EMC scores and the Internet

Happy New Year! And how nice of many of you to have sent us news, views and greetings over the winter holiday. Following one of these nice notes, we thought it would be nice if we explained more about what we put on the EMC site and how you can trust what you find here.

There are a wide variety of sources for experimental scores on the Internet. Some of them are pure gold — direct copies of a composer’s work, often uploaded by the composer or their estates. On other sites, score incipits are uploaded as examples and although very useful for an introduction, they may not be complete. Some scores are uploaded by people who like the music but may not know anything about it, so it might be mislabelled or badly described. A few may be poor quality or ‘copyleft’ (rhyming slang for theft) and pirated — put up without the composer’s permission.

When you get a score from the Experimental Music Catalogue website, you will know that the composer has given her/his permission for it to be there. Sometimes the composer or rights holder will ask for the score to be sold. If so, the score will be either published under the EMC ball imprint, and the composer will receive a straight 10% of the purchase price, or it will be produced by the composer and distributed by the EMC, in which case the EMC gets a straight percentage of the price. Increasingly, though, we have approached composers to give their permission for us to reproduce some of the more iconic text and graphic notation pieces as pdfs that you can download FOR FREE. The score will be sensitively reproduced; it is handled and uploaded by two real people, Virginia Anderson (me) and/or Christopher Hobbs, who will have sent the pdf for the composer’s approval before upload. It will often be accompanied by a short note on the website, or this blog, explaining what the piece is and how it fits into the history of British experimental music. It will be a score that is meant for performance, usually, or at least is approved for research purposes. We make this clear on each piece. And with this score you can always contact the EMC if you have any questions about performance or other issues.

And do keep sending in suggestions, comments and such. We spent some time last year in adding material to the website and hope to do so again soon. And we’ll let you know what we know about cool concerts and other things on this Blog and on our Facebook page as we get them.

Author: Virginia

Virginia Anderson is a writer who messes with the EMC Blog. She specialises in the study of experimental, minimalist, and free improvisatory music. She also plays clarinet, and has recorded on Zanja, Advance, and Rastascan Recordings, specialising in new works for Eb clarinet and free improvisation.