Class Divide

Daniel Wolf wants to start a campaign to get publishers to make study scores available on the web for free. That's a very good idea. An indication that publishers would not be the only roadblock to this open source conception of music comes in this article (from The New York Sun) by Fred Kirshnit (h/t to Robert Gable):

Copyright and royalties are a major issue as well. Mr. [John] Corigliano recalled encountering a student in Beijing who is writing her thesis on his Symphony No. 2, a work neither published nor commercially recorded. She possessed on her computer not only the score to the piece, but a pirated recording as well.

I'm assuming here that Mr. Corigliano was not celebrating this as a triumph of the internet's ability to spread our music all over the world, and if I'm wrong about that I'd love to be informed about it. (I'm less thrilled about a pirated recording, but I don't know the specific circumstances of that, either.)

My point in quoting this is to say that there is a class divide between the haves of the composition world, represented by Mr. Corigliano, and those of us who struggled to be heard and studied. Mr. Wolf's idea, even if it were to be implemented on a modest scale, would be a step in the direction of getting more of us studied, played, and heard.


  1. Steve --

    I agree that there is a class divide, but this is one case in which we do not need to frame the discussion in that way; indeed, this (scores) is one case in which we can make a common cause with a Corigliano.

    Making scores more widely available does not harm anyone's rights or reduce any income, but it does serve to promote a work, encouraging performances and mechanicals, while at the same time creating a more balanced public representation of the musical achievement of our time.

  2. Anonymous8:35 AM

    On the topic of inside versus outside:


  3. Anonymous8:37 AM

    Scores being made public

    Yes it will, it will reduce the number of sales by people who have to buy just to see what the fuss is about.

    For some composers, that is much more than the number of people who want to see how they do what they did.