Creating Clean Copies from IMSLP, Telemann – Der getreue Music-Meister – F Major Sonata for Recorder

Elan, one of my wonderful students, is working up the Telemann F Major Sonata for a very important audition. She works hard, is not afraid of challenges, and has a great new 1211 flute! 🙂

The most common editions of this work are overly marked with articulations and dynamics. The original for recorder and figured bass is found on pages 1 and 5 of Der Getrue Music-Meister, Lectionen Nos.1-5 (

It is important to try to find out the composers original markings when dealing with Early Music. The purchasing of Urtext (original text) editions is highly encouraged, but for many this can be impractical. The vast public domain repertoire contained in the IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library can be useful in this regard. However, the IMSLP scanned images can be almost unreadable or unprintable due to a dark background.

First, let me show the final versions of the Sonata in B & W with a clear background.

Telemann F major Sonata for Printing

Telemann - Sonata in F - Vivace

Telemann – Sonata in F – Vivace

Telemann - Sonata in F - Largo - Allegro

Telemann – Sonata in F – Largo – Allegro

Here is the original scanned page one, Vivace movement. As you can see, it is not too easy to read and will waste a lot of ink or toner to print.

Telemann F major Sonata - Vivace - original scan

Telemann F major Sonata – Vivace – original scan

Here is an easy way of creating clean BW copies from gray-scale scanned images.

1. Open the IMSLP .pdf file in a full version of Adobe Acrobat, not Acrobat Reader, or a similar program such as PDF Converter Professional.

2. Select the first page that you want to work with.

3. Select File – Save As and select Save as Type – JPEG. Make sure you note the location where the file is saved.

4. Open the saved .jpg in Adobe Photoshop. Other photo editors will work, but will have different instructions.

5. Crop the image to leave a slight border around the music.

6. Go to Image – Adjustments – Replace Color.

7. Using the Eyedropper Tool on the upper left, select an are of the background image that is a little dark.

8. With fuzziness at about 44, use the preview to adjust the lightness level higher to get rid of the dark background.

9. Click Okay to go back to the image with the alteration. You can repeat step 8. to carefully get rid of the dark background while keeping the staff lines legible.

10. Use Save As to save the file. Giving it a new name will preserve the original file and allow you to find the altered file easier.

11. Use Print and select your .pdf printer to save the file as an Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file.

12. Repeat for additional pages.

Any questions?

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