Boosey & Hawkes reply

Categories: Mercato, Musica, Società
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Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 11 October 2006

Come forse avrete già visto, c’è stata una risposta da parte di Boosey & Hawkes, il che prova la serietà dell’azienda e di Mr Boon. Credetemi, sono molto pochi quelli che si prendono la briga di rispondere a un cliente qualsiasi.
Questa è la mia ulteriore risposta. La tradurrò in italiano appena avrò tempo. Nel frattempo beccatevi il mio rozzo inglese.

Hi Nigel,
thank you vm for your kind reply. I think it’s a great attestation of B&H (and yours) reliability. As far as I know it’s not usual for a corporation to reply to a mail from a not important customer.
You also make me win a fish dinner. People here was betting on (or against) your reply, and I won. If you’ll come here in Verona (Italy), please let me know.

Ok. I understand your point of view, but let me better explain mine. If you think I’m obsessive, please, throw away this mail and cut the line. I will not insist and the invitation to Verona will be always valid.
But if you are so kind to read my mail (and if you can tolerate my rough english), here is a customer’s feedback.

I am an electronic music teacher in Conservatorium, here in Italy. Sometimes I also act as advisor for the Chamber Music course. My deal is to find contemporary chamber music works to be played by the students. The pieces must fit the students level (a little hard for their level but not so much to be impossible).
I always try to suggest new works by not-so-famous living composers in addition to the historical ones (Berio, Boulez, Stockhausen, etc). I also prefer music with instrumental and electronic parts. Last year we played Crumb’s Vox Balenae (amplified trio); the previous year, Winter Fragments, a Murail’s work for quintet and electronics (unfortunately both not B&H).

Now let’s see how it’s difficult to find something to buy on B&H site with the current non-disclosure system (take it easy, the other publisher’s sites are not better).

I go to the BH site and select Contemporary music.
OK, try the first: Michael van der Aa. He is young and has a funny name (Aa could be the lament by the students looking at a difficult part to play).
Currently I know nothing about him, so I click his name and read the snapshot.
Good. I found the “Here trilogy”. Chamber music. I click the Here trilogy and read. The whole trilogy is too long, but we maybe could play a single part.
I read the program notes, then the press quotes (very good) and then… Rental.
RENT WHAT!? I heard nothing and never seen a single score page!
I click Details to find I have to go in Trento or Venice to find a dealer.
I click Rental trying to discover the price. What? I have to register to continue? So I will be oppressed by your advertisements for the rest of my life? No thanks.
OK. Go back to the main page. Look around searching for the magic words “score or sound samples”. Wow! I found it! Sound samples! Now all my doubt will be cleared! Click!
One sample. Duration: 01 mins 05 secs. For orchestra. Ok, listen. Seems good. Now I really know Michael var der Aa’s music. Now I can go to my Chamber music colleague announcing “this year’s contemporary composer is this man. Don’t you know him? Oh unlucky man! Go to the B&H site….”.
Sorry. Sometimes I go too far.
Then I found the link to the composer home site. Here I found some 2 minutes excerpts. I feel better.

But now I am surfing the Jeffrey Cotton’s site (see following post), listening to his compositions while looking at a PDF score.
OK, I know you can’t do it because the music is not yours and you want to sell scores but it so difficult to show PART of the score? What could I do with the 50% of a score? (or 25%, or selected parts, or the odd pages only). I only can understand if I like that music, how difficult it is, how much work we need to play it and so on. Maybe this year composer will be Jeffrey Cotton…

But tell me: if no one can see any pages of your score over the internet, do you think you will sell more?

(My apologies to Mr. van der Aa for using his name in this mail. It is only a example. Could be everyone. He is only the first in your list.)

Regards and auguri from Verona

2 Comments
  1. Mauro says:

    Questa è la risposta di oggi

    Hi Mauro

    Thanks for your message, I went to your site and read your latest post (I wish my Italian were as good as your English), and I have to say that I do see your point! What usually happens is that somebody (performer/concert promoter/venue/festival) decides to investigate a
    composer’s music and then gets in touch with me and my colleagues. We then send them scores and recordings and they decide whether to perform.
    Alternatively we send out scores and recordings to performers etc in the hope that they will find the music interesting and either contact us or decide to perform. Now, this all works very well (or seems to) with performers etc, but obviously for people like you who work in educational establishments there is a gap in the system that needs to be looked at, and we will do so (though I’m not sure yet what, if any, the result might be). Thanks for pointing this out!

    Best wishes (and I look forward to taking you up on your invitation next time I come to Verona!)

    Nigel

  2. nicola says:

    alla fine Mr. Boon sembra persona sensata.
    non dimentichiamo che altro son gli editori di partiture (come nel caso), altro sono i discografici.
    credo che il mercato delle partiture sia inevitabilmente un discorso di nicchia, soprattutto per quanto attiene alla musica colta.
    ho per altro l’impressione che Mr. Boon parli un discreto italiano.

    per federico (chitarrista): e la cena di pesce? sono invitato?

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