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Underscore - The AR Blog

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Passing the Baton

Wednesday, March 17, 2021 9:00:00 AM America/Chicago

Series editor Steven Saunders passes the baton to Alexander Fisher.

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Comments | Posted in News By A-R Editions

By Alexander Dean

As an undergraduate guitar major at the University of Akron in the early 1990s, I entered the library with a seemingly straightforward task: to find the score of Johann Sebastian Bach’s third cello suite, which I would be learning on guitar that semester. The card catalog had by that time been superseded by an online catalog, into which I entered these terms in various combinations. But although I received numerous “hits,” none seemed to promise what I was looking for; instead, I found a confusing multitude of recordings, arrangements, and other loosely related items. The ease and power of the online catalog had lured me into a mindset that allowed for a broader semantic representation of a piece of music than I had actually wanted. Now, in 2020, as an editor of critical editions, I wonder about the ramifications of that mindset—a universal change now that readers use general internet searches to interact with musical scores.

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Comments | Posted in Editing Challenges By A-R Editions

Protip: Score Order in Renaissance Vocal Music

Wednesday, February 10, 2021 9:00:00 AM America/Chicago

By A-R's house editors

There are four principal factors in determining score order in Renaissance vocal music: modern choral score order, defined, in descending order, as soprano, alto, tenor, and bass (SATB); voice names employed by the original manuscript or print; clefs assigned to the original parts; and the vocal ranges of the parts. Because of the prevalence of modern choral score order, all editions should begin with this as the guiding editorial rule: voices are arranged in standard choral order from highest to lowest.

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Comments | Posted in Protips on Editing By A-R Editions

Protip: Repeats

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 9:00:00 AM America/Chicago

By A-R's house editors

Composers and notators throughout history have employed a variety of notations to indicate repetitions of musical passages, from repeat barlines to first and second endings to more complicated verbal instructions like da capo al fine or dal segno al fine. Here are some tips for handling various types of repeat notation in A-R’s house style.

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1 Comments | Posted in Protips on Editing By A-R Editions

By Paul Walker

“Hey Paul, could you come into my office for a moment? I’ve got something I’d like you to take a look at.”

When I heard the Music Librarian at the University of Virginia, Rya Martin, call to me from behind her desk, I stepped into her office and watched as she pulled a slender, small volume off the shelf. I recognized immediately, based on cleffing, the first page’s elaborate T, and the language, that what she had was the tenor part to a print of twenty-three French chansons, bound in an elaborate nineteenth-century binding. Tipped into the volume, presumably by the person who had had it bound, was a page from a manuscript chansonnier of the time, showing on one side an attractive full-page painting of a shawm player outside a walled city. But what was it, exactly, that we had? Most of the pieces were anonymous, although Willaert, Sermisy, and Lhéritier were named for a few, and there was no title page or colophon, since those would presumably be in the first and last partbooks respectively. Little did I know just how important this small partbook would turn out to be, much less how much effort would be necessary to unlock its secrets.

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Comments | Posted in Featured Publications By A-R Editions
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