Posts Tagged ‘editing’

Keyboard Perspectives VIII (2015) now available

May 2, 2016

© Tilman Skowroneck 2016

Volume VIII is the second volume of the Yearbook of the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies Keyboard Perspectives of which I have been the guest editor. It is dedicated to combination keyboard instruments and their repertoire.

My preface and a table of contents can be found here. The volume can be ordered by sending an email to


more keyboard perspectives

August 10, 2014

…and a call for contributions


© Tilman Skowroneck 2014, updated 2 May 2016.

In my previous post I introduced my new article about Beethoven’s Broadwood piano in Keyboard Perspectives Vol. V. The next following volume of Keyboard Perspectives, of which I am the guest editor, is rolling out of the press as we speak. A table of contents and the full text of my introduction can be found here. The volume can be ordered by sending an email to

Next year’s issue of Keyboard Perspectives, Volume VII, will be “a special issue devoted to a selection of topics that are, in one way or another, connected to Beethoven’s Sonata, op. 106 (“Hammerklavier”), and the question of why it became so problematically emblematic of nineteenth-century pianism.” It includes “six essays, complementing one another, originate from a seminar taught at McGill University by Tom Beghin, who will also be guest editor of the volume.” (excerpt from the Westfield Newsletter Volume xxv/2, p. 4)

I will return as guest editor in Keyboard Perspectives Volume VIII.

This issue will give special attention to the combination instrument of the late eighteenth century (such as the combination of organ and harpsichord, and organ and fortepiano), and such keyboard instruments that had a place in their time, even if they perhaps did not make it into the pantheon of mainstream keyboard culture: various subspecies of the budding fortepiano, for instance (such as the Clavecin Royal, or the Tangentenflügel, to name but two examples). Why were these instruments made, who financed their manufacture, who played them, in what musical contexts?
Contributions that address this topic area are especially welcome, but please do not hesitate to submit proposals that address other keyboard-related topics as well. Proposals can be sent to me via the address provided on the contact page. They should reach me no later than the end of September 2014.

time management III

May 7, 2009

Dedicated Reading, using the 45-minute method, needs a complement in writing. Before this idea planted itself solidly in my mind, I made loose-leaf comments while I read my course books, and wrote some snide two-word comments in the margins, or drew lines, question marks and exclamation points in the text.

If anyone else is supposed to read your books as well, scribbling in the margins is an unkind habit. So I recently quit scribbling, but I still keep hand-written notes while I read. The important question is, however, what you do once finished. I remember reading some dry textbook once, and when I filed my notes I found another pile of notes on the same book, compiled a few years earlier. (more…)

first CD production remembered

January 8, 2009

Yesterday I uploaded some samples from the completely remastered version of a CD that was issued in 1993 under the somewhat juvenile title Three harpsichords Seven composers (see here for the uploads). The idea of the original production, initiated by a friend who also provided the contacts, was to combine several harpsichordy instruments (a 2-manual French, a 5-octave 1-manual Italian and a pentagonal virginal) and a selection of suitable repertoire in a sampler fashion which he had seen and liked in a CD production with historical organs.

This disk has been sold out for years. Last year I bought the recording tapes, the master CD and the rights. My friend Erik Sikkema has now made a complete new edition from the selected takes.

Why all this effort, one could ask. Many musicians are actually not very interested in their old recordings – I would characterize my own interest in my early efforts as “mild” at best. But this production is different – it is my first solo CD. It is also different in that it came out of the editing process quite battered and bent. Here’s the story. (more…)

footprints in history: the continuo arrangement

December 13, 2007

I never planned to write about editorial thoroughbass arrangements – I thought this was unnecessary. We all know that they often are overfrought and frequently neglect the accentuation required in the music; that they occasionally contain faulty counterpoint and wrong harmonies; and that the few less overloaded continuo elaborations tend to be self-evident and hence superfluous.

Another reason why I did not want to write about this subject is that I used to find it unfair to complain about the existence of a worked-out continuo part in modern editions of Baroque music. I had a music teacher in high school who proclaimed that in our times, nobody is able to sight-read a figured continuo line. I also remember a participant at a baroque course who got aggressively upset when the teacher of the ensemble class asked him to play lower inversions of some of his chords – he was playing the editorial continuo concerto, and clearly believed that it was part of the original composition. More recently, a colleague with excellent sight-reading skills, who was my co-continuist in a Christmas Oratory performance, admitted, somewhat embarrassed, that he was using the “organ part” instead of a figured bass. Of course, music publishers need people like these to buy their books, so they must supply continuo arrangements, whether I like it or not.

A professional continuo player can always ignore these arrangements. If one likes to play from a full score, one will have to put up with the fact that they take up four or six additional lines per page, thus increasing the number of page turns. If one feels secure with a piece, a better solution is to play from the figured cello part.

Recently, I learned that this can be illegal. (more…)