Sunday, January 01, 2006


Every composer I know has their favorite tools -- pen, paper, chair, mouse, monitor. One of my favorites is the Noligraph, which is simply a holder for five ball-point fillers, alligned just right for drawing staves on the spot.

I had previously used a stave-maker which used a wheel with five points that turned through a trough with a cotton ink pad; Stravinsky himself invented a device with five pencil leads and there are also inkpens with five parallel nibs, but this ballpoint set is the most reliable I've found.


Anonymous said...

Where did you get your Noligraph pen? My son wants one for his birthday (actually, he wants the wheel stave-maker but I can't find that either). I have found it on a German website, but I'm hoping to find one in the US.

Thanks for your help.


Daniel Wolf said...

I'm in Germany, so I don't know of a US site for buying the Noligraph -- why not write to

I bought my wheeled stave maker at Patelson's music shop in New York City. That was a long time ago and I found that the ink pad tended to clog badly unless you used it daily.

Richard Friedman said...

I once saw a rotating rubber stamp... a cylinder of rubber-stamp material with 5 stave lines mounted on a handle. You inked it on a regular ink pad and then rolled out the staff lines.

But I could never find one.

I once tried to make something like the Noligraph by merely strapping five pen refills together, but it always fell apart. It's good to see that someone has taken that idea and manufactured something that clearly works!

Now all we need is a light pen that automatically enters notation into Sibelius!


Anonymous said...

At your suggestion I emailed the NOLIGRAPH website directly the pen in time for my son's birthday-tomorrow! Thanks for your help.


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