Buying a numbering stamp for sheet music parts
At Art of Sound Music, we don’t just publish and sell sheet music, but are musicians ourselves. I find that organizing printed sheet music for gigs, storage and musician folders is error prone and time-consuming. One thing I do to make this easier and faster is to use a database to keep track of which titles I have in my library and make sure each has an ID number (“Chart number”) assigned. These numbers appear at the top of the first page of each part. This system allows me to create, search and copy/edit prior programs to easily and quickly create new ones for upcoming performances (perhaps I’ll do a blog posting on this process for a future blog post).
Here’s an example of a trumpet part with a chart number stamped across the top.
Software based stamp
Since much of the music I play is engraved in Sibelius, I wrote a plug-in called Add Work Number to the Top of Page (As of December 2014 over 3,400 Sibelius users have downloaded it) to add chart numbers to the top of parts. Examples below:
This is all well and good, but I wanted to buy an actual stamp to number my purchased music and PDF music that I print out. I wasn’t able to find such a stamp even though I consider myself a pretty good web searcher.
Luck had it that I stumbled upon one of these stamps in the choir loft on a church gig I did earlier this month. I quickly snapped some photos as a way to start to unravel the mystery. The stamp had no visible model number, but did show the manufacturer name (Pullman).
Armed with this information, I found the manufacturer’s website. Although the name on the stamp is Pullman, the manufacturer’s name is actually Cosco (not the warehouse club). Unfortunately, their site was not up to date and almost useless in finding out more about the stamp.
I found much more useful and detailed information by visiting the few distributor sites I could find:
- Huntington Park Rubber Stamp Company
- HITT marking Devices
- Custom Rubber Stamp Company
- Ace Marking Devices Corp.
With these sites, my photo, a ruler and a phone call, I determined that the stamp I needed was:
- Manufacturer: Cosco/Pullman
- Model: “PN 3-4” numbering band stamp (a.k.a.numberer)
- PN means Roman font
- 3 means 5/16” inch tall letters
- 4 means 4 rows of characters, or “bands”
- There is an extra cost option for metal wheels to switch characters on each band. The standard plastic wheels are fine for printing on paper, so save your money.
- The characters available on this stamp:
|Band 1||Band 2||Band 3||Band 4|
Stamps are available with larger or smaller fonts, different typefaces and more/fewer bands. Some bands offer alphabetic characters. Call a distributor if you’d like to learn more.
Ordering and costs
The ability to order online from the sites listed below runs from totally confusing to not available. I found it easiest to order by phone and chose The Huntington Park Rubber Stamp Company at (800) 882-0029.
- PN 3-4 Stamp $33.20
- #1 Red Felt Pad $3.95 (black could be used instead)
- Shipping $3.95
- Total $41.10
My order arrived quickly and below is my first attempt at using my new stamp.
Although I wasn’t looking actively, it took me a few years to figure out where to get a stamp suitable for adding chart numbers to the top of music parts, because the information about this practice is almost non-existent. I hope anyone looking for a sheet music numbering stamp discovers this post to quickly and easily get the stamp they need.