Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sheet Music Storage

sheet music box

Maybe you musicians already know about the many products made to help store your sheet music - but I sure didn't, until just recently. Skipping the piano benches that store music, here are some of your options.

1. Boxes

stacked sheet music boxes

Boxes - some that claim to be archival quality, and some that don't - can be found any number of places. The one at the top of this post comes from Bags Unlimited. The Best Boxes shown above come from Other places I found sheet music boxes include Gene Johnson Productions and Metal Edge.

2. Sheet Music Binders

sheet music binder

Bags Unlimited provides binders as well as boxes.

3. Sheet Music Storage Cabinet (open front)

sheet music cart - or cabinet, with open front

This sheet music cart was designed for school music departments.

4. Sheet Music Cabinets

sheet music cabinets

You have a number of options when it comes to cabinets. The ones above come from Alden Lee, who cleverly calls them "drawers for scores."

sheet music cabinet

This one comes from GRK Manufacturing; the company says it's been making this model for 50 years.

handcrafted sheet music cabinet

Katahdin Studio Furniture is handcrafted in Maine; the company has a number of styles of sheet music cabinets.

sheet music cabinet

Wren Chest has a weak web site - I can't even tell where the company is located, and I keep wishing the pictures were better - but seems to make nice cabinets.

sheet music cabinet

Over in the U.K. you can get sheet music cabinets in various styles from John Austin Furniture.

custom sheet music cabinet

And this lovely piece, made from Cherry and Carpathian Elm Burl, comes from Boykin Pearce Associates, a custom furniture business in Denver, Colorado.


Cynthia Friedlob said...

There are flat files available for fine art storage, but these cabinets also would serve very nicely for smaller work.

I'm certain that you could find some unusual art storage systems in your online travels, so maybe you'd consider a post devoted to them -- or have you done one already? Heaven knows artists need help organizing!

Jeri Dansky said...

Cynthia, I don't think I've touched upon art storage systems, beyond the topic of children's artwork. I'd be glad to make that a future blog topic!

D. Mayfield said...

I have been looking for music storage cabinets and noticed your comment that you did not know where Wren Chest Company is located. Below is the information.

Interesting blog you have here!

WREN CHEST COMPANY--1416 West Fletcher Street, Chicago, Illinois 60657-6055. Telephone: (773) 327-9393. Toll-free telephone: 888-909-9736. Fax: (773) 327-6055. Email: Website:

Jeri Dansky said...

D. Mayfield, I was seeing conflicting address info in Google for Wren Chest, so - after you inspired me - I filled in the Contact Us form and asked about the company's location.

Frank Robbins of Wren Chest replied, saying his office used to be in Chicago. but is now in South Carolina.

Monica Ricci said...

Wow, some of these are really beautiful Jeri! This is one of those client areas that we don't often think of but when you need it, you need it! Thanks for the info!

Jeri Dansky said...

You're very welcome, Monica! I'm always pleased when someone else is as delighted with my finds as I am!

Don Libes said...

All of those sheet music cabinets have one or more design defects that make them useless in the home. For example, the gorgeous ones (and most of them are indeed gorgeous) are not adjustable. No one has music that naturally divides into equal size stacks. Yet that's how most of these cabinets are designed. And the beautiful cabinets have no way to label the shelves so unless you remember where you put what, you're going to be pulling open a lot of shelves and thumbing through a lot of sheet music. And what's with all the doors? (Would you put your books behind doors?)

The one cabinet with the open front has adjustable shelves but the shelves are way too large at 17"x17". The width of most sheet music is 9" so 17" is too large for one sheet and two small for two sheets side by side. I believe that cabinet is really designed for music folios (that a band or chorus would use), not sheet music.

In my view, the ideal sheet music cabinet has the following characteristics:

- open front (doors optional)

- accommodation for labels

- shelves adjustable at 1.25" increments

- individual shelves sold separately so you can order how many you need

- allow the spines of the music to face outward for easy identification

- have two depths corresponding to sheet music width (9" for most music, 12" for oversize)

- have two widths corresponding to sheet music height (12" for most music, 15" for oversize)

Please let us know when you find something like this!

Ted Parberry said...

I just bought a two-drawer lateral file cabinet at Staples (for $179) that accomodates two rows of letter size hanging folders per drawer. This was perfect for almost all of my piano music (9" x 12"). It's sturdy and handsome, with an oak exterior, and smoothly sliding drawers. It holds about 72 inches of sheet music.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm looking to store my sheet music and music books somewhere near my piano. My current system is a file crate and some other random things.

Jeri Dansky said...

Ted, thanks for sharing your solution!

Amy, I'm glad this was helpful.

Don, good point about folios vs. sheet music. Regarding your specs: I've taken another look, and I'm not finding anything like what you're looking for.

Everyone: Another answer that I see a number of musicians use, based on the forums at ABRSM, is simply using magazine files on shelves.

And there's this cabinet, designed for schools - so it's more functional than beautiful.

Marion said...

Sheet Music Storage is very complicated for college students, with limited dorm room space. We're trying to store music flat at the teacher's recommendation. My daughter likes the Bigso Stockholm Letter Boxes which are 10-3/8 by 13-7/8 by 3-3/8..... There are matching Magazine Files which she can use for some of the less fragile music.

Jeri Dansky said...

Marion, I'm glad to know the Bigso boxes are working for your daughter. They have the added advantage of being quite attractive! They aren't intended for archival storage, but she very well may not need that.

Anonymous said...

My piano teachers always said to store sheet music flat to protect the spines. Keeping them in an enclosed cabinet helps to keep them from deteriorating, hence , sheet music cabinets with drawers and doors. Binders with plastic inserts are fine for a few pages but not for a book of sonatas. I'd like to find a cabinet as tall as my upright piano in order to keep most of my music right next to it.