Speaking of Finale transcriptions...
As I'm in a Music Editing course right now, I'll pass along web notice of some very hip things going on in the Society for Seventeenth Century Music. From their pathbreaking online, refereed scholarly journal for well over a decade, the Society has now turned its sights (OR, WAIT FOR IT..."SITES") to editions. The Web Library of 17th Century Music has amassed a fairly impressive repertoire to date, and these editions are--would you believe it?--supervised by professional scholars and carefully screened, just like a real publishing house. What's more, you've got to love notices like this on a website:
CONDITIONS FOR USERS: Users may download editions, reproduce them for personal use, and perform them in non-profit settings, provided proper acknowledgement is given to both the editor and to the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music. Permission for performance in professional (for profit) settings must be negotiated directly between the performers or their agents and the editor. The editor remains the owner of all rights to the edition.Some works are licensed under a Creative Commons
How many works of obscure seventeenth-century music are ever performed for profit, anyway? The WLSCM fulfills a need for scholars as well. How many credible editions by overlooked (justly or not) composers never see the light of day because of the capital required to launch such a project? Kudos, 17th-Century nerds! If you're interested, check out the Guidelines for Contributors.
Even happier e-news of the music-printing variety: G. Schirmer publishing has launched a nifty new app that is, surprisingly, not being marketed (to the best of my knowledge) as an institutional subscription service: Schirmer on-demand. Downloading a reader, secure scores can be accessed for perusal and printed for a limited number of times. I haven't downloaded the reader yet (because my computer's still in the shop), but received prompt, personal replies from their friendly tech-support folk reminding me to.
Just this morning I received an email update telling me that the following pieces were added to the available scores (which number around 500) :
The Chairman Dances
Grand Pianola Music
Ford's Theatre: A Few Glimpses of Easter Week, 1865
Antony and Cleopatra, Two Scenes
Fadograph of a Yestern Scene
A Hand of Bridge
I Hear an Army
Medea, Ballet Suite
Medea - Cave of the Heart (original ballet)
Must the Winter Come so Soon (from 'Vanessa')
Second Essay for Orchestra
Serenade for String Orchestra
Sure on This Shining Night
Symphony No. 2
Vanessa (vocal score)
Spices, Perfumes, Toxins!
Gian Carlo Menotti
The Boy Who Grew Too Fast
A Bride from Pluto
Chip and His Dog
The Death of the Bishop of Brindisi
Errand Into the Maze
For the Death of Orpheus
Introduction, March, and Shepherd's Dance (from 'Amahl and the Night Visitors')
Landscapes and Remembrances
Lucy's Aria (from 'The Telephone or l'Amour a Trois')
Lullaby (from 'The Consul')
Missa O Pulchritudo
Monica's Waltz (from 'The Medium')
The Most Important Man
Muero porque no muero
Oh llama de amor viva
Shepherd's Chorus (from 'Amahl and the Night Visitors')
The Singing Child
Casey at the Bat
The Mighty Casey
Newsreel in Five Shots (for orchestra)
Symphony No. 6
It's always refreshing when a company recognizes how end-users experience their product and sensibly caters to those needs, while protecting their bottom line. By letting conductors, scholars, students, Artistic Directors, and even educated connoisseurs peek in on these rental-only scores, they can more fully become "repertory pieces," they could get performed more often, and I don't that study-score sales ever were brisk for these works. (I'd like to see Ernst Bacon's Amazon.com ranking!)
[UPDATE: ERNST BACON'S AMAZON.COM SALES RANKING IS "#485,771 in Music" .]
Although A-R Editions and other specialty music printers count on libraries as revenue streams for high-end critical editions, perhaps a secure-pdf subscription service would be an even greater revenue stream, and one that is in line with academic trends of online-repositories. (To reiterate, Schirmer's service is free, but I think there would be a market for a legit-subscription service.) Music publishing has been under siege ever since the mimeograph machine was invented, and recently there have been some debates (speaking of stale musicology controversies) as to how much free content is too much free content. Works that can be posted securely to course websites, even with restrictions, in compelling and trustworthy editions will be studied more often and more steadily than those that need to be scanned by hand, or are odd ca. 1900 performance editions of the sort on the IMSLP.
On top of all that, my twitter friends all tell me, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos virtually threatens to put music-stand manufacturers out of business. (All the articles I read talked about newspapers being obsolete, but...I have a slightly different perspective.) I wouldn't be surprised if something like a backlit Kindle would catch on in places like pits on Broadway or in expensive opera houses, where capital is more comfortable (in normal years), and where cuts and transpositions often proliferate during the run of a show, in a workshop stage, or with the arrival of a new singer with a different range. Of course, for this to work in operahouses, Ricordi would almost certainly have to get on board, and this doesn't seem like their kind of project. But who would have expected Supertitles 50 years ago?
And could there be a computer program that could count my rests for me? Please?
So, while the age of paper isn't dead--there are some thoughts that can best be had in ink, by hand--someday you'll have to say goodbye to your precious sketch-studies; in thirty years, musicologists will be defragging discarded zip drives, scanning registries, and looking for any stray temporary files of the .mus variety.