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Query on staff sizes - how are they calculated, what size is a 7mm staff?

Hi, a fairly beginner question on a topic I'd never needed to investigate until now. Any help very welcome.

I'm finalising scores for orchestral recording and the studio has their guidelines for staff sizes - 7mm for parts, 4mm for scores. I've tried googling this, but it's taken as read that the composer or orchestrator understands the basics and so the basics are never explained.

Based on their videos and various live performance footage, where parts have generally 7-8 staves per page, I assume a staff size of 7mm is measured between the adjacent staff lines - so a 7mm staff would actually be 28mm top to bottom, and a 4mm staff 16mm. That seems about right, since a 7mm staff top to bottom would be music for ants. But I might have missed something, and I may as well nail all the details I can.

Thanks!

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Actually Dave, I had to double check that as it seems small, but I think it means 7mm from the top line in a staff to the bottom line. Sibelius defaults to this size when parts are extracted from a score. I measured some of my parts from sessions and they are indeed 7 mm ant size, but perfectly readable. 

My advice would be to got to 7.5 or perhaps 8mm to be sure.

Thanks for looking, and that is . . . odd. I mean, this is from one of their sessions and they definitely use larger than 7mm top>bottom, sometimes even larger with 5 staves per page. I will have to busk it, though as long as the parts are clear I doubt they'll count. Basses they want larger, presumably because the player is further away from the stand.

Mike Hewer said:

Actually Dave, I had to double check that as it seems small, but I think it means 7mm from the top line in a staff to the bottom line. Sibelius defaults to this size when parts are extracted from a score. I measured some of my parts from sessions and they are indeed 7 mm ant size, but perfectly readable. 

My advice would be to got to 7.5 or perhaps 8mm to be sure.

What notation software are you using? Sibelius easily lets you alter the staff size and I presume yours can too.
Maybe consider a staff size of around a centimetre or a bit more to be safe, I think they are just asking for a minimum size of 7mm.
Remember it is just about readability from a few feet away.

Logic. It doesn't give me that specific option, unless I've read it wrong. But I can change the size and spacing flexibly and I know visually what they're after.

Mike Hewer said:

What notation software are you using? Sibelius easily lets you alter the staff size and I presume yours can too.
Maybe consider a staff size of around a centimetre or a bit more to be safe, I think they are just asking for a minimum size of 7mm.
Remember it is just about readability from a few feet away.

See attached.  From Elaine Gould's book, Behind Bars.  She suggests 7mm for parts, esp if lighting is not great.

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