Academic journal article Notes

Classical Scores Library

Academic journal article Notes

Classical Scores Library

Article excerpt

For information regarding the scope of this column, consult the headnote in the September 2010 issue (pg. 164). The dates of access for each review of an online source indicate the dates during which the reviewer was evaluating the resource. All Web sites were last accessed to verify availability on 1 July 2010.

Classical Scores Library. Alexander Street Press, 2007-. http://shmu.alexanderstreet.com (Accessed February 2010 to May 2010). [Optimized for Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher (for Windows), Safari 1.0 or higher, or Firefox 1.0 or higher (for Macintosh). Pricing: institutional subscription $995 to $4,995 per year depending on the number of simultaneous users; discount may apply for consortial or package subscriptions.]

In April 2007, Alexander Street Press augmented its suite of online music products with the release of Classical Scores Library, one of the first online score databases available through institutional subscription. Originally Classical Scores Library (hereafter CSL) contained fewer than 1,000 scores, most of them in the public domain. By early 2010 it had grown to more than 16,750 scores, including thousands of in-copyright works. Adding new content monthly, Alexander Street Press plans to continue expanding the database, which reached nearly 19,00 scores by mid-June 2010. The content is intended to cover Western art music from the Middle Ages through the twenty-first century, and to include the complete works of major composers "as well as many editions by less prolific" ones, according to the "About" page. Because scores printed from the database are for study only and not performance, as stated in the FAQs, CSL does not include separate parts for orchestral and chamber works. The database may be accessed in a standalone version or through Music Online, the integrated interface for the Alexander Street Press music products. This review considers the standalone version, with occasional reference to Music Online. (1)

CONTENT

The public domain content in CSL is primarily from the large historical sets and series that were published as microform reprints by University Music Editions (hereafter UME). As of Spring 2010 the database contained about 75 percent of the UME score catalog, and Alexander Street Press intends to include the entire catalog eventually. The catalog comprises twenty-two composer complete editions and seven historical sets and musical monuments. The complete editions (most of which were first published in the nineteenth or early twentieth century) include the outputs of J. S. Bach, Beethoven, Berlioz, Brahms, Chopin, Peter Cornelius, Glinka, Gretry, Handel, Lassus, Liszt, Carl Loewe, Mendelssohn, Mozart Palestrina, Rameau, Schein, Schubert, Schutz, Schumann, Sweelinck, and Victoria. The included historical sets are Archives des maitres de l'orgue des XVIe, XVIIe, el XVIIIe siecles, 10 vols. [Paris: Durand, 1898-1911]; L'arte musicale in Italia, 7 vols. [Rome and Milan: Ricordi, 1897-1908]; Denkmaler deutscher Tonkunst, 67 vols. [1st ser., 1892-1931; rev. ed., Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1957-61]; Denkmaler der Tonkunst in Osterreich, 89 vols. [1894-1938; reprint, Graz: Akademische Druck und Verlagsanstalt, 1959]; Les maitres musiciens de la renaissance francaise, 23 vols. [Paris: A. Leduc, 1894-1908]; Publications of the Musical Antiquarian Society, 19 vols. [London: Chappell, 1841-48]; and Publikationen alterer praktischer und theoretischer Musikwerke, 29 vols. [various, 1873-1905]). Some of the scores in these collections are based on outdated editorial methods or have been superseded by later editions, and many use different C clefs simultaneously, a challenge for most music students and even scholars today. On the other hand, perhaps there will be a revival of the ability to read the old clefs, given the free and convenient availability of most of these scores online, through the widely used International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP; [http://imslp. …

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