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News - SchirmerOnDemand Places Perusal Scores Online

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Revolutionary Access to
Published Music

G. Schirmer, Inc., the oldest continually active music publisher in North America, is taking a revolutionary step in providing access to published concert music with a new online viewing service, SchirmerOnDemand, that allows anyone to view scores for free from its vast catalog of works by some of the 20th and 21st centuries' greatest composers. SchirmerOnDemand allows users, with one-time free registration, to instantly view the scores online and in most cases print them out for perusal.

To view SchirmerOnDemand, go to http://digital.schirmer.com to register.

Of Schirmer's catalog of 5,000 works by 300 composers, over 600 scores are currently ready to view, with the entire catalog projected to be online in the next few years. The music now available comprises mostly orchestral works, operas, and works for chorus-with-orchestra, jazz band, and wind ensemble. Also now online are 100 scores from the catalog of Hal Leonard — the leading printed music distributor in the U.S. including music from G. Schirmer — all of which is already on sale in music stores; this music, ranging from orchestral works to chamber music and solo instrument study works, is available for viewing only.

The 24-hour access afforded by SchirmerOnDemand makes easy and instantaneous a process, standard in the industry, that can be time-consuming. When an opera company or orchestra is interested in reviewing scores — for instance, the 2009 Grammy Award-winning Mr. Tambourine Man by John Corigliano — it submits a request for what is called a "perusal score" which is then shared amongst the various staff members involved in making program decisions. With SchirmerOnDemand, the score can be viewed instantly — at any hour, any day of the week — and all those involved can view it simultaneously, or print it for study. Once a decision is made to perform a work, arrangements for the music's rental or purchase are made directly with G. Schirmer.

"The vision for SchirmerOnDemand crystallized when we at G. Schirmer asked ourselves ‘how can we truly swing open the doors of our music library?'" said Kristin Lancino, Vice President, G.Schirmer/AMP Inc. "We concluded that by utilizing technology wisely we could catapult access to the scores of our composers to a whole new realm. What resulted is SchirmerOnDemand, and I believe that as it evolves, the breath of fresh air through those open doors will stimulate music publishing and, most importantly, the world of recent and new music."

"The addition of SchirmerOnDemand to our artistic community has enormous potential in terms of ease of access to scores and information about my music as well as to the music of my colleague composers at G. Schirmer/AMP," said composer Bright Sheng. "I am thrilled at the endless possibilities of this advancement and the idea of a greater openness to the music of our time."

"I love being able to view scores on SchirmerOnDemand," said Robert Sutherland, Chief Librarian of The Metropolitan Opera. "Having them available online allows me to find 99% of the information I need, when I need it, and helps confirm whether there is the need to request a perusal score, or not. SchirmerOnDemand provides an excellent service to conductors, librarians, administrators, and all those who need to see the music before making programming and budget decisions. I applaud G. Schirmer for making this service available."
    F.A.Q.s — How Does It Work?
  1. Why is registration necessary — why not just have PDF files available?
    While a goal is to allow users to view or print the score themselves — the idea being that the increased access will generate greater interest overall — the registration function is necessary to monitor the use of the score and prevent piracy. Those scores that are available through Hal Leonard that are now in print and are sold rather than rented will not have a print function — it would clearly be counterproductive to sales — but having these scores viewable is seen as an advantage to all. The viewer software allows for viewing or printing by securely encrypting the scores for registered users. The printouts of scores will show the registered user's name and email address on every page.
  2. What music will be printable and what will not be?
    Scores for large ensemble works will be printable. Music for solo or chamber music or those G. Schirmer scores sold through Hal Leonard will be available for viewing only.
  3. Will this project include editions of classics by Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms that Schirmer also publishes?
    The initial goal is to focus on repertoire that can only be accessed through G. Schirmer, and that from the 20th and 21st century. Conceivably, material in the public domain could be added at a later stage.
  4. Will there be audio examples as well?
    This is slated for a later stage of the project.
  5. In the case of view-only scores, if you decide that you like what you see, can you pay to download the score for printing?
    This capability may be introduced at a later stage for G. Schirmer works not part of the Hal Leonard catalog.
  6. Will The Music Sales Group do this with its other catalogs as well?
    Schirmer affiliates Chester Music/Novello & Co. and Edition Wilhelm Hansen are interested in participating at a future date.
  7. Will SchirmerOnDemand eventually replace perusal score availability?
    Perusal scores that are bound with back to back pages and of a size larger than standard letter size will always be of interest and in demand. SchirmerOnDemand is available as a way to view many scores at one time and then request a perusal score as needed.

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