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Table of Contents

I hope that Settling Scores is exactly what it claims to be above.  I am defining “Musical text broadly:  vagaries of notations, idiosyncracies of editions, hiccups in transmission, nuggets from critical reports, &c.   For its first three years, I posted on a schedule.  As I found that life sometimes didn’t allow me the time I needed to write what I wanted to write, I removed the deadline after post 44.  New posts will appear sporadically.  Below is a list of all the posts, with some indication of the issue (but not necessarily the repertoire) under consideration.  For an index of tags, see the bottom of this page.

1.       The weight of tradition  (1 August 2016)
An introduction to what this blog concerns:  the constant accumulation of musical texts.

2.       Risky business  (15 August 2016)
Whose authority supersedes the composer’s?

3.       Handel with care  (1 September 2016)
Sources for Handel’s Messiah are a test case in not knowing what you’re getting on the IMSLP.

4.      Moving targets, Episode #1  (15 September 2016)
Silent changes to the overture to Candide in print.

5.       What’s the best edition of X?  (1 October 2016)
Upon what are our opinions about editions based?

Announcing a newly discovered composition by William Walton.

6.       ex silentio  (15 October 2016)
Haydn’s Symphony 79 as a battleground in a minor editorial skirmish.

7.       On second thought   (1 November 2016)
An All Saints Day post considering Vaughan Williams’s changes to his hymntune SINE NOMINE.

8.       The right tools for the job   (15 November 2016)
Trumpets or cornets?  And why does it make a difference?

9.       Q & A, but few answers  (1 December 2016)   [Bach-Jahrgang #1]
Bach couldn’t decide about the different versions of his Canonic Variations, so why should we?

10.   Xmas speedbumps  (15 December 2016)
A nineteenth-century transcription error of a fourteenth-century carol lingers to this day.

11.   Dart’s Brandenburgs  (1 January 2017)  [Bach-Jahrgang #2]
When does the zeal for alternate readings go too far?

12.   Recorded history  (15 January 2017)
What is the value of a recording as a source in a critical edition?

13.  The best and worst of amateurism  (1 February 2017)  [Bach-Jahrgang #3]
A meticulous transcription of Glenn Gould’s 1981 performance of the Goldbergs paired with... what, exactly?

14.  “Transport of Pleasure”  (14 February 2017)
A racy text for one of Haydn’s English Canzonettas was withdrawn so effectively that it didn't even make it into the new critical edition.

15.  A Bach family play list (1 March 2017)   [Bach-Jahrgang #4]
A source familiar to children contained some surprises, once I stopped to look.

16.  Forty years ago in a galaxy far, far away  (15 March 2017)
A soundtrack release reveals variant readings in an iconic score.

17.  Just kidding?  (1 April 2017)  [Bach-Jahrgang #5]
Examining the plausibility of Bachs fabled contrapuntal prowess.

18.  Moving targets, Episode #2  (15 April 2017)
Signs of laziness bred by music notation software.

19.  (im)posing  (1 May 2017)  [Bach-Jahrgang #6]
A celebrated Bach interpreter tries to have her cake and eat it too.

20.  The chord that should get lost  (15 May 2017)
You’ve heard of The Lost Chord?  Heres one that should be, plus an inside glimpse of an editorial disagreement.

21.  Moving targets, Episode #3  (1 June 2017)  [Bach-Jahrgang #7]
Who sets the finish line for your Bach marathon?  The borders of the complete organ works have been shifting for a long time.

22.  Sourcing nostalgia  (15 June 2017)
A fascinating new compendium of the music the nineteenth-century American frontier, but does the volumes clean presentation compromise its usefulness?

23.  Tidbits at the first milepost (1 July 2017)  [Bach-Jahrgang #8]
A Bach cantata pilgrimage starts with just a single step, but theres already an array of textual rabbit trails to tempt one from the way.

24.  Against the muddy tide  (15 July 2017)
Celebrating the tercentenary of the first documented performance of HandelWater Music... but is it one work or three?

25.  [fermata]  (1 August 2017)
As the blog turns one year old, a breather is necessary:  still plenty to say, but a new job compels me to slow down a bit.

26.  Moving targets, Episode #4  (15 September 2017)  
Shouldnt Dover Publications tell us what theyre reprinting?

27.  Let the rain pitter-patter  (1 November 2017) [Bach-Jahrgang #9]
How my aversion to getting wet led to an obsession that changed my professional trajectory for good.

28.  The philological wading pool  (15 December 2017)
An idea about teaching students to see textual details.

29.  Fine print  (1 February 2018) [Bach-Jahrgang #10]
Speculating about a pattern of missing notes in Bach sources.

30.  Double-crossed?  (15 March 2018)
The autograph score of Mozarts Così fan tutte reveals that he wrestled with crucial aspects of the plot even as the music was being written.

31.  Einmal anders  (1 May 2018) [Bach-Jahrgang #11]
Bachs recycling efforts are remarkable because they often leave no suspicion of an original.

32.  Père et fils (or, “WTF-Horn?!?”)  (1 June 2018)
I thought I was after a rogue horn player, but I turned up an hommage from one generation to another.

33.  Off the deep end  (1 July 2018)  [Bach-Jahrgang #12]
Victor Borge used to reach for notes that werent there.  According to the sources, it looks as if Bach sometimes did too.

34.  So teach us to number our bars  (1 August 2018)
Are bar numbers ever more than merely practical?  I wouldnt have thought so, but I was wrong.

35.  Out of order  (1 September 2018)
Sometimes composers reorder material after it is already on the page.  The process leaves a messy but interesting trail.

36.  What shall we tell the students?  (1 October 2018)
When is a textual issue a pertinent teaching topic, and when is it (just?) a digression?

37.  Corroborative detail  (1 November 2018)
Good ideas sometimes occur in performance, prompting emendations in the score, even when it is only a tiny detail.

38.  Don’t fix it  (1 December 2018)
An example of early music that survives intact in the contemporary holiday repertoire.  Almost.

39.  standardize/compromise (1 January 2019)
Starting off a new year with a post about fireworks... and with some doubts about the validity of the uniform application of an editions policies across a composer's oeuvre.

40.  gestation (1 February 2019)
Awaiting delivery, I review the developmental stages of my latest.

41.  audacity (1 March 2019)
Examining some attempts to realize and notate Handels rock-star virtuosity.

42.  yet theres method int (1 April 2019)
When considering an obscure source complicates all the familiar ones.

43.  seen and not heard (1 May 2019)
On teaching history, when it is repeating itself before our eyes.

44.  Bedtime stories  (1 June 2019)
When I found that I myself am complicit in all sorts of textual changes, suddenly they seemed eminently justifiable.  And they all lived happily ever after.

EXTRA   In memoriam S. Craggs  (27 August 2019)
A tribute to a great bibliographer and cataloguer.

EXTRA   appreciating Linda Shaver-Gleason (8 December 2019)
My little tribute to the great public musicologist who encouraged me when I needed it.

45.  Adeste infideles (24 December 2019)
Bah!  Humbug!  A curmudgeonly post about textual infidelity in performances of holiday favorites, plus an early version of a famous descant.

46.  Look ere ye leape (29 February 2020)
Examining some reasons that different editions of the same work may have one bar too many (or too few).

47.  X marks the spot(s) (1 May 2020)
Unearthing a project from long ago, I recall evidence hidden in the binding of a Mozart manuscript that suggests a new theory about the works origins.

48.  Reindeer Paws:  rough places made plain (15 December 2020)
The modification of texts at the hands of users...  only sometimes a bad thing?

49.  The sound of (editorial) silence (15 December 2021)
Misreading a smudge in Bach; a dispute over the text underlay in the Hallelujah Chorus; an egregious editorial over-step; and dealing with the n-word in a scholarly edition.

50.  That ain’t the way I heerd it  (15 February 2022)
Do my ears deceive me?  All the time, but only some of the time do I find out about it.

51.  Cutting out the middleman?  (1 August 2022)
Is bypassing the editor in anyones interest?  I doubt it.

52.  Appalachian trail  (20 December 2022)
Sometimes maybe an artist has a legitimate aesthetic reason to mislead.  But is that okay?

Changes of formator even just words to explain musiclead to revealing issues.

54.  So easily assimilated  (21 December 2023)
Another holiday music post:  a carol from the old country is squeezed into conformity, maybe with the best intentions.  Or maybe not.