Sheet Music

Dear Mr. Friedland,

Do you know of anyplace I can download music from the Internet or
get some music for my daughter? We just bought her a new Buffet
and would like get her some music. We live in Montreal

In Montreal of all places! I know that town well; as a matter of
record I am here as we speak. In any case I want to thank you for
your excellent question, for it raises an important issue of
“sheet music” in the world today, one that I wish to speak a word
about to all those who might wish to own their own music. To
actually have the music itself, and not material that one
downloads, or Xeroxes in some way.

That is easy to do. No problem. But I would like to suggest some
things for your consideration. When I was a student in clarinet at
the New England Conservatory of Music, we all bought our own
music. A Brahms Sonata might cost a couple of dollars, perhaps
less, and that is with the piano part and the alternate viola
part, with a quasi hard cover. That music was for nothing. Similar
bargains appeared for all instruments and for all ensembles. I
think I paid 5.00 for a score and performing parts of the
Hindemith Woodwind Quintet, Edition Schott. Music was so very
cheap, any edition from anywhere in the world. Ten dollars would
buy you a couple of years of clarinet sonatas or chamber music.

Do we know what changed all of that wondrousness?

First, another story: Nadia Boulanger had a reverence for music,
even sheet music. All of her students would wrap all music
extensively in flexible cellophane and tape covers on to the
cellophane. It had to be neat and respectful or else you would
catch holy hell from her. You know, she was right.

Why?

Because there is no music to be purchased without humonguous
amounts of money. A copy of that Brahms Sonata will cost you 15
dollars these days, the Hindemith Quintet with parts, perhaps 30
or 35. It is simply prohibitive … because of Xerox, which has
boosted the price of real music over the top into, well, it is
prohibitive.

So many times I have assigned music, to have someone go and Xerox
the parts, and then the whole group brings in Xeroxed parts, the
WHOLE group, and they are not taped together either. You know what
kind of hassle that makes, and nobody owns any real music. Just
Xerox copies.

Such a terrible tragedy.

Please go down to Twigg Musique on Rue St. Hubert and ask where
you can buy a copy of the complete Klose Methode pour La
Clarinette. That may cost you 20 dollars, perhaps a bit more. Get
the whole thing! It has other exercises in it, and your daughter
will cover it and put her name in it and always have it to keep
and to read again … like she has her new Buffet. Do this for
her, and for published music. Perhaps some time it will reappear.

Most respectfully and sincerely,

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