Hi. I have a question on the usage of spaces when using the abbreviation "no." for number. I know it's not "proper" to use it in most cases, but I am trying to figure out the correct way to use it when referring to works of classical music.

For example, I'll list a composition in the two formats I have been debating.

Caprice No.24 in A minor

Caprice No. 24 in A minor

Please notice that the only difference between the two is that the first example does not have a space after "no."

I have searched for nearly thirty minutes in the attempt to find out more about this, but I have been unable to succeed.

I'm leaning towards the second one, but a friend thinks the first one is right. Neither of us are all that great at English, so our opinions probably don't matter much here.

Thank you for this great forum, and thanks for answering the question.


Welcome to the Forum.

I, too, would favour leaving a space. Just because you abbreviate a word, it does not seem appropriate to then remove the space that would follow the full word 'number'.

However, I'm not sure what actual convention the music industry follows. Perhaps you should look at some 'musical writing' that contains this kind of thing.

Best wishes, Clive
I have found that the conventions used on the internet are different from those used in hard-copy publishing. (For example, some people advise only one space after the period that ends a sentence when writing "electronically". I was always taught that two spaces were required there in hard-copy manuscripts.)

This is probably the reason for the inconsistencies you are finding.

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Thank you for the very quick response!

Part of how this came up is inconsistency. I generally see a space in musical sheet music, but on many Internet sites I will find no space.

For example, here is a link to a site: http://www.classicalarchives.com/beethoven.html#beethoven_pianoson

They also left off spaces when referring to opus numbers (such as Op.2).

Do most English abbreviations come with a space immediately following?

 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
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I guess that does make a lot of sense.

Thank you for your time!

The two space rule is a dead convention from the age of typewriters. It tried to approximate a longer typeset space by pressing the space key twice. Nobody in typesetting, printing or even desktop publishing does that anymore. As a result all style guides everywhere say to please stop doing it and stop telling people to do it. A modern word processor can automatically make the spaces in printed text come out right so there is no need to manually add extra spaces.