I'm No Luddite, But…

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tisimst
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Re: I'm No Luddite, But…

Post by tisimst » 21 Feb 2016, 17:10

DatOrganistTho wrote:I wouldn't get too much in rut:

When the printing press was invented, many, MANY people complained of the same thing. People ascribed what was the best achievement of book publishing to the monks and scribes that made books. The first typeface was barely legible compared to the scribes who did it for a living. And many people believed that "anyone could become their own publisher without knowing the ins and outs of the profession."

Yet, fast track a few hundred years later and books are at the pinnacle of their beautification, etc...
You are right. I guess all I was getting at is that we need to continue to care for it to continue and not become a dead art form.
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Re: I'm No Luddite, But…

Post by MJCube » 22 Feb 2016, 01:31

cGilmore wrote:much like a house style, publishers could have a document that could be followed, making sure music was entered correctly, according to their standards.
This is interesting to me. In a text environment for music entry (such as Lilypond) I’m starting to imagine there could be a validation algorithm such as we have for HTML and CSS, to ensure that entries are well-formed. But, getting down to the details of it, would it be impossible to determine the boundaries of what’s allowed?

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OCTO
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Re: I'm No Luddite, But…

Post by OCTO » 22 Feb 2016, 06:52

cGilmore wrote:I get that there is music that just needs to sell; that publishers are playing a numbers game trying to flood the market with sheet music with certain titles. I understand. I really do. But I feel like there appears to be a lack of need for the quality of the engraving to be at a higher quality than is being released.
Well said!

One thing I can see it is common in all this cases: contemporary composers. More-less, the main source of that "catastrophic" quality output is of course money. It really costs a lot to pay someone to retype it, say, in SCORE. So, enough well done scores by composers who DO compose in Finale or Sibelius (and you know how messy it can be) will suffice.

And the second is more important. The current big music publishing houses pollute musical environment with scores. They simply print everything, as much as they can. The digital engraving and print-on-demand just accelerate that serious problem. In reality they don't have clue what is good and what is bad, artistically. They are simply fishing: if a score gets more popularity (or a composer), than they pay more attention.

The current music publishers are just plain businesses. If there is a score of a great composer it is not because of them, but because they see the interest. The demand for quality falls dramatically, and they simply don't care about the engraving quality anymore, since the demand for the quality is destroyed. Students play from "trash scores" and it is fine. The worldview of and demand for quality is changed. Bu$iness only.
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Knut
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Re: I'm No Luddite, But…

Post by Knut » 22 Feb 2016, 17:04

DatOrganistTho wrote:I wouldn't get too much in rut:

When the printing press was invented, many, MANY people complained of the same thing. People ascribed what was the best achievement of book publishing to the monks and scribes that made books. The first typeface was barely legible compared to the scribes who did it for a living. And many people believed that "anyone could become their own publisher without knowing the ins and outs of the profession."

Yet, fast track a few hundred years later and books are at the pinnacle of their beautification, etc...

So, yes, you are very right, and I think you can call it the "Inverse relationship of typesetting technology to standards" rule (something I'm coining ;) ). Every time a new technology innovates a proven and tried-and-true field, the more you can expect that field to slouch and sag in quality in the initial development years. This has to do with STANDARDS, not ABILITY. Sure, we have inDesign, TeX, etc, but that doesn't mean people are willing to utilize them to their best ability. It takes time, time for peoples standards to rise above their ability to "plug and play" with typesetting.

In fact, we should expect this in any field where there is innovation, but especially in written languages like music and speech.
I agree.

I think it's important to remember the extent of which the internet has changed the rules of the media market place, and that traditional businesses still are scrambling to retain as much of their revenue as possible. It is very hard for firmly established businesses to reinvent themselves completely, and their immediate reaction to upheaval and dwindling sales will therefore often be to cut costs that have a direct negative impact on the quality of their product, trying to keep their outdated business models alive for as long as possible.

Boosey & Hawkes is a giant that may survive purely on their back catalog for a long time, even if the quality of their new publications decreases. That does not mean, however, that they will continue to be as sought after in the future. I don't think musicians will lose their ability to recognize and appreciate high quality output even if they become accustomed to a lower standard. And while old businesses struggle to adjust, new businesses, based on the modern paradigm, may prosper and fill the quality vacuum created by this dynamic.

There will probably always be those publishers who provide 'fast-food editions' to the less quality conscious/more price conscious customers, but as time goes by and general conditions become more predictable, with new 'internet friendly' business models and updated copyright legislation, I am confident that there will be an increasing demand for properly or even beautifully set musical scores. For the time being, Lilypond, MusScore, Steinberg, Elaine Gould, and not to mention, this forum, are some perfect examples of why I don't think the art of music engraving runs the risk of being forgotten.
Last edited by Knut on 22 Feb 2016, 20:10, edited 1 time in total.

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OCTO
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Re: I'm No Luddite, But…

Post by OCTO » 22 Feb 2016, 19:32

I agree with you Knut.

The only point where I believe we differ is in the future quality demands. The capital is focused only on the income, and the current publishing houses are more less all businesses. Would you like to earn one million $ with bad scores or 1000 $ with quality scores - the answer is so obvious. One has to be like Marcus Aurelius to stoically refuse vain things.
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Knut
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Re: I'm No Luddite, But…

Post by Knut » 22 Feb 2016, 19:49

OCTO wrote:I agree with you Knut.

The only point where I believe we differ is in the future quality demands. The capital is focused only on the income, and the current publishing houses are more less all businesses. Would you like to earn one million $ with bad scores or 1000 $ with quality scores - the answer is so obvious. One has to be like Marcus Aurelius to stoically refuse vain things.
The vast majority of publishing houses have always been 'all business'. What's changed is the availability of cheap manufacturing and labor, and as a consequence, the quality level of the average publication. These are competitive factors that will continue to change with technological and economical developments. My point is that like for so many other products, there will surely be room for both low-end and high-end products in music publishing. The question is how large the high-end market share will be, and that is very difficult to say before the dust settles.

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Re: I'm No Luddite, But…

Post by DatOrganistTho » 24 Feb 2016, 01:53

cGilmore wrote:
DatOrganistTho wrote:So, yes, you are very right, and I think you can call it the "Inverse relationship of typesetting technology to standards" rule (something I'm coining ;) ).
That just rolls off the tongue. lol

IRTTS or IRoTTtS. Yeah, I could see that catching on… :D
LOL! Let's call it IT2S, "Inverse Typesetting to Technology" Rule. :D
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DatOrganistTho
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Re: I'm No Luddite, But…

Post by DatOrganistTho » 24 Feb 2016, 01:55

tisimst wrote:
DatOrganistTho wrote:I wouldn't get too much in rut:

When the printing press was invented, many, MANY people complained of the same thing. People ascribed what was the best achievement of book publishing to the monks and scribes that made books. The first typeface was barely legible compared to the scribes who did it for a living. And many people believed that "anyone could become their own publisher without knowing the ins and outs of the profession."

Yet, fast track a few hundred years later and books are at the pinnacle of their beautification, etc...
You are right. I guess all I was getting at is that we need to continue to care for it to continue and not become a dead art form.
We are in the same camp here! Good points! I did not mean to diminish the initial reaction. I feel very much the same way (such as looking at Rachmaninoff editions in Henle -- a blind person could have done a better job in my opinion).
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Re: I'm No Luddite, But…

Post by DatOrganistTho » 24 Feb 2016, 01:56

MJCube wrote:
cGilmore wrote:much like a house style, publishers could have a document that could be followed, making sure music was entered correctly, according to their standards.
This is interesting to me. In a text environment for music entry (such as Lilypond) I’m starting to imagine there could be a validation algorithm such as we have for HTML and CSS, to ensure that entries are well-formed. But, getting down to the details of it, would it be impossible to determine the boundaries of what’s allowed?
I have four books on my shelf that all very similarly say "YES". ;)
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Re: I'm No Luddite, But…

Post by DatOrganistTho » 24 Feb 2016, 02:01

Knut wrote:
OCTO wrote:I agree with you Knut.

The only point where I believe we differ is in the future quality demands. The capital is focused only on the income, and the current publishing houses are more less all businesses. Would you like to earn one million $ with bad scores or 1000 $ with quality scores - the answer is so obvious. One has to be like Marcus Aurelius to stoically refuse vain things.
The vast majority of publishing houses have always been 'all business'. What's changed is the availability of cheap manufacturing and labor, and as a consequence, the quality level of the average publication. These are competitive factors that will continue to change with technological and economical developments. My point is that like for so many other products, there will surely be room for both low-end and high-end products in music publishing. The question is how large the high-end market share will be, and that is very difficult to say before the dust settles.
I don't think the dust has to settle too much more to figure that one out. One only need to look at the technology and the time that has passed. The ability to typeset music digitally has not be around more than 50 years. In the end, people preferred to typeset a book on the Gutenberg press because it was comparably quick and efficient and cheap. However, the quality of said publications were very low, initially, until more advances in legibility and theory of layout came to fruition. We already have legibility of typeface, layout, and many advances we borrow from book typesetting to help us out. Now we just need to find a way to automate and produce high quality scores quickly for the high-end products to gain momentum again.

That might be a few more years, no? Not sure how long that would take (if we could only get LILYPOND to be fully funded....;) )
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