Dover Scores Add Choral and Orchestral Masterworks to Music Library

A Dover Edition Score

The Music Library recently acquired 201 printed study scores published by Dover Publications, Inc. The collection includes choral and orchestral pieces long considered masterworks of Western music, presented in full score from authoritative editions. The collection will assist music faculty in evaluating and selecting repertoire for performance and music appreciation coursework, and will provide direct access to a cornerstone of the musical canon for students studying musicology, composition and performance.

For many years, Dover Publications has supplied libraries and general consumers with high-quality, cost-efficient editions of musical works in the public domain. Often referred to as “thrift” editions due to their relatively low prices, these scores are reprints of time-honored European editions, including those from eminent music publishers Brietkopf & Hartel, Schott and Universal.

Although designed primarily for study and consultation, Dover scores can also be useful in rehearsal and performance settings. At the end of the Spring term, the Music Department will host a semi-staged version of the opera Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell in collaboration with the Theater Department.  Adjunct faculty member Radmila Repczynski, the rehearsal pianist for the performance, recently discovered a full score of Dido and Aeneas among the collection of new Dover volumes. She enjoyed comparing the Dover score with the King’s Edition, which will be used for the Academy’s production, noting the differences in orchestration in particular. “The King’s Edition is all in open score, which means that it contains no keyboard part that corresponds with the orchestral accompaniment,“ Repczynski explained. “The Dover edition contains a piano reduction, with the instrumental parts are essentially arranged for piano. Having this piano part available makes rehearsing with singers much easier for me.”  Repczynski added that because no written manuscript of Purcell’s original score for Dido and Aeneas has ever been located, a number of editions of the work have appeared in print over the years. First published in 1915 by British publisher Novello, the Dover edition of Dido and Aeneas is has remained a popular choice among conductors and performers due to its adaptability.

Whether comparing different editions of a work or discovering it for the first time, faculty and students will find that Dover scores offer an accessible and dependable framework for musical analysis.