What are digital notes and digital collective editions?

Advantages of Digital Sheet Music for Collective Editions

Collective musical editions were and still are considered today a monument to a composer. To honor his name, the complete work must "be generally accessible in all its richness", as stated in the first volume of Bach's Complete Edition from 1851. The general demand for completeness should therefore be fulfilled.

Nowadays, these editions refer not only to classical music or to a single composer. Increasingly music publishing companies bundle scores also for jubilee editions of a well-known music label or brand. Moreover, digital editions exist for particular musical movements or for special occasions and celebrations.

The digitalization of notes proves to be particularly helpful when it comes to overcoming many obstacles known from the conventional music printing. Through digitalization more possibilities for sheet music and collective edition are created. On the one hand, the limited availability, that the conventional printouts entail can be overcome. On the other hand, for eventually scholarly editions, an Open Access could be established. This way, musical collections can be used as references for academic works.

The general accessibility via the Internet gives everyone the option of legally accessing their desired issue, even in the numerous online shops. It is therefore no need to go into the music label, because digital editions of sheet music are meeting the same quality standards as printed music.

The binary coding, which makes possible "double readability," i.e. the readability for humans and machines ", is proving to be "a special strength of digital information". And indeed, the digitalization of musical notes allows a much greater flexibility usage. Through dynamically generated score set it is possible to get exactly the part of a score the user needs. Possibility of real-time editing in Browser, like transposing and changes in tempo, constitute much more comfort to the user.

For further information, we recommend the german book "Musikedition im Zeichen neuer Medien. Historische Entwicklung und gegenwärtige Perspektiven musikalischer Gesamtausgaben." by  Johannes Kepper.

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