- Classical Scores Library
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 incopyright works. Adding new content monthly, Alexander Street Press plans to continue expanding the database, which reached nearly 19,000 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
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, Grétry, Handel, Lassus, Liszt, Carl Loewe, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Palestrina, Rameau, Schein, Schubert, Schütz, Schumann, Sweelinck, and Victoria. The included historical sets are Archives des maîtres de l'orgue des XVIe, XVIIe, et XVIIIe siècles, 10 vols. [Paris: Durand, 1898–1911]; L'arte musicale in Italia, 7 vols. [Rome and Milan: Ricordi, 1897–1908]; Denkmäler deutscher Tonkunst, 67 vols. [1st ser., 1892–1931; rev. ed., Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1957–61]; Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich, 89 vols. [1894–1938; reprint, Graz: Akademische Druck und Verlagsanstalt, 1959]; Les maîtres musiciens de la renaissance française, 23 vols. [Paris: A. Leduc, 1894–1908]; Publications of the Musical Antiquarian [End Page 370] Society, 19 vols. [London: Chappell, 1841–48]; and Publikationen älterer 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.org/wiki]) and elsewhere.
As of Spring 2010, much of the remaining content in CSL—including most of the material from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries—consists of thousands of scores published by Universal Edition and Boosey & Hawkes, hundreds by Faber Music and the Australian publisher Wirripang, and about seventy by C. F. Peters. CSL also contains twenty-six facsimile scores in the series French Opera in the 17th and 18th Centuries published by Pendragon Press, and the complete contents of the well-known, two-volume Historical Anthology of Music (rev. ed. [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1949–50]). Soon to be added are the Recent Researches series published by A-R Editions.
Since Alexander Street Press continues...