12 June 2012

Brief letter regarding Score Downloads

Free Downloads of Scores and Scores for a small "thank you" fee. An initial accessment.

A few downloads have begun on my new collection of musical scores here on Musicaneo and it makes me happy to think that some of my work through the years is being utilized by others. I must say that mostly what has been offered Free of cost has been downloaded till now, I can understand this perfectly, the world is in deep economic crisis almost everywhere (not in China I believe) but to be fair to the other composers on this site, certain scores that required months of thought, others that are rare, that come from early manuscripts from libraries in Italy that needed to be transcribed and are unavailable on the internet in performing editions, need to receive a tiny fee. I mean a few dollars to contribute and encourage composers around the world doesn't seem to me to be too much to ask. Like I said, others are asking for a few dollars and so some of my things are Free to download and others are not, it's only fair to all involved here.

People have gotten used to stealing everything off the internet. The internet is great but it has maybe encouraged this attitude. Programs are pirated.  From Youtube you can transform all the music videos into mp3s legally. Not to talk about photos from social networks or sites like Flickr being used all over without correctly claiming property rights etc. It's improper but people don't care. Downloads of music have been much discussed etc. and so much more . . . So the mentality has set in, you're an idiot if you pay for something off the internet or for the computer. Personally I have bought many computer programs through the years, but some programs really are too expensive to buy, if they would lower their prices more people would acquire them legally. And so here, the free downloads are the first to happen, but I do hope some scores will be paid for, not that I'll get rich this way, but just for the satisfaction that someone thought enough of my efforts to actually pay me a dollar or two to have one of my scores. I have given away so much in my lifetime, free lessons, free scores, free travel etc that seeing this opportunity through Musicaneo I just said that this is the right thing to do.

I am glad to share my scores with those who can find them useful. I'll always remember the one time in my life at the start of my career as a conductor and teacher, that I asked a colleague for a few songs in Italian which I didn't have, just to start off with my new students. She said "fine" - we made an appointment and she never showed up, never gave me an explanation either. I was very hurt but it was an eye-opener. People didn't want me messing around in their territory, creating competition. From that moment on (before the internet age mind you) I did my own research in libraries, developed my own arrangements that have resulted in many a successful concert and cd recording.

I would like to know from those who download my scores if they have been useful, if something has been performed. I would also like to receive some suggestions maybe: what information could be added to a score for example.

Maybe something will appear on Youtube? It would be nice to receive the credit especially for original music and arrangements, and to be notified, that's all I ask. I would love to receive a concert program if possible. I would do the same for others.I have thanked others who have exchanged music with me and it only makes one feel good to act properly.

Well happy searching everyone, there is a lot on the internet to download, a lot of free scores but many are written badly, people don't learn the notation programs properly or they have them done by others who are not precise or well-informed; some are not usable for performances but are good for research. These have been useful to me at times but I could never distribute these pages to the singers that I conduct. Believe me, you save SO much time at rehearsals by spending time correctly preparing or searching for leggible music. Sometimes scores are printed too small, printed to save money and obviously aimed at performers who don't read a score or don't need it at a performance (which has never been my case.) This is why I always prepare decent print-outs.

I am now reformating many things that I had written by hand or with an old notation program. I probably should buy a little midi keyboard to input the notes, I have several long works that I would really enjoy rewriting now that better possibilities are at hand. I must think about this option! In the meantime I am entering notes into my Sibelius program from my little laptop, enjoying every minute of it.

Please stay in touch then if you use a score of mine, it would give me great pleasure. Thanks. Joan



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