Music Library in a Box

Now that I’ve got more than 7500 mp3s on each of two external hard drives, one for home and one for school, my attention has turned to PDF scores. I’m collecting a lot of Beethoven from the Sheet Music Archive, and I recently wrote an article about Melissa Hui entirely from PDFs she sent me. Now I’ve found out, through a post at Sequenza 21, that Leo Ornstein’s son is inputting Ornstein’s music and offering it to the public through Other Minds, so in a few minutes yesterday I went from years of wishing I had scores of Ornstein’s early piano music to carrying around more than I could possibly need of it on my computer. And from a comment on the tuning groups, I chanced to learn that the manuscript scores of Tui St. George Tucker – a quarter-tone pioneer who, it turns out, died in 2004 without my being informed – are available at her web site. Of course, a dozen or so of my scores have long been available as PDFs, although if I’ve received a single performance from the fact, no one’s ever apprised me. I love having hard copy, which is indispensible for certain purposes. But I also waste a tremendous amount of student time, and mine, looking for scores that I know are in my library somewhere, that somehow never manage to get placed back where I think they live. With my PDF scores, it’s a problem I’ll never have. (Though I’ve also run into the difficulty that my own PDF scores don’t seem to print out correctly on certain computers. I’ll be glad when all this gets standardized.)

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