Music Preparation —
Copyist & Engraver

See my Music Preparation Rates and Samples

Music preparation can mean copying or engraving. What is the difference? Music copyists work towards a single event, usually a recording session or performance, and music engravers produce manuscripts for publication. An engraver’s work is far more detailed, as they produce the definitive score for a piece of music to strict publisher’s standards.

Music Copyist

I have been working as a copyist for about 20 years, and engraving for many of the world’s largest sheet music publishers for about 15. I work with all kinds of clients from big to small, helping individuals to perfect their music and also leading teams for large films score projects. I am an excellent music copyist for concerts and recording sessions, and all of my work has the grace, clarity, accuracy, and elegance of published engravings. I use Dorico, Sibelius, and Finale for music notation.

Location is not important for this work, and I can help you no matter where you are. My music copyist clients are in Hollywood, the greater Los Angeles area, and in many other cities.

Transcriptions (Takedowns) and Arrangements

Transcriptions are one of my specialties and something I have always enjoyed. From audio files I can prepare accurate sheet music of anything from lead sheets to full orchestral scores. There are still no good automated or software-based solutions that reliably transform audio into accurate notation, and a well-trained musician with a fast and accurate ear is always required.

Takedowns are often needed for film score recording sessions. I transcribe for individuals who want a particular piece of sheet music but can’t find it anywhere, or who want a particular guitar tab that’s accurate. Albums are commonly recorded without sheet music, but it is can be required later when a band is hired for a live tour. I often turn finished recordings into charts for the band, most notably working with Brian Benison on a great many David Foster concerts. For many years I transcribed and arranged new pop album releases into multiple sheet music products per song for EMI Christian Music Group and ZMX Music.

Musical theater often needs transcriptions too, and I have transcribed and arranged the demos of many theater productions into finished piano vocal books for production pitches and rehearsals. Related to this, I have written rehearsal piano reductions for three orchestral operas and many smaller works.

Music Engraver

My music engravings number in the thousands, and most are distributed globally both in print and online. Some of the major publishers for whom I have prepared engravings include Hal Leonard, Boosey & Hawkes, Schirmer, Henle, Alfred, EMI Christian Music Group, Edition Peters, MorningStar, Kalmus, and many others. Additionally, for many years I was the master arranger and head music engraver for print publisher ZMX Music, where I oversaw the work of the arrangers and did the final score preparation of all manuscripts.


Some of my copyist clients are film composers Alan Menken, Tyler Bates, Penka Kouneva, Marc Streitenfeld, Fil Eisler, and Nathan Furst, contemporary composers Stewart Copeland, David Foster, Pete Townshend, and Mark Abel, and performers Andrea Bocelli, Mary J. Blige, Ricky Martin, Hilary Hahn, Yazawa, and Roy Ayers.

I have done music copyist and music engraving work in Los Angeles and around the world for The White House, Dreamworks, Warner, Sony, Universal, and CBS.

Performing orchestras include the LA PhilDallas Symphony, and Chicago Symphony in the US, London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Opera of London in England, Canberra Pops Orchestra in Australia, Cinema Expo convention in Amsterdam, and many other regional orchestras.

Recording orchestras include the Hollywood Symphony in Los Angeles, Seattle Symphony, and Nashville Scoring in the US, Prague Philharmonic in Czech Republic, Budapest Scoring Orchestra in Hungary, Sophia Session Orchestra in Bulgaria, FAMES Orchestra in Macedonia,  Polish National Radio Symphony in Poland, Kiev Philharmonic Orchestra in the Ukraine, and others.