Keeping Score: New Musical Editions

Dear Reader:

As part of’s efforts to cover all things classical, this page is devoted to an ongoing series of articles about important new editions of both familiar and unfamiliar repertoire. A tremendous amount of excellent work is being done by music publishers, both small and large, in issuing new scores edited according to the highest scholarly standards. For the most part, these releases get mentioned only in academic journals, and find their way into the libraries of universities and performing arts organizations. However, they are available for purchase by the public at large. Some of the more popular works may be issued subsequently as comparatively inexpensive study scores, and even if they are not, the original deluxe editions represent a marvellous indulgence for the music lover, as well as a terrific gift idea. They also represent the very latest in current thinking about the great music of the past. Sometimes this matters, and sometimes it doesn’t; plenty of recordings released these days trumpet the fact that they are based on the “new critical edition,” without bothering to explain why we should care. By itself, it’s not a valid selling point, and it’s worth investigating whether there are meaningful textual differences behind the sales pitch. For all of these reasons we are very pleased to take this opportunity to discuss these issues. We hope that you find these essays useful, interesting, and helpful as a way to deepen your understanding of the music you love best.

David Hurwitz
Executive Editor