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Theory in Practice

Well, it looks like the legitimacy of digital sheet music has finally been made official: Daniel Wakin's article in the New York Times has brought the practice of reading music from a screen, rather than paper, to readers across the world. It's something we've been pushing for from the start, and something that many of our composers and performers of their work have been doing for a good while now. 

When we launched, Nicholas Kitchen of the Borromeo String Quartet was nice enough to give us some excellent praise: "[PSNY] expands and builds upon the already-productive synergy among players, composers, and publishers, strengthening the necessary structure for musical partnerships.  Expanding the medium to the readable and changeable form of computer files will amplify the collaboration, and open countless doors for all of us."

And if you haven't seen how the Borromeo Quartet uses technology, here's a clip from a live broadcast on WNYC (consider this our plug for Beethoven Awareness Month!:

Chamber music is a natural fit for digital editions: a solo performer can easily read music from an iPad or any other tablet or laptop. Our composer Timo Andres has been an early advocate of the practice - he can often be seen performing with an iPad perched on the piano, turning pages with a nifty pedal. Here he is performing "At The River" at the Bang on a Can Festival in 2011:

(Photo by Jon Hurd on flickr)

And of course, several of our composers have been incorporating technology and non-paper notation for years: Morton Subotnick and Alvin Singleton, for example. 

Reading music from a screen, like reading a book from a screen, might not be for everyone, and of course we offer print-on-demand editions of all of our works. But for the adventurous, digital music is becoming an increasingly appealing solution.

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