Aspects of Reception History
Chapter 3. Editions of Chopin’s works: the historical perspective
77 Chapter 3 Editions of Chopin’s works: the historical perspective 1. Legal and economic context of music editing in the nineteenth century 1.1 Quantitative context: circulation One of the major issues in nineteenth-century musical editions studies is eco- nomics� There are no extensive studies on the circulation of those editions nor on the scale of benefits they could offer publishers and composers� This state of affairs stems largely from a lack of extant documentation (accounting books of publishing houses, stock registers of printers, and so forth)� Victoria Cooper writes: Almost completely unexplored, however, is the publisher’s role in the dissemination of the work� How have publishers struck a balance between their perception of the market and the actual demand? To appreciate such financial stargazing, we must locate and analyse the business documents that chronicle a firm’s practices� In the absence of such records, publishers are judged by the insufficient data supplied by correspondence and catalogue advertisements� The lack of primary source material has critically limited studies of music publishers and their relationship to society� Without quantitative data, it is almost impossible to gauge either a publisher’s anticipation of the demand for a particular work or the reality of the demand� Such records are quite rare, and have not often been evaluated in financial terms�95 Newest research allows for an approximation of the European market of musi- cal editions� According to an article published in May 1839 in the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, 2588 musical works were published in Germany during...
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