Guest Cynic Posted January 26, 2007 Share Posted January 26, 2007 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 More sharing options...
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