If you've been learning about fountain pens and have delved far enough into the realm of specialty nibs, you may have encountered the term "music nib." After some initial confusion, perhaps you took a stab at answering what a music nib is and determined that it is for writing musical notes. But what does that actually mean? What exactly is a music nib and why would you want one?
What is a music nib?
Traditional music nibs have a wide stub tip with smooth edges. It's a nib designed specifically for writing music. When observing how music is written, you will notice that it has rounded notes and horizontal bars. You'll notice that music has fat, filled-in notes and narrow horizontal bars. Music nibs typically have a wetter flow to allow musicians to fill in the notes with ease. Older music nibs were made with two slits and three tines, and they were typically flexible.
Using a Music Nib
Most music nibs are similar to stub nibs in that they create plenty of line variation. They are, however, much softer because of their rounded edges. You can expect longer drying times on good paper, but you can also see more sheen and shimmer.
When comparing vertical to horizontal strokes, it is typical to see a doubling of the line width. It is common to use a music nib at very high angles relative to the paper. This allows the downstroke to be thin and the side stroke to be much wider. This is the opposite of what you might expect from a stub or italic nib, which has thick downstrokes and thin side strokes. You may also notice some ink pooling at the end of a stroke, which is used to create the foot of a music note.
Given this, a music nib must be handled very carefully since so much ink is put on paper. Its very fine tines should also be treated with extra care.
You can certainly use a music nib for line variation, especially if you want smoother edges to your writing compared to stub or italic fountain pen nibs, which create sharper lines. It may take some practice to get used to, but it can lead to the results you want, depending on your preferences. It helps to know that music nibs may exhibit some feedback, so if you are a fan of extremely smooth writing, it may not be the nib for you.
The Bottom Line
While music nibs are fun to use, we do not typically recommend them for everyday writing. If you are someone who writes standard notation as a composer or a music enthusiast, then this may be the nib for you. However, that may be completely dependent on how you choose the right nib for your writing needs. If you prefer the style that a music nib gives you, then by all means, use it daily.
Written by EndlessPens Blogger Ramona Kabigting