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Sheet Music Editions (Read 403 times)

Offline rocky99

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Sheet Music Editions
« on: January 01, 2021, 02:05:06 PM »
I am planning on learning Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto next semester and am currently looking for sheet music to buy in advance. All I seem to be able to find at a reasonable price (i.e. not $40) other than entire scores or simplified versions is Schirmer's collection of all five Beethoven concertos. At $20, this sounds like a great deal to me, but my teacher has warned me in the past to avoid Schirmer when possible, and I have heard this sentiment echoed from others on this forum as well. Is there any particular reason for this?

Alternatively, I am currently looking for sheet music on Amazon, but are there any other reputable sites that might have a better selection to choose from? I used to buy the books I needed from my previous teacher directly, so this is all very new to me.

Thanks in advance!

Offline dogperson

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Re: Sheet Music Editions
«Reply #1 on: January 01, 2021, 04:02:07 PM »
Have you considered downloading and printing (free) from imslp.org?
And then having it spiral bound (about $4-5) ?

Online j_tour

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Re: Sheet Music Editions
«Reply #2 on: January 01, 2021, 09:39:06 PM »
Have you considered downloading and printing (free) from imslp.org?
And then having it spiral bound (about $4-5) ?

That's not a bad idea:  after all, the notes are the notes.  I take advantage of having a three-hole punch and lots of small folders which can accomodate that system.  If nothing else, someone at your university's offices will surely let you use their three-hole punch machine.  I don't know if you know, but the office administrators at any university are very good people to get to be friendly with.  And they tend to control very fancy photocopy machines.  They're easily bribed by a small token of baked goods, and a friendly smile, in my experience. ;D

I like Henle (or maybe the Wiener Urtext) for Beethoven, but if it's not accessible for fiscal reasons, yeah, you should be able to aquire a small file-folder with some clasps to hold the punched holes in the page.  I think those kind of folders are under $0.10 USD, and would certainly hold the score for your music.

Practically, it's about the same, since you're likely not reading the score fresh, but want some visually consistent cues to help your memory.

I can't say about the Schirmer, since I haven't seen it.  But, it's probably got the right notes, and maybe some fingering annotations that you wouldn't like, but that's why pencils and pens exist, anyway.

FWIW I think the newer Henle "performance" editions (I don't know if that's exactly the way they call it) are a bit cheaper.  It could be the opposite.

You should be OK:  the notes are the same, or should be.

EDIT here's a Henle for 13,50 euros.  I haven't seen it, but it appears to be just the piano part, without an orchestral reduction.  They market it as a "student edition," and I don't know what that means, but it seems pretty cheap for a complete score which you'll probably be marking up for at least a few months, more or less.

Its only 17 by 24 cm, but, I think that's legible, probably.

However, reading more from Henle's website, it appears they include the orchestral part reduced for a second piano. 

Nah, I'd skip that.  As ugly as the Breitkopf and Haertel editions are on IMSLP, it's probably not worth the money.  I think printing out a good scan and improvising a file folder is your best and cheapest option.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: Sheet Music Editions
«Reply #3 on: January 02, 2021, 01:41:29 AM »
I think it's a shame that more people don't buy the original music. There's something beautiful about having all the Henle editions of the Chopin Preludes, Beethoven sonatas etc...

Ring bound printouts are just awful. Usually they're low res, margins are cut off, they have pencil marked fingers added into the score before they were scanned, they're slightly askew.

Offline quantum

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Re: Sheet Music Editions
«Reply #4 on: January 02, 2021, 05:52:08 AM »
It's always nice to have a physical copy of a good edition, especially for music that may eventually become frequently referenced in your musical library.  For performance music, I also prefer to have a digital copy and work from a copy (paper or digital), not the original book.  Reason being, every performance space and situation requires different approaches to the music, thus unique annotations that are specific to a performance.  I like keeping music clutter free, so a fresh copy for every performance while the original book is kept without marks for reference.  When revisiting a piece, I often like to start fresh from a copy without any marks. 

As for Schirmer, in most cases avoid (there are exceptions).  The reason being, many Schirmer scores in print today were created in a time where score editing practices were different than current practice. Often editors would include their personal opinions as part of the score, and it was difficult to differentiate which indications were from the composer and which were from the editor.  If you are not sure about the sources or editor behind particular Schirmer score, best advice is to avoid.  If you see a copyright date in the early 20th century along with Schirmer score, also best to avoid (there are exceptions).  Many of the horrendous Schirmer publications are public domain by now, so if you were really interested to know what is in them, just look online.  To be fair to Schirmer, they are trying to clean up their image with current publications. 

The Schirmer edition of the 2 piano arrangement of Beethoven's 5th concerto is on IMSLP.  So if you wanted to look, no need to spend money. 

If you were to buy a book go with a good edition such as Henle, Peters, Barenreiter, or Wiener.  Don't try to save money by buying the Schirmer.  If you don't have the funds use an online copy, and save up to buy a quality edition in the future. 

Keep a lookout in your city for used book sales with sheet music.  Conservatories, universities, and music teacher associations are all good places to watch.  Sometimes you will get a retiring music teacher that puts a large collection up for sale, it is a great way to grow your score library without having to spend too much. 
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Online j_tour

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Re: Sheet Music Editions
«Reply #5 on: January 02, 2021, 06:43:16 AM »
Ring bound printouts are just awful. Usually they're low res, margins are cut off, they have pencil marked fingers added into the score before they were scanned, they're slightly askew.

;D Yeah, that is true.  Multiple layers of fingering or articulation "suggestions" and maybe traces of faint highlighting in the case of Bach or other composers.

I don't want to betray any incriminating secrets, but as a teenager I used to steal music scores and other books quite a bit.  No, I'm not talking about digitaI piracy, but actually taking the books out of the store.  I'm pretty sure I fooled nobody, but that's a real thing.  Grocery stores, too.  I like to think I've paid back the debt manifold, but there really is no substitute for the real thing.

I don't know the Emperor Concerto, but, for me, that's a few months of work to be completely fluent.  I think it's worth the forty euros or pounds or whatever. 

To echo what's been said above by other pianists, take an example from all of the Bach stuff:  yes, I have the real editions (various), but at least a half-dozen or so photocopied/printed sheets where I put all of my annotations.  Open score things I did in engraving software, and so forth.  Exercises printed out transposing the clefs. 

I've probably printed out at the ratio of 6:1 things from Bach or even Beethoven, just to mark up the pages, or create some exercises.  Or both.  And, yet, I still have the music on the stand.  (No, the stuff I shoplifted as a teen was more like guitar transcription books and stuff, not real music).

At least a Dover reprint edition.  I haven't seen the Schirmer of this, but I have seen others, and it's not worth the money.  A few dollars or euros or pounds more and you can have a good Henle that will stay with you during your journey.  Or whatever edition you choose.  TBH, at the level you're at, you want to think about paper quality and how well you can read it, and the binding and all that.

But, you can "make your own" if you have a good scan.  I just don't have one, or else I'd PM you a link.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.