come into more general use.

The American Bookmaker for May contains as usual admirable original technical articles, and charming examples of book-decoration. It also contains a full-page « study in brass-rule » —without exception the ugliest and stupidest effort in that direction that we have ever seen.

The Paper World for April contains a thoughtful and able article on the present « revolution in the social order » —the enormous organisation of capital, and the opposing unions of the laboring and employing classes.

La Typologie-Tucker for May continues its valuable Typo-Lithographic Dictionary. Under the head of Grecquer, we find the plan of the Greek cases, as used in France, which differs materially from that in use in England. And necessarily so, for we note that our French brethren cast the entire series of capitals with accents. This involves accommodation for 77 additional characters; as in English work separate accents are always used. As Greek accents are placed on the left-hand side of the capitals, not above, as in other languages, we do not see any advantage in the French system, while it must be far more troublesome than the English.

We have received specimen copy of No. 144 of the American Advertiser Reporter, a neatly-printed quarto, published by the American Mercantile and Collection Association, 234-235 Broadway, New York. We note that American journalists are organising a campaign against advertisements on street-cars and railway-lines, and specially against national property being applied to such a purpose.