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Historical Editions

On this page, you may learn about BachScholar's Historical Editions Series, which offers pianists quality reprints of reliable editions from the past, all available through instant PDF downloads. Discover what goes into the making of great sheet music!

The Advantage of Digital Sheet Music

BachScholar produces quality sheet music and Urtexts with a solo piano specialty. All titles are instantly available digitally through optimized PDF files. There are several advantages why pianists, teachers, and students should desire digital PDFs as opposed to traditional "hard-copy" books:

  1. One may purchase just one or two pieces ("singles") out of a large collection rather than having to purchase the entire collection. For example, how many times has a pianist needed the sheet music for just one Chopin Nocturne or Etude, yet must purchase an entire book?
  2. If one does purchase an entire collection that consists of, say, 50 pieces and over 100 pages, like both books of Chopin's etudes, one has the PDF for life. The PDF will not wear out like physical books, and will last for a lifetime. The pianist may then print only the pages desired for whatever piece is being worked on, which eliminates page turns. 
  3. With a PDF, the pianist has the option of viewing the score on a computer or tablet screen and go entirely "paperless." Many pianists nowadays in our digital age prefer this option.      

BachScholar's Historical Editions Series

BachScholar's Historical Editions Series (begun in 2014) intends to supply pianists with excellent and reliable performance editions from the past, all available digitally. Most pianists are familiar with Dover Editions, which publishes reprints of reliable and trusted editions from the past. BachScholar offers pianists a similar service, the main difference being that our Historical Editions are offered exclusively through digital downloads rather than hard-copy books. We believe this is a great service and huge benefit to pianists! Here is the rigorous process we follow in preparing our Historical Editions for pianists' enjoyment of life-long learning:

  1. We search databases and libraries throughout the world for trusted digital editions of piano music from the past. This process can be likened to that of a museum curator who locates new works of art to borrow or purchase.
  2.  Very often, the otherwise good quality digital editions we select, because of age or photocopy imperfections, have spots or smudges and are not aligned properly on the pages. We eliminate all the spots and smudges and optimize each page for perfect alignment.
  3. Photocopies of otherwise good quality digital editions are almost always reduced in size in order to fit onto standard  paper sizes of "letter" (8.5" by 11") or in Europe, "A4". This is because the standard hard-copy music book today and yesteryear is at least a half inch wider and a full inch taller at 9" by 12". 
  4. Most "free" sheet music sites, and even most of the world's most prominent sheet music companies, stop at step #3 and give away or sell shrunk-down sheet music that is poorly formatted and often difficult to read. Digital sheet music on the internet today seems to be at a very low state of cheapness due to the reduced sizes and all the white space that is created by full one-inch margins on either side. Ideally, these margins should be reduced to only about a half inch on either side, thereby expanding the staves by up to a full inch. The result is a much better and easier to read score.
  5. When most free and cheap sheet music sites stop at step #3, thereby selling customers short, BachScholar goes the extra mile to produce beautiful and legible scores. Finally, after optimizing the pages, eliminating smudges, and properly aligning the staff systems, we expand the reduced-sized manuscripts to achieve their intended size as they appeared in the original books (usually by around 105%). This means the pages are filled up with more music and are much easier and enjoyable to read.