Who We Are
A-R Editions provides focused expertise to create high-quality products
that support the scholarship, performance, and enjoyment of music.
A-R Editions’ rich history stretches back to Yale University, 1962, when two former college roommates—Gary Aamodt and Clyde Rykken (the A and the R of A-R Editions)—had the vision to create a publishing outlet for the research of musicologists who had come to the U.S. after World War II. Thus began the Recent Researches in Music concept—to publish modern, well-edited editions of outstanding music from the past. We have since grown to become internationally recognized for our expertise in music publishing. Our music publications can be found in almost every university music library and in major collections around the world.
Our strength is in bringing forward from the past works by composers who are not as well-known as Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart but who had the talent and drive to make significant contributions to the development of Western music. This repertoire includes works from long before the printing press or any commercially available sheet music. The foundation of our publications remains the Recent Researches in Music series, which include music from every style period in the history of Western music. Contents are chosen from proposals submitted by researchers from all over the world based on historical significance, musical quality, and their value to scholars and performers. Each new volume includes discussions of historical context and performance practice. Our staff musicologists and engravers provide a level of peer review and production excellence that rivals any in the world.
Our reputation for rigorous scholarship and accuracy led to several key partnerships over the years. First with Yale University when we were invited in 1967 to publish the Yale music department series, Collegium Musicum: Yale University, founded by the famous European musicologist, Leo Schrade. This series remains actively published by A-R to this day. Later, in 1994, we joined with the American Musicological Society (AMS), the foremost association of music history scholars founded in 1934, to publish the prestigious series Music in the United States of America (MUSA). Twenty-five volumes have been published in this important series with more to come. In 2001, we were asked by the Music Library Association (MLA), the professional association of college and university music librarians, to become their business office. We have enjoyed serving the MLA in this role ever since and added to our partnership by becoming the publisher of MLA’s three book series in 2009.
In addition to our own publications, over the years we have put our music and publishing expertise to work for other publishers, university presses, and scholarly associations. This work includes assisting in the publication of K-12 and college textbooks, scholarly journals, conductor’s scores of major operas, and even hymnals for just about every major denomination.
Another fun fact about us is that back in the day (1979) we were the first company in the world to publish a volume of music completely typeset by computer—Lewis Lockwood’s two-volume edition of the masses of Ruffo (R32 and R33). In fact, we developed computer music typesetting technology long before the current desktop music software was ever conceived. That early technological expertise eventually led us to found a sister company, Musicnotes.com, which is today the largest seller of digital music on the web. Our interest in music technology drives our publication of books in our Computer Music and Digital Audio Series (CMDAS). Written by experts from around the world, these books discuss subjects ranging from MIDI to artificial intelligence in music. Many volumes have become standard references in the field.
Today you can find our music in traditional library-bound volumes made to last a hundred years and also in digital print format. No matter what form it takes, you know that you can rely on the care we put into making each note accurate and each page readable.
We are proud to make our home in Middleton, Wisconsin, next door to Madison, Wisconsin’s state capital and home to the University of Wisconsin. Our founders are no longer active in the company, but we remain privately held and every bit as committed to excellence as ever. We continue to be one of the most active publishers in the world of scholarly editions of music and books about music.