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#2043151 - 03/05/13 02:10 AM Digital scores? or perhaps not?
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5221
Loc: Europe
To digital or not? That's the question.

www.musica-ferrum.com

Our catalog has some 45 items currently and keeps growing twice a year, with more than 10 scores a time! Most are quite big (70+ pages) and definitely not suitable for digital distribution, but others are piano works of 16 pages in total. Of several works combined in a single collection.

So...

I fear of two things:

1. Piracy. A digital item is extremely easy to be pirated. On the contrary a physical score, of size rather bigger than A4 or letter size, is difficult to even scan successfully.
2. Quality. We have take the best route possible to offer the best possible quality in our scores: size, paper weight, paper color, binding, etc. If we offer digital scores all these lovely pluses will disappear.

Quite a few here have scores from us, so you know of the quality I'm talking about (and being very proud of that).

Still,

I'm willing to try it, but do you think it would work out, or in other words: How many scores do you buy from downloadable stores such as musicnotes.com or other?

Thank you.
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2043373 - 03/05/13 01:26 PM Re: Digital scores? or perhaps not? [Re: Nikolas]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 422
Loc: Vancouver BC
I wouldn't worry about piracy at this stage.

Large size paper maybe more difficult for a home user to scan, but I have not worked in an office that does not have a A0 size copier/scanner, it is just one button away between paper and a PDF file, and just another click to uploaded to the internet.

A digital copy with DRM is actually much more difficult for an average person to crack, especially if you only make them available for tablets. Companies has actually invested millions in DRM systems. There is still ways to copy, but definitely more involved than scanning a piece of paper.

People would pirate if they want to pirate, you can't change it, so don't worry about it. If they managed to circulate one million copies around the world, I probably would thank them, just make sure you have your name there.

A digital copy, in a right form, provides another set of value, like allowing user to resize, put them up horizontally or vertically, and with some external equipment, to have automatic page turning, all with virtually no reproduction cost.

Maybe after having the digital score, someone would love it so much and would be willing to buy the limited edition fancy print version.

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#2043381 - 03/05/13 01:39 PM Re: Digital scores? or perhaps not? [Re: Nikolas]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11439
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I will buy digital if I'm in a hurry to get the music, which does happen sometimes. However, I always prefer to have the original scores because they are much easier to preserve over a period of time. In fact, I will often photocopy music from scores I own and mark up/highlight the photocopies in some cases.

What about offering both?
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2043395 - 03/05/13 02:10 PM Digital scores? or perhaps not? [Re: Nikolas]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
No surprises here, Nikolas - I am a "paper" guy all the way. Purchased in person if at all possible, and "through the mail" as my close second choice. This is as a consumer.

As you know, I am neither a publisher, nor a vendor, but if I were, I would be selling hard-copy only; and for all the reasons you mention. Once one goes digital, one loses control of the SOURCE of the product, and therefore the ability to make changes, to control quality, to limit distribution, to choose one's distributors, to influence pricing, to ensure professional marketing, and (most importantly), to still OWN the original.

Digital is very tempting. It is also very "common" - unlike your products.
Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2043407 - 03/05/13 02:34 PM Re: Digital scores? or perhaps not? [Re: Morodiene]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 422
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
I will buy digital if I'm in a hurry to get the music, which does happen sometimes. However, I always prefer to have the original scores because they are much easier to preserve over a period of time. In fact, I will often photocopy music from scores I own and mark up/highlight the photocopies in some cases.

What about offering both?


Digital is also easy to preserver, say if you buy it from iTune, you can have them on several devices you own. If you lost/changed your device, you can always get them again. Of course as alone Apple is still in business.

You can markup/annotate/highlight your digital copy too.

But I get it, it still doesn't feel the same, doesn't smell the same.

So as you said, offer both.

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#2043412 - 03/05/13 02:44 PM Re: Digital scores? or perhaps not? [Re: LoPresti]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 422
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Once one goes digital, one loses control of the SOURCE of the product, and therefore the ability to make changes, to control quality, to limit distribution, to choose one's distributors, to influence pricing, to ensure professional marketing, and (most importantly), to still OWN the original.


I don't know much about digital music score publishing, so I can't comment on that.

But You don't lose any of these with digital book publishing, at least not with iTune or Google PlayStore or Amazon. You are the owner, and you retain full control.

Originally Posted By: LoPresti

Digital is very tempting. It is also very "common" - unlike your products.
Ed

That is a valid point. You can't buy Louis Vuitton from web stores. If you want to position yourself as LV, then high quality hard copy only.

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#2043523 - 03/05/13 06:52 PM Re: Digital scores? or perhaps not? [Re: Nikolas]
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 833
I think it's more important to have a recorded excerpt for each item in your catalog, and to improve the English of the site.

I don't think digital copies should be your focus.


Edited by Candywoman (03/05/13 06:52 PM)

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#2043668 - 03/06/13 12:10 AM Re: Digital scores? or perhaps not? [Re: Candywoman]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5221
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Candywoman
I think it's more important to have a recorded excerpt for each item in your catalog, and to improve the English of the site.
Ouch! grin

Most of the items in the catalog have either a youtube video or excerpts of the recording. Not absolutely everything, but for example as far as piano items are concerned I think that only 2 solo works do not have recordings... ???

As for the English, if you do have the time I would love to get into further details on what's wrong. Given the fact that there's several American and English composers on board, I'm surprised that there are striking errors, but by all means, as I said...

Quote:
I don't think digital copies should be your focus.
Fair enough, and I'm assuming you're basing this on your comment above. But I'm not sure I agree to that (thus this thread)...


Edited by Nikolas (03/06/13 12:10 AM)
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2043670 - 03/06/13 12:13 AM Re: Digital scores? or perhaps not? [Re: Nikolas]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5221
Loc: Europe
Everyone: Thanks for posting so far...

I would never abandon the hard, physical copies of scores! I'm a physical items man myself! wink So it would either be both, or just the physical score.

I should just note that most items in our catalog are not fit for digital distribution, being either too large, too non accommodating to PDF, etc. Here is PianoWorld, and as such we tend to have in mind piano scores, but a 40 page chamber orchestra work would have no hopes in PDF format I think... Unless it was treated as a study score of sorts... Choral works, on the other hand, would have serious hopes... wink

____________________

I think that part of this discussion is generated because of the lack of distribution channels at the moment for Editions Musica Ferrum. But we're getting there little by little.
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2043699 - 03/06/13 01:19 AM Digital scores? or perhaps not? [Re: The Monkeys]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Once one goes digital, one loses control of the SOURCE of the product, and therefore the ability to make changes, to control quality, to limit distribution, to choose one's distributors, to influence pricing, to ensure professional marketing, and (most importantly), to still OWN the original.


I don't know much about digital music score publishing, so I can't comment on that.

But You don't lose any of these with digital book publishing, at least not with iTune or Google PlayStore or Amazon. You are the owner, and you retain full control.


Well, unless I am missing something else, the mechanics of digital book publishing involve the source information living on a server, and the client device attaching to said server for the reading process. Most of the time, the "source material" never leaves the server. In contrast, music scores are typically downloaded from a server to a client device, and/or printed, thereby DUPLICATING the "source material". And therein lies the difference, and the loss of controls that I mentioned.

Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2043727 - 03/06/13 02:26 AM Re: Digital scores? or perhaps not? [Re: LoPresti]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 422
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: LoPresti

Well, unless I am missing something else, the mechanics of digital book publishing involve the source information living on a server, and the client device attaching to said server for the reading process. Most of the time, the "source material" never leaves the server. In contrast, music scores are typically downloaded from a server to a client device, and/or printed, thereby DUPLICATING the "source material". And therein lies the difference, and the loss of controls that I mentioned.

Ed


With iTune and Amazon, the books are downloaded to the authorized devices, so user can read them off-line on the devices, like your Kindle, iPad or PC. You cannot print them, and they would be useless if you transfer them to another device. They are encrypted, and only works on the authorized devices.

iPad or Kindle might not help Nicolas since tablet display is too small for his work. With Windows 8, you can have 12"+ touch screen, but it would take a while for it to become main stream.

I was thinking of utilizing some music score software, a quick search got me this. The guys on the digital forum might know more about this topic.

Product website: http://www.musicreader.net/

A side note, in US, Amazon ebook sales surpassed printed book sales in 2011, and same happened in UK last year. Also, last year, Amazon's ebook sale up 70% year over year, while printed book sale stays flat.

While printed book will not go away any time soon, like it or not, ebook is already a bigger business than printed book, at least in some part of the world.


Edited by The Monkeys (03/06/13 02:29 AM)

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#2043730 - 03/06/13 02:35 AM Re: Digital scores? or perhaps not? [Re: Nikolas]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5221
Loc: Europe
the monkey:

Key detail for ikindle, and probably most e-books: They use normal text fonts, to create the text. This is how they can zoom in and out "just like that" and are very light to download.

On the contrary as of yet, kindle does NOT have music fonts, and in any case it would be a huge issue to create a music font in conjunction with Finale or sibelius and make them work...

So downloading an encrypted e-book for music score is non doable, unless you use images, in which case it will be a bigger size than what one would expect! frown

Over the summer I've been looking over the information in kindle and unfortunately it doesn't look too inviting for music scores, yet.

So PDF it is, downloadable or not.
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2043834 - 03/06/13 08:55 AM Re: Digital scores? or perhaps not? [Re: Nikolas]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11439
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
What about offering file transfer for larger works? Those would have to be on-demand, of course, but possibly a very good option for someone who prefers to download a score rather than wait for it to show up in the mail.


Edited by Morodiene (03/06/13 08:55 AM)
_________________________
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MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2043865 - 03/06/13 10:48 AM Digital scores? or perhaps not? [Re: The Monkeys]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Well, unless I am missing something else, the mechanics of digital book publishing involve the source information living on a server, and the client device attaching to said server for the reading process.

With iTune and Amazon, the books are downloaded to the authorized devices, so user can read them off-line on the devices . . .

Thank you for the clarification. (Once again, I am demonstrating my distinct lack of knowledge of the modern "publishing" industry.)

Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
A side note, in US, Amazon ebook sales surpassed printed book sales in 2011, and same happened in UK last year. Also, last year, Amazon's ebook sale up 70% year over year, while printed book sale stays flat.

So . . . Amazon - a web-based entity - is selling more web-based books than hard copy. Now, there is a REAL SURPRIZE! That is sort of like reporting that posts on The Piano World Forum, having to do with pianos, has far exceeded posts concerning guitars - and for the last five years in a row!

Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2043877 - 03/06/13 11:20 AM Re: Digital scores? or perhaps not? [Re: LoPresti]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5422
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
A side note, in US, Amazon ebook sales surpassed printed book sales in 2011, and same happened in UK last year. Also, last year, Amazon's ebook sale up 70% year over year, while printed book sale stays flat.

So . . . Amazon - a web-based entity - is selling more web-based books than hard copy. Now, there is a REAL SURPRIZE! That is sort of like reporting that posts on The Piano World Forum, having to do with pianos, has far exceeded posts concerning guitars - and for the last five years in a row!

Ed

Ed--

I don't like the tone of that last couple of sentences. Your post sounded disrespectful toward The Monkeys.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2043921 - 03/06/13 12:59 PM Re: Digital scores? or perhaps not? [Re: AZNpiano]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11439
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
A side note, in US, Amazon ebook sales surpassed printed book sales in 2011, and same happened in UK last year. Also, last year, Amazon's ebook sale up 70% year over year, while printed book sale stays flat.

So . . . Amazon - a web-based entity - is selling more web-based books than hard copy. Now, there is a REAL SURPRIZE! That is sort of like reporting that posts on The Piano World Forum, having to do with pianos, has far exceeded posts concerning guitars - and for the last five years in a row!

Ed

Ed--

I don't like the tone of that last couple of sentences. Your post sounded disrespectful toward The Monkeys.


I agree, and it's clear that The Monkeys was saying that Amazon, who started out selling printed books, is now selling much more copies in digital format as opposed to their printed sales. What is so obvious about that? You act as though Amazon was only known for its digital sales, like Piano Forum is known for piano topics and not guitar. That is not a good analogy, and only serves to put down The Monkeys. I don't know what the reason for the sarcasm is, but try to keep things respectful here.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2045008 - 03/08/13 11:04 AM Re: Digital scores? or perhaps not? [Re: Nikolas]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5221
Loc: Europe
Okie...

This thread slipped me for a few days. Sorry about that.

I don't think that Ed was disrespectful, just trying to be a tiny bit sarcastic and funny, but didn't come across like that really.

Now,

I will quote a post from 'the journey' cause I'm fairly sure he should've posted it here, yet he posted it in the 'dead beats' thread instead..!

Originally Posted By: theJourney
For me, digital=free (e.g. imslp.org) and paper=quality (e.g. Henle and your editions, such as the excellent "Piano Stories for Piano 4 Hands" by Nikolas Sideris).

There are already distributors that specialize in digital formats and that have their own sales, distribution, display and protection schemes worked out, such as musicnotes.com (and probably others that specialize in classical). You might work with one of them as distributors on the digital front and keep concentrating on what you do very well now without having to make those investments.


Thanks for the kind words on my work! ^_^

I think that part of the reason in my hesitation on going digital (partly. I'd never stop printing in real paper! Just love the yellow-ish colour too much), is that I'm still acting more like an artist rather than an entrepreneur! I love each work in our catalog too much, to get it into something I consider of less quality! And I'm certain it will be of less quality, if it's digital (for the reasons already mentioned).

I think though, that the best course of action is this:

1. Find among the composers in EMF, those who wouldn't mind going digital, as well as physical.
2. Get the right format (paper size, etc, which is always a question for me: US uses 'letter size paper', while Europe uses 'A4 size paper'. If I was to do digital, I'd offer both layouts...), and contact sheetmusicplus, jwpeppers, etc... Probably not musicnotes.com
3. Find a small selection of scores that could benefit from that. Sketch Music, Piano Stories, Scott millers Seven Diverse Prelude, and new an upcoming release of Ben Crosland (who is part of EMF now! laugh YAY :D), etc... Bigger scores (Perniciosus for example), wouldn't benefit too much from this I think, since they are larger works that require so much time to study that in any case waiting for a week to get the scores should be no problem. Unlike smaller, educational material that one could use right the next hour for a new lesson or something...

Quick note: I'm almost done with setting up a new distribution channel with amazon.com. So distribution for the US should be handled by them in a little while! wink
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2045013 - 03/08/13 11:07 AM Re: Digital scores? or perhaps not? [Re: Nikolas]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5221
Loc: Europe
Extra note that needs extra attention:

The use of a piano/music score is hugely different than that of a normal book. A normal book is used in the car (not while driving), the plane, the bed, the sofa, anywhere... The music score is used in very specific ways, and size is very important (that's why there are so many rules in regards to staff size, paper size, etc... I mean MOLA doesn't even allow for smaller size orchestral parts, let alone ipads! :D).

What I'm confident of: A piano score (for example) even if downloaded WILL be printed and bind. At least for 90% of the instances. I have a student who has his digital piano in front of his screen: Well PDFs do NOT scroll down as easily, previewing is nightmare and in general it's a bugger to work with. I know about the automatic pedal page turner thingy, but still...
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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