Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

Misprints


Guest Cynic
 Share

Recommended Posts

This week, visiting a friend, I was using some of his music. He is a serious organ-enthusiast though in no way an expert player. He's always anxious for advice/back-up in his playing and each time I visit he usually has a few questions about pedalling, fingering, registration etc. So far so good.

 

He has a copy of Bach 's Air in D as published by Fentone in 1984 - though the copy is recently bought. The arrangement is quite effective (it's by Bryan Hesford - and at least as good as the Harvey Grace I've used for years) but the problem is that there are quite a few serious (but not overwhelmingly glaring) misprints. It turns out that my friend has already solemnly learned these along with the rest. <_<

 

If you bought a serious book and textual errors had been discovered since publication, a half-decent publisher would stick a slip of paper in to that effect. But....I have never, ever seen one in a piece of music, though in pure paper/printing/royalty terms a purchaser actually pays far more for music than for books.

 

Of course the Bach above isn't the worst I've met. Thinking of my own library, the prize probably goes to Bossi's Scherzo in G minor (Ricordi) - the only version that is available in this country. There the misprints include such obvious things as incorrect clefs, missing notes, missing rests etc. I keep a tally on the front page and so far I've found thirteen printing errors - at least one misprint per page. This version has been on sale for many years and still comes uncorrected when you buy it brand new. There is a recent [American] edition of Schumann's organ works that is so stuffed with misprints that I've given up on it and gone back to my older copies. If you wish to avoid this one, it's in a claret-coloured cover. Editorially (i.e. actual notes aside) it's quite tempting.

 

The standard (UMP) edition of Widor's Toccata still has misprints in it, still uncorrected after the huge long time that it's been available; these are mostly missing accidentals, and (I suppose) common sense tells you what to ignore.... just that a completely serious and unquestioning student might try to learn it as it stands. Even so, with a more modern piece how could one know that the score was not 100% to be trusted? Just an example: John Scott (who happens to be one of my real player heroes) has recorded Dupre's Choral and Fugue complete with an accurate performance of the major misprint on the first page of the Fugue. You see - it can happen to anyone! We are, after all, taught to play exactly what we see on the page!

 

Am I alone in thinking this is an undesireable state of affairs?

 

So, why does this sort of publisher carelessness go on? Seeing that I have never written to a publisher (on the basis that this is too much like hard work) I suppose that it is possible that everyone else finding an error has felt the same and therefore nobody has ever pointed any of these misprints out! Of course, it is also possible that music publishers just cannot be bothered to give a better service, with their copyright protection, possible sales are perfectly safe.

 

It occurred to me, now I've got some spare time and an active website, would anyone be interested in an on-line organ music Misprint Corner? Not so much a bit of naming and shaming of publishers as a bit of constructive feedback -maybe even a resource to serious students. I could stock quite a good page or two over time, though this would be a lot faster and more complete if others decided to add their six-penny-worth as well. These do not have to be proven misprints, so much as corrections that make real musical sense. I would acknowledge all contributions publicly.

 

Comments?

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. Just a thought...it would probably be best not to fill this web page with actual misprints. If you're all keen, I will set up something. If you're not, I may still do it anyway, it just won't be as good!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It occurred to me, now I've got some spare time and an active website, would anyone be interested in an on-line organ music Misprint Corner? Not so much a bit of naming and shaming of publishers as a bit of constructive feedback -maybe even a resource to serious students. I could stock quite a good page or two over time, though this would be a lot faster and more complete if others decided to add their six-penny-worth as well. These do not have to be proven misprints, so much as corrections that make real musical sense. I would acknowledge all contributions publicly.

What a marvellous idea! Maybe there would need to be some scale of certainty about suggested corrections and also an extra page for printing infelicities eg notes out of vertical alignment (many instances in Bärenreiter), specific bad page turns etc. And what about copies that fall apart after two weeks' use?

 

There are some existing resources eg an article in OR a few years ago listing corrections to Vierne which, copyright permitting, could be incorporated into your website.

 

There would also be a chance to cross-reference different editions of the same work.

 

Sometimes publishers put small errors in deliberately, to catch copyright infringers, as happens with Ordnance Survey maps.

 

I've often wondered if the Sale of Goods Acts (UK) could be used against the shops selling error-ridden music, but perhaps we organists might then be held to account for errors in our performances.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes publishers put small errors in deliberately, to catch copyright infringers, as happens with Ordnance Survey maps.

 

I've often wondered if the Sale of Goods Acts (UK) could be used against the shops selling error-ridden music, but perhaps we organists might then be held to account for errors in our performances.

 

Thanks for your supportive comments.... but....

Do you really think that some publishers deliberately put them in? This would be scandalous - the direct equivalent of manufacturing rulers of inaccurate length for the unsuspecting to buy and use.

 

Since the recent Festive Season Melt-down I've called myself 'Cynic', but I can't imagine that anyone could be that devious or malicious. Mind you, the two most dishonest people I've ever met were (respectively) a vicar and a policeman.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find it hard to believe that music publishers deliberately introduce misprints. Given the complex nature of musical notation there would be plenty of other typographical tricks they could employ.

 

Yes, Paul, good idea - go for it. Are you planning merely to list the offending publications or have a full-blown correctorium for each one, like Latry's article on the Vierne Pièces de fantaisie?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please do - it would be a Godsend.

 

Don't forget the easy stuff, which us poor mortals find difficult. Popular contemporary hymnbooks seem to be peppered with errors just as much as organ music.

 

If you do write to publishers, would you point out that I can't turn over with my feet? Quite a few seem to think that so long as there is a rest on one of the staves he/she can put a page turn in?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Widor UMP that you describe has had the biggest error 'sticky taped' over ( the pedal part on page ?4? - its definitely before the Recit section comes in)

 

I think the problem is that a lot of modern music doesn't always follow a strict 'scale' so it is (i would assume) very easy for wrong accidentals etc to slip into music. The worst thing of course being, that it is the modern music that is the problem, but equally we have recordings of the composers (vierne,messiaen,langlais etc) playing these works, so the articulate can hear the printed mistakes.. can't argue with the composer after all.

 

Another one to add to your list is the Hymn d'laction de graces by Langlais - the ?durand? version (blue cover) is ridden with mistakes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is possible that we are dealing with printing techniques of the past when the music page was `engraved' with a punch for each note. Once these plates were finished, if there was a mistake not noticed until after the printing, to correct a misprint could mean making a new plate for that page. This might account for errors not being corrected.

 

These days, with computerized scores there seems no reason why mistakes could not be easily corrected in subsequent print runs.

 

Is there a printer out there who could clarify the situation?

 

FF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is possible that we are dealing with printing techniques of the past when the music page was `engraved' with a punch for each note. Once these plates were finished, if there was a mistake not noticed until after the printing, to correct a misprint could mean making a new plate for that page. This might account for errors not being corrected.

 

These days, with computerized scores there seems no reason why mistakes could not be easily corrected in subsequent print runs.

 

Is there a printer out there who could clarify the situation?

 

FF

As someone who worked in the production department of one of our major music publishers some 15 or so years ago, I would heartily concur with what Frank says. Until the relatively recent introduction of computers, engraving metal plates by hand was a standard way of producing music scores. The engravers who worked down the corridor from me were a real bunch of characters and all too aware that their discipline was very much a dying breed.

 

So the reason why such mistakes remain simply boils down to a matter of cost. Unlike 'Easy to Learn Clarinet' and its ilk, I can't imagine there is much money to be made from publishing organ music, so don't expect the situation to change anytime soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is possible that we are dealing with printing techniques of the past when the music page was `engraved' with a punch for each note. Once these plates were finished, if there was a mistake not noticed until after the printing, to correct a misprint could mean making a new plate for that page. This might account for errors not being corrected.

 

These days, with computerized scores there seems no reason why mistakes could not be easily corrected in subsequent print runs.

 

Is there a printer out there who could clarify the situation?

 

FF

 

 

=======================

 

Well, you know me............here we go!

 

Old technology has dominated music-publishing since God was a boy, and whether using inscribed plates or musical typeset, the production runs need to run in some volume for the process to be comercially justified.

 

Once a master has been created, it is extremely expensive and time-consuming to alter it; even using offset foil printing-plates for low-volume runs.

 

The technology of printing is changing rapidly; though how quickly this will feed into music-publishing is not certain.

 

However, with the advent of computerised-printing, it is technically quite possible to interface the various music-score programmes with digital-printing technology, and I would suspect that at the higher-volume

end of light-music and pop-music sheet and album production, it is probably already used.

 

I've done a tiny bit of offset-printing in my time, and currently, I often go to some of the most spectacularly high-tech printing-works in Europe, at Sheffield in particular, (Polestar printers), and watch the whole thing in awe.

 

I recently saw a fantastic Italian-made press, which uses a full computerised system, through which (like a giant ink-jet machine) the paper runs through at high-speed, whilst the ink-jets do their stuff; computer synchronised to create full colour photo reproductions such as you find in the glossy mags. (No, not those sort of glossy-mags pcnd!)

 

It really is quite astonishing and very expensive technology: a big printing-press the size of a large house costing many, many millions of pounds. (I heard a price of £15m, which I am well able to believe). (The ink "pots" are about 40ft high!)

 

So I suspect that money lies at the heart of the problem Frank, because music has very low volume sales which simply cannot justify the high-cost of re-setting of the print and the creation of new master plates.

 

However, there are FREE versions of many organ works available online; including, I believe, the Widor Symphonies!

 

MM

 

PS: It's an extrordinary thought, but the entire organ-repertoire, in digital-print form, could possibly be held on just a few CD's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

=======================

 

However, there are FREE versions of many organ works available online; including, I believe, the Widor Symphonies!

 

MM

 

PS: It's an extrordinary thought, but the entire organ-repertoire, in digital-print form, could possibly be held on just a few CD's.

 

Where copy right permits, there is nothing to stop you scanning in scores to programs like Sibelius. You can edit (correct any mistakes) and print out at will. I’ve not scanned any scores myself, but have printed music out using Sibelius. The quality is very good.

 

<_<

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I asked this once before, but didn't receive a reply, so I'll try again:

 

Howells Psalm Prelude Set 2, no.2, second page, first bar of last system: is there a sharp missing for the A in the left hand? It certainly seems to need one.

 

Composers do overlook such things themselves sometimes. There's a missing accidental in the organ accompaniment of Sidney Campbell's Sing we merrily which he failed to spot until after the piece had been printed.

 

Also there is the kindred topic of composers' unpublished second thoughts. Cambell altered the end of his Pageantry (not that anyone is likely to play this rather vulgar piece) and I believe DHM has some amendments to one of Robert Ashfield's organ pieces. There must be loads of other examples that are worth putting into the public domain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I asked this once before, but didn't receive a reply, so I'll try again:

 

Howells Psalm Prelude Set 2, no.2, second page, first bar of last system: is there a sharp missing for the A in the left hand? It certainly seems to need one.

 

Composers do overlook such things themselves sometimes. There's a missing accidental in the organ accompaniment of Sidney Campbell's Sing we merrily which he failed to spot until after the piece had been printed.

 

Also there is the kindred topic of composers' unpublished second thoughts. Cambell altered the end of his Pageantry (not that anyone is likely to play this rather vulgar piece) and I believe DHM has some amendments to one of Robert Ashfield's organ pieces. There must be loads of other examples that are worth putting into the public domain.

 

 

==============================

 

 

I think it should be a Bb.

 

:D

 

MM

 

PS: You'd think, (knowing what English organists are like), that someone would have a copy to hand somewhere, wouldn't you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A misprint (perhaps) of another kind.

 

The anthem at St Paul's on Saturday was Wood's O thou the central orb.

 

During practice Malcolm Archer told everyone that for reasons too complicated to get into in the time available, the word 'day' in the penultimate line should be sung as 'clay'.

 

Choral Wikipedia argues both cases

 

http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/O_Thou,..._(Charles_Wood)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A misprint (perhaps) of another kind.

 

The anthem at St Paul's on Saturday was Wood's O thou the central orb.

 

During practice Malcolm Archer told everyone that for reasons too complicated to get into in the time available, the word 'day' in the penultimate line should be sung as 'clay'.

 

Choral Wikipedia argues both cases

 

http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/O_Thou,..._(Charles_Wood)

 

I thought this had been settled as a typing error, and should be 'clay' and that the Manuscript could mean either, but 'transforming clay to souls alive' makes a hell of a lot more sense than 'transforming day to souls alive'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

During practice Malcolm Archer told everyone that for reasons too complicated to get into in the time available, the word 'day' in the penultimate line should be sung as 'clay'.

 

 

=========================

 

 

Eh?

 

:D

 

MM

 

I thought this had been settled as a typing error, and should be 'clay' and that the Manuscript could mean either, but 'transforming clay to souls alive' makes a hell of a lot more sense than 'transforming day to souls alive'

 

 

==============================

 

 

Even more, eh?

 

Are we in danger of losing the plot here?

 

 

 

MM

 

=========================

Eh?

 

:D

 

MM

==============================

Even more, eh?

 

Are we in danger of losing the plot here?

MM

 

==========================

 

 

Aha!

 

I was reading clay as day, and whatever the niceties of the English language, that seems to be the obvious reason for a possible misprint.

 

MM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Go for it Paul, I think we we would all benefit enormously from a database and discussion misprints, there seem to be so many!

 

The ones that come to mind, well they're not misprints but editorial revisions, are the Barenreiter Bach edition. If you look at the opening of the G major Prelude (BWV541), the stems have been tidied up to look nice. I believe the stemming in earlier editions was Bach's own and designed to tell you which hand to play with! :o

 

Jonathan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure about that. I have seen a facsimile of the holograph score of BWV 541 (it used to be available on the Bach Digital website, but I can't find it there any more) and the semiquavers of the opening are all beamed in groups of four with nothing to tell you which hand plays which notes.

 

But editing is a completely different can of worms! :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...