In today’s Korea Times, I saw that the iPad is beginning to be used in the field of classical music. Much of the standard repretoire is in the public domain now, though there are some pieces, such as Rachmaninoff’s later works and Stravinsky’s compositions, for example, that are still under copyright. The Gershwin family still manages to rake in quite a bit of royalties on George Gershwin’s 1924 Rhapsody in Blue. United Airlines pays them some $500,000 a year in royalties. However, other scores are freely downloadable and be downloaded right onto one’s own iPad. Additionally, the Mozarteum, that worldwide centre of Mozart studies headquarted in Salzburg, has put the entire Neue Mozart Ausgabe (New Mozart Edition) on-line.
However, this does not cover scholarly editions, such as Jonathan Del Mar’s new edition of Beethoven’s symphonies. Nor would one expect to find the National Edition of the works of Fryderyk Chopin on-line for free. This edition, put out by Polskie Wydnawnictwo Muzyczne, is required to be used by all contestants in the Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw. Older editions, whose copyrights have long expired, can be downloaded.
The Korean pianist Son Yeol-eum, second place winner of the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow, recently surprised many by using her iPad to provide the score for one of her encore pieces. I think that e-publishing is something that all music publishers should look into, as using an iPad is a bit more convenient than using a score. One can carry a lot of scores on it and not have to lug around numbers of books. The Chinese pianist Lang Lang recently played an encore on an iPad. You can read more about how Son Yeol-eum uses her iPad by clicking here.
In other digital related news, the British pianist Stephen Hough has written on his love for his digital piano. While it doesn’t replace a real piano, it’s still a very useful tool according to Hough. You can read about that on his blog by clicking here.