The Critical Editing of Music : History, Method, and Practice

Recommendations, opinions, and reviews of books and sites.
User avatar
OCTO
Posts: 1034
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 06:52
Location: Sweden

The Critical Editing of Music : History, Method, and Practice

Post by OCTO » 26 Jul 2016, 04:02

Anyone has this book? Would be great to hear your opinion before purchasing it.
9780521558631.jpg
9780521558631.jpg (19.13 KiB) Viewed 3257 times
Format Paperback | 284 pages
Dimensions 152 x 224 x 24mm | 458.13g
Publication date 01 Sep 1996
Publisher CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
Publication City/Country Cambridge, United Kingdom
ISBN13 9780521558631
http://www.bookdepository.com/Critical- ... 0521558631

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1240
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: The Critical Editing of Music : History, Method, and Practice

Post by John Ruggero » 27 Jul 2016, 18:51

Thanks for calling attention to this book, OCTO. It looks like a book that I should own, but it only has 25 musical examples. That gives me pause.
Last edited by John Ruggero on 27 Jul 2016, 20:16, edited 1 time in total.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

User avatar
OCTO
Posts: 1034
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 06:52
Location: Sweden

Re: The Critical Editing of Music : History, Method, and Practice

Post by OCTO » 27 Jul 2016, 19:35

Maybe another things are just pictures or explanation tables? No idea really! Would be nice to hear from anyone who has it.

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1240
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: The Critical Editing of Music : History, Method, and Practice

Post by John Ruggero » 27 Jul 2016, 20:55

There are numerous reviews of the book if you have access to JSTOR, OCTO. In looking through the reviews, which are generally positive with some reservations, and the preview of the book itself online, it appears to be a philosophical discussion of music editing, which is why there are so few musical examples. That sort of thing wearies me, and the academic writing style that is often used now to present it wearies me even more.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

Harpsichordmaker
Posts: 13
Joined: 10 Apr 2016, 08:19

Re: The Critical Editing of Music : History, Method, and Practice

Post by Harpsichordmaker » 29 Jul 2016, 21:34

Hi all, my first message here.

I own and studied the Grier book. I don't find it boringly academic, so I would rather advise it though I don't agree with the author dismissing of the Lachmann method as applied to musical texts.

Not many musical examples, true, because while discussing variants between sources the author uses letters: a, b, e flat and so on.

What it's definetly not, it's not a book on music engraving. It discusses how to establish an authentic text from various and contrasting sources (manuscripts, early prints...), how to evaluate scribal errors and variants and son on. in one word, how to prepare a critical edition (or Urtext edition, though it's a somewhat misleading definition).

No phylosophy, fortunately: just technique, philological methods, and the like.

Hope I contributed to a better understanding of the subject of this book.

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1240
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: The Critical Editing of Music : History, Method, and Practice

Post by John Ruggero » 31 Jul 2016, 16:45

Harpsichordmaker, thank you for your first message and providing this information. From your experience, it is clear that I have misjudged the book. My misimpression is probably the result of reading the Introduction only. A practical work on this subject is something that I sorely need, and I will probably order the book, in spite of my aversion to the writing style and perceived philosophy as in this excerpt from the Introduction:

"The sources do allow us to know, however, what Beethoven wrote for most of the work. Otherwise we would not be able to acknowledge the existence of a Hammerklavier Sonata at all, or to distinguish it from another sonata, by Beethoven or any other composer. But when the sources transmit genuine ambiguity, a crux in the parlance of Classical Philology, we must recognize the futility of appealing to Beethoven's intentions."

Or put more simply: there is general agreement among the sources about the text of the sonata, but it is impossible to reconcile this particular conflict by trying to understand Beethoven’s intentions.

I think that first part is obvious and disagree with the conclusion: a deep analysis of this work might reveal Beethoven's intensions and provide a solution to the conflict.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

Harpsichordmaker
Posts: 13
Joined: 10 Apr 2016, 08:19

Re: The Critical Editing of Music : History, Method, and Practice

Post by Harpsichordmaker » 01 Aug 2016, 18:46

John Ruggero wrote:Harpsichordmaker, thank you for your first message and providing this information. From your experience, it is clear that I have misjudged the book. My misimpression is probably the result of reading the Introduction only. A practical work on this subject is something that I sorely need, and I will probably order the book, in spite of my aversion to the writing style and perceived philosophy as in this excerpt from the Introduction:

"The sources do allow us to know, however, what Beethoven wrote for most of the work. Otherwise we would not be able to acknowledge the existence of a Hammerklavier Sonata at all, or to distinguish it from another sonata, by Beethoven or any other composer. But when the sources transmit genuine ambiguity, a crux in the parlance of Classical Philology, we must recognize the futility of appealing to Beethoven's intentions."

Or put more simply: there is general agreement among the sources about the text of the sonata, but it is impossible to reconcile this particular conflict by trying to understand Beethoven’s intentions.

I think that first part is obvious and disagree with the conclusion: a deep analysis of this work might reveal Beethoven's intensions and provide a solution to the conflict.
Yes, of course it might! And the solution found that way is called emendatio, or better divinatio, in classical philology language. And "that way" (i.e. "a deep analysis..." as you say) is called an analysis of the usus scribendi.
These and other things are discussed in the book, which I don't entirely agree with, you could find interesting enough. Maybe the introduction is a bit misleading, at least the lines you quoted.

Overall, it'a good book. A better book on the subject, if you can read Italian, is: https://www.amazon.it/filologia-musical ... 8870968081
Three volumes (the link brings to the first volume).


The same musicologist, Maria Caraci Vela, edited an anthology of short essays on the same subject, translated in Italian:
http://www.lim.it/nuovosito/scheda.php? ... d_ritorno=

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1240
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: The Critical Editing of Music : History, Method, and Practice

Post by John Ruggero » 01 Aug 2016, 22:02

Thank you very much for this additional help regarding this book and for the other sources, Harpsichordmaker. Given your obvious expertise in this area, I hope that you will continue to post, because I will continue to comment on the various editorial problems that I encounter in Urtext and other scholarly editions from the point of view of one who feels that autographs reveal things of greater value to interpreters than is yet recognized.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

Harpsichordmaker
Posts: 13
Joined: 10 Apr 2016, 08:19

Re: The Critical Editing of Music : History, Method, and Practice

Post by Harpsichordmaker » 07 Aug 2016, 01:03

Dear John Ruggiero, it's my pleasure to read your posts. I hope I will be able to talk with you about editing and critical editions. I am principally a baroque guy.

User avatar
MarkSealey
Posts: 11
Joined: 26 Apr 2018, 19:06

Re: The Critical Editing of Music : History, Method, and Practice

Post by MarkSealey » 26 Apr 2018, 19:13

Can anyone recommend, please, a book which is essentially a history of musical notation?

I am aware of these:
  1. Williams' The Story of Notation; but it's over 100 years old.
  2. Apel's The Notation of Polyphonic Music 900 - 1600, which presumably is the standard for music before the Common Practice period.
TIA!
--
Mark Sealey
Music lover and listener for over 50 years.
Composer (formerly Logic, Sibelius) now Dorico - on Mac); writer on music; reviewer for Classical Net and MusicWeb; poet; educator; web developer (retired).

Post Reply