Collection Management of Scores: Are all these Editions Necessary?

Keith Cochran, William and Gayle Cook Music Library, Indiana University

Hello, this is Keith Cochran.  I'm the Music Collection Development Librarian at the William and Gayle Cook Music Library at Indiana University in Bloomington, and I'm going to be giving my presentation on the topic: Collection Management of Scores: Are all these Editions Necessary?  So, I'm going to start the slideshow.  And I'm also going to minimize the picture of me over here.  And now we'll get started.

The bulk of this paper is going to be a series of case studies where we will be looking at different editions of different scores and considering why it may be necessary to have different types of editions of a particular piece in a music library.  Before we get to that, however, I want to lay out some of the parameters of this study.  So, first of all, whenever I think about collection management, these are the two questions that first come to mind: who are we serving?  And what is the physical space?  Who are we serving, that refers to the community of users that we have.  And secondly, what is the physical space, and in particular that means, are there limitations on the physical space that we might have to take into consideration when we're doing collection management.

So here are how we answer those two questions at the institution that I am at.  So, first of all, the Cook Music Library serves primarily the Jacob School of Music at Indiana University, and the School of Music has approximately 1600 students, and from all 50 states, and from about 55 countries.  That number of 1600 is roughly divided equally between undergraduates and graduates, so we have approximately 800 undergraduate students and 800 graduate students.  We also have more than 175 full time faculty.  I like to say that we are broad and deep at this School of Music, and by that I mean that almost all areas of music performance and study are here, and they are through the doctoral level.  So, the only exceptions would be the field of ethnomusicology.  That is here at the university but it's in the folklore department, rather than the School of Music.  And then the area of music therapy is not a part of the School of Music.  But aside from that, most areas of performance and study, including especially musicology and music theory, are a part of the school.  So, because we have so many people, and because we have all these programs through the doctoral level, we have a wide array of interests that we need to serve. And we have a large group of people that we are serving.  

Next, on the question of fiscal space, we have three floors of open stacks.  In addition to that, we have a basement where the Technical Services Unit is located.  And that's where a lot of the physical media, that is our recordings and videos, are stored.  We also have a vault in the basement for rare materials, and the three floors of open stacks, we have ample room for growth.  And we're very happy about that.  So, space limitations are really not a factor for us in making decisions about collection management.  

So here are a few implications for collection management, given the situation.  I believe that multiple editions and sometimes, multiple copies will be desirable for the standard repertoire.  The question will inevitably come up, how do we justify the addition of a new edition of a piece of music?  And there are several things that I consider but I think the most important thing is, I ask, is there something new about this particular edition that makes it worth acquiring?  Is it a critical edition; is it based on a different source from other editions that have been published in the past?  These are the types of things that I think about when I'm making a decision about a purchase.  

And then finally, I want to make the point that music has a long shelf life.  And by that I mean that there are editions of music in our collections that are more than a century old, but they are still worth having.  People are still interested in performing the music contained in these editions.  And if there are not newer editions of them, then people will still be using these older editions.  So, I think that's one thing that distinguishes music collection management from other disciplines, that we have a lot of older editions that are still valuable and still important for our collections.  

A couple of overriding principles that I keep in mind as I do question management.  The first is a statement that was made to me by Ida Reed, who was the music librarian at UNC Chapel Hill when I was a student there in the 1980s and 1990s.  I worked in the music library, while I was a graduate student, and she said to me one day, the ideal music library will have a score and recording for every piece of music of interest to our patrons.  And I've always kept that in mind.  And so that means that we want to have complete coverage of a work; that is, we want to have the score, recording, the secondary literature about it, and sometimes primary sources as well.  In this presentation I'm going to be looking at scores in particular. But the reason why I mention these principles is that it does have a bearing I think on collection management.  If we have a recording of a piece, then we probably will want to have a score of it as well.  

Collection management, I think, overlaps with a variety of tasks, most particularly collection development, but it also overlaps with cataloguing, preservation, and public services.  And I think those that will become apparent as we go through the case studies.

Alright, so we’ll now proceed and look at the case studies.  First one is Ravel's piano trio.  For this piece, we have eight editions of it, and a few of them are in multiple copies.  So, here's a list of these different editions.  First, we have the one published by Durand in 1915. That was the first publication of the piece.  And our copy is the performing score only, the parts of it are missing.  Next, we have a miniature score also published by Durand in the same year, we have two copies of that.  Then we have a Master's Music edition from 1991, performance score and parts, three copies.  Then a Dover edition from 2004 that is a reprint of the Durand edition of the score only; then Masters Music 2007 performing score and parts; Bärenreiter edition from 2009 performance score and parts; and then two editions by Henle performance score and parts, one from 2012, and then the next one from 2015.  

Now, I think the first question that comes to mind is: Do we really need all of these editions?  And I think the answer is yes.  I looked at the circulation charges for all these editions, and they total up to 370.  Most of the performing editions have circulated within the past two years.  And the most recent edition, Henle from 2015 already has 23 charges.  I want to make a note about the first Durand edition that we have, the one that is lacking parts.  Despite the fact that it is lacking parts, it already has 86 charges, and that's also, in spite of the fact that the parts have been missing since 1992, and it was last charged in January of 2020.  I remember when I started working at this library when I came across situations like this, my inclination was to deaccession a piece that was missing parts, and to buy a replacement for it. 

But I talked to a couple of people in public services, and they told me that even if an edition was lacking parts as is the case here, people would still often check it out.  And I suppose they would simply use parts from another edition if they want to perform the piece.  So, they actually encouraged me not to discard editions like this, but to hang on to them.  And so, we tend to do that here.  And as you can see, it has circulated a lot in spite of the parts being missing for a long time.

How are these editions different from one another?  Well, the miniature score, of course is intended for study purposes.  And that is also true of the Dover reprint, the score only, no parts, and it also includes other chamber works.  The first edition published by Masters Music from 1991, has no annotations.  It's simply the score and parts.  The second one however from 2007 has an extensive discussion of the piece by the editor, Richard Dowling.  And it has actually been praised by other people in the field.  I’ll point that out later.  So that sets it apart from the previous Masters Music edition.  And then the Bärenreiter and Henle editions are of course the most recent.  And in my experience these publishers are particularly often requested by faculty and students.  

Now why are there two Henle editions, particularly when they were published only three years apart, and they have the same publisher number. HN 972?  Well, thereby hangs a tale.  And this is a bit of an excursion from the main presentation, but I think it's worth talking about.  Because I think it's illuminating to see things, how publishers might make decisions about editions.

So there was a review in Notes vol. 70, no. 2 (December 2013) by Roy Howat who is a pianist and a scholar and has done a fair amount of editing himself.  And it's a review of the Bärenreiter and the Henle editions from 2012, the Henle edition from 2012.  Both of these editions are based on Ravel’s fair copy from 1914 in preference over Durand’s first edition published a year later.  And in his review (it's a very long and detailed review), he argues convincingly that the first edition published by Durand is more authoritative than Ravel’s fair copy, and that the first edition was issued with Ravel’s approval.  So, the Head of Publishing at Henle, Norbert Gertsch, read this review, and he responded to it, in Notes vol. 70, no. 4 (June 2014).  Here's part of what he said. “We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Roy Howat for his in-depth review. . . .   The evidence he brought to light, especially concerning Ravel’s very likely involvement in each step of the trio's publication has led us to take our edition off the market and recall our all current stock from our dealers.  We will present a new edition in the autumn of 2014.”  

Now, we'll come back to that in a moment, and why I think that is significant.  But first a note on when did we acquire these different editions?  Well it's difficult to ascertain for the older editions.  Our record keeping for older acquisitions has not really been maintained for many things, but with the implementation of our current ILS, Sirsi, in the early part of the 2000s, we are able to determine when we often purchase things. So, the Dover edition, we acquired that in 2005; the Masters Music 2007 edition, we acquired in 2009; the Bärenreiter edition in 2010; the first Henle edition, the year it was published, 2012; and the second one, we acquired in 2016.  

So, a few thoughts on this case study.  And these are of course not all the editions that have been published at this piece, but the number of copies and the editions that we have go some way toward documenting the publishing history of the work, and I think that can be valuable to our collection to have different editions.  Also, the editions show different approaches to editing and the perspectives on what constitutes a critical edition. So, this is particularly true of the two Henle editions, the Bärenreiter edition, and then the second Masters Music edition edited by Richard Dowling.  In his review that I cited above, the review by Roy Howat, he praises the edition by Richard Dowling and says that even though he has some disagreements, that this is a very fine edition.  So that would be one reason for keeping these different editions in the collection so that users can see different editions, and the thinking that goes into them.  And I know that students have told me that their professors often have them go into the library and seek out different editions and compare them.  So, all of these can be useful for our patrons.  Finally, I just want to say that the significance of different editions may become apparent only through in-depth research.  So looking at the two Henle editions, you would not be able to determine just from looking at the title pages or they,  you know, just a cursory look at the editions, why they are different, how are they are different.  But if you read the preface to the second one, you'll see that it is based on the first edition, whereas the version from 2012 is based on Ravel’s fair copy.  And then if you, of course, read Roy Howat's review, you will find out even more about how the two editions are different from each other.  There are of course limits to what cataloguing can provide in terms of differentiating between different editions; our catalog record for the 2015 edition does have a note in brackets saying that it is a revised edition.  But if you want to know more about that of course you will have to do some research, but the information is out there, it just does require some digging.  

Next, case study number two is Ginastera’s Sonatina for harp.  I bring this piece up, because this is a question that I had to address when I saw that there was a new publication of it.  Is this piece prominent in the harp repertoire?  Now, I am not a harpist, it is not my field, so how do we answer this question?  Well, one thing that I think about is how many recordings do we have with this piece.  So, I looked, and we have four recordings, all but one of them documenting performances given here in Bloomington, including two by a faculty member.  So, I will conclude from that that it's part of the repertoire, and it particularly is important to a faculty member here.  So that's certainly significant and next I look to see how many scores do we have of this piece, as of 2020, and we only have one copy of it.  So, a new edition is now available.  Should we purchase it?  Well, the existing copy in the library is a photocopy of a manuscript.  So obviously not an optimal edition for performers, but nonetheless it has circulated six times.  Since a new printed edition has been issued by Boosey & Hawkes, and it's actually the first printing of this piece that's not a facsimile, I thought yes, certainly we should purchase this piece, and we did.  I should also mention here that we have a Latin American music collection that is part of the Cook Music Library, which we very actively support. And so that of course is another very important factor that we considered.  

The next case study: do we really need another piano vocal score for The Marriage of Figaro?  The Cook

Music Library currently has 18 copies of a G. Schirmer score for this piece, and 17 copies of the Bärenreiter score, that is the piano vocal score.  We have twelve in the PED, that's our performance ensemble division, and then we have five in the stacks.  We have a very large opera program here, and so it's actually common for us to have multiple copies of piano vocal scores of operas.  Now, I remember when we acquired the bulk of the Bärenreiter copies that we have.  This was after I had been here for a couple of years. And we received a request from a faculty member to purchase 15 copies of the Bärenreiter score.  And I initially hesitated, but my supervisor and I, we did talk to this faculty member. 

And she said that if she showed up at Covent Garden with a G. Schirmer vocal score of this piece that she would be laughed off the stage.  So, she said we really do need to have the Bärenreiter score. So, I said, Okay, I hear you, so we will buy additional copies of the Bärenreiter score.  So, that's the current situation we have for this piece.  And then, Bärenreiter has published a new edition of this work in 2020.  And there's a note in the publication that says this first printing in 2020 takes account of corrections and additions compiled in the Kritischer Bericht, the critical report.  And there's a new catalog record in OCLC that includes this note about the edition.  So, I decided to purchase it, but only one copy.  I’m not yet at least going to buy multiple copies of this.  If we get requests for multiple copies, then I'd be happy to do so. But for now, I think one copy will be sufficient.  It’s cataloged on this new record in OCLC. And I think that's important because it then distinguishes it from other editions, because this record has the note about the corrections and additions to it.  

Our last case study is the inventions for harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach.  We have many editions of this piece in our collection, and I don't want to focus on all of them.  Instead I want to talk about the needs for particular users with regards to this piece.  

So, part of the Jacob School of Music is the Department of the Historical Performance Institute.  So, faculty and students who perform on period instruments and are very interested in performance practice.  And I have learned in working with these users over the years that there are two things that they are truly interested in with regards to scores. First of all, they're often very interested in having access to facsimiles of early prints and manuscripts, so they can study the original notation of pieces, and sometimes even perform from prints that use original notation.  And then they're also interested in modern additions without fingerings.  When I first started working here, I could understand readily why they would be interested in facsimiles.  However, I had not really thought about the question of modern additions with fingerings, so I want to talk a little bit more about that.  

So, for keyboard music of the Baroque period, and especially works that are played often by both pianists and harpsichordists, and of course that would certainly include the keyboard music of Bach, harpsichordists will often prefer editions without fingerings and a harpsichordist explained this to me.  She was a graduate of our program, and she pointed out that fingerings are often devised with the needs of pianists in mind and how pianists would articulate and phrase a piece playing the piano.  And harpsichordists might come up with different fingerings because of how they would approach articulation and phrasing playing the piece on the harpsichord.  So, that was very helpful to me, that conversation, and so I have tried to look for editions of keyboard music, particularly the Baroque period that does not have fingerings.  So, let's look at the editions that we have for this piece with regard to the question of facsimiles and fingerings.  

Do we have a facsimile edition of the Bach inventions here at Indiana University?  Yes, we do.  We have a facsimile of the autograph manuscript this was originally published by the Bach Gesellschaft Edition.  And we have a Dover reprint of that, and we have four copies.  The total circulation is 156 charges, and all four copies have circulated in the last year.  So, we're fine I think with having that need met.  

Do we have an edition without fingerings?  Well I checked and actually we do not have that.  So, it turns out that Henle has published an edition without fingerings, and so we are going to purchase it for the collection.  I think probably at this point one copy will be sufficient.


So that concludes my presentation.  I hope this has been helpful in drawing attention to the different types of scores that are published, the different types of editions we have, and the considerations that we need to take into account when thinking about collection management and collection development of scores.  So that concludes my presentation, and I look forward to meeting you on Zoom in a couple of weeks, and we can talk about this presentation if you have any questions.  Thank you very much for listening.