Preparing Piano/Keyboard Music to Minimize Page Turns

As long as sheet music is printed, there will always be page turns. Here are solutions from my personal experience to:

  1. arrange the music so you have the least number of page turns
  2. consider page turns that are least noticeable in performance

Important Places in Printed Music

  1. Capo - the beginning of the piece
  2. Fine - the end of the piece, does not have to be the end of the printed music, the piece will end eventually at this point
  3. Forward repeat sign - indicates a place where you will jump back to, remember where this is when you first reach it
  4. Segno - this is a sign that designates a place where you will jump back to, remember where this is when you first reach it
  5. Coda - this is a sign that designates a place where you will jump forward to, it usually is detached from the preceding music to make its presence obvious

Types of markings that jump the music to another section

  1. backward repeat sign - this is a sign that tells you to repeat the preceding material by jumping to the closest forward repeat sign or if there is none, the beginning, repeats are only jumped one time unless otherwise indicated
  2. D.S. - from this point, jump back to where the Segno sign is
  3. D.C. - from this point, jump back to the beginning
  4. D.C. al Fine or D.S. al Fine - follow as normal but conclude piece where Fine is indicated
  5. endings (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) - the first time you reach the endings, take the 1st one, second time the 2nd, etc.
  6. D.S.S. and D.C.C - used when there are two or more segnos or codas in a piece, jump back to the two Segno signs or jump forward to the two Coda signs

Pros and Cons of Double Siding Solution:

Using Sheet Protectors


  • easier to arrange, especially within a program with multiple songs


  • can’t write on paper without removing it from sleeve
Using a copier or printer to make double-sided copies of single-sided pages


  • less paper in the long run (recycle or save single-sided sheets)


  • trickier to figure out which pages to double side and which to leave single sided

How to Turn Single Sheets into Double-Sided Sheets Effectively

  • you can set copier to double-sided and use blank sheets of paper within your single sheets to create the desired single and double sided paper needs
  • example: start with a blank page and that way pages 1 and 2 will be viewable from the start
  • example: end with a blank page and that way the last two pages will be viewable together, provided the song has an even number of pages

Things to Consider Before Arranging Music:

  • there will be 2 pages in view at most at any given time
  • double-sided takes 2 single-side pages and places them back to back
  • a page turn is necessary to view the other side

The Mechanics of Arranging Music for Viewing in a Binder or Booklet:

  • less paper doesn’t mean less page turns, 4 single sided pages arranged as 2 double-sided pages leaves page turns from 1-2 and 3-4
  • 4 single sided pages can be arranged as the following: 1, 2-3, 4. Arranged like this, pages 1 and 2 will be facing you and there will be one page turn to view pages 3 and 4
  • if the piece has an odd number of pages: choose whether to have the first or last page be the lone page without a double-side
  • example: 1-2,3-4,5, view page 1 first, turn to view page 2 and 3, turn to view page 4 and 5, no page turn for the end of the song
  • other example: 1,2-3,4-5, view page 1 and 2 first, turn to view page 3 and 4, turn to view page 5, no page turn for the start of the song
  • regarding jumping pages, the goal is to reduce the amount of page turns between jumps
  • jump back/forward one page = have both pages viewable so no page turns needed to jump
  • jump back/forward even number of pages = allow [(pages to jump)/2 and round down] page turns

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