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Notes 59.2 (2002) 301-309

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Prices of Music Monographs and Scores As Reflected in Notes, 1996-2001

Compiled by Brad Short


For a variety of reasons, the column this year marks a departure from those compiled in the past. Attempts to standardize the methods used for collecting the data provided opportunities to rethink the ways in which the numbers are described and categorized. The overriding goal for this departure is to make the information easier to use and more meaningful to the membership.

The graphs have been redesigned, placing statistical information directly beneath the chart. This will aid in reading and understanding the variables that change from year to year in the graph above.

Those who remember previous years' columns will see that some of the statistical apparatus has been removed. The statistical analysis giving highest and lowest prices as well as the standard deviation from the mean has been removed for simplicity and clarity's sake.

In addition, a new chart for monographs broken out by language is included, as well as a graph combining all music scores.

The major changes for monograph statistics are:

  1. The numbers presented this year in the various charts are based on data drawn only from the "Books Recently Published" column. (Similarly, the scores charts use data only from the "Music Received" column.) This will allow the reporting of prices to reflect current publishing trends and not become skewed by the time lag for reviews to appear in Notes. Another effort to focus on current publications led us to include for 2001 only imprints from 1999 and forward.
  2. This year's column separates English, German, Italian, and French books so that prices for each language can be tracked separately. No historical data were collected for foreign-language books.
  3. There is no longer a distinction between monographs published in series and those published separately.

The major changes to the scores statistics are: [End Page 301]

  1. The categories have been redefined with the assistance of Linda Solow Blotner and Christine Clark.
  2. The data have been consolidated from eleven to seven categories developed to accommodate the various performing forces represented in the data set. In order to make comparisons, we have recalculated the previous years' numbers so that all numbers reflect the new definitions. The new categories, however, do not replicate the categories used in the "Music Received" column. Occasionally, it is difficult to determine from the bibliographic information appearing in Notes to which category an item might best belong. These situations, therefore, required some interpretation and guesswork by this compiler.
  3. While reprint editions are included, reissues are omitted if they can be easily identified.

Nevertheless, inconsistencies persist throughout the data and therefore it is suggested that these figures be used with some care. They represent the best guess of what prices were for a given year. These calculations are intended to be used for library collection-planning purposes only.

The new definitions for the categories are:

Monographs: Books that are typically classified in the Library of Congress classification ML or MT. Books issued as installments in a publisher's continuation under a distinctive series title are included as well. This category includes books taken from the "Books Recently Published" column of Notes with an imprint date not more than three years old and for 2001 are divided by the English, German, Italian, and French languages. This category no longer includes titles from the "Book Reviews" column of Notes.

Historical and monumental editions: Critical editions of scores usually representing specific ethnic, national, geographical, or chronological repertories, or the compositions of a particular individual. Such scores are often placed in special sections of library classification schemes, as in classes M2, M3, and M3.1 of the Library of Congress classification. These scores usually appear with critical apparatus and include facsimile editions not intended primarily for performance. Titles issued with parts or an accompanying volume of critical notes are counted as one item.

Instrumental works: Includes orchestral works, concertos, wind ensembles, and band music. Full scores present the notation for all the performing [End Page...


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