Archive for February, 2010

Leonardo De Lorenzo (1875-1962), was an Italian born flutist, and the first flute instructor at the Eastman School of Music. De Lorenzo began playing the flute at a young age, but spent several years in the Italian military before completing his formal education at the conservatory in Naples. In 1910, he came to America as the principal flutist for the New York Philharmonic. He subsequently played with the Minneapolis Symphony and Los Angeles Symphony before landing in Rochester as a member of the Eastman Theatre Orchestra. In 1924, the Eastman School of Music added orchestral instrument programs, and took in De Lorenzo and other ETO members as the first instructors.

After his retirement in 1935, De Lorenzo focused on his own writings and compositions, publishing his book, My Complete Story of the Flute, in 1951.

Download his Six Easy Pieces for flute and piano


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Digital Score Repair at Sibley

Musical scores take more abuse than any other printed material that I know of. Musicians push scores flat on their stands, scribble on them with indelible inks, and turn their pages with spastic and graceless motions (while they’re concentrating on other, more controlled and graceful motions). These are terrible problems for us digitizers, and here at Sibley are compounded by the fact that all of the scores we’re working with are at least 90 years old, and printed on acidic paper, which has invariably become very brittle. In the interest of time, it is almost always better to try and repair a physical score, and then scan it. The following example is of a score that was beyond our capacity to repair physically, and so I’ve taken the scan and tweaked it with Photoshop.

  • We do our scanning with Acrobat 9 Pro. Scores are done in black and white, and we adjust the threshold of every scan to adjust for balance. For extreme cases like the above score, I use Photoshop to hide the damage. This page was ripped through, and taped on each side with some sort of cellophane tape, probably in the 50’s. Because it was taped on both sides, the glue trapped inside has liquified, and made the paper completely transparent, which is why the print shows up from the opposite side.

  • Photoshop CS4 has a really great black and white setting, (Image/Adjustments/Black & White…..) from which you can choose a number of presets. I always go for the ‘Yellow Filter’ since all of our pages are yellowed over time, and then max out the ‘yellows’ slider on that. You can see below how nicely it converts, and the filter window with the setting I typically use.

  • What is left over is the print from the opposite side, and some dark markings from the tape. While it may be possible to finish the job by further adjusting the brightness and contrast, this will often be to the detriment of the rest of the print, which becomes very light, and of the background, which becomes speckled. In order to do a really nice job, I use the cut and paste functions, as well as the eraser, to manually recreate the music that has been damaged. I never draw notes on the page, I just find notes and chords elsewhere on the score and use them as replacements. The picture below shows two lines of repaired music, along with a small window on the bottom left containing the notes I’ve collected for use in the third line.

  • The clean notes in the left window will be moved into the larger window, and the staff lines will be cleaned up/replaced to create a perfectly clean measure.

  • When we do use tape (which is most of the time), we use Filmoplast, made by NESCHEN in Germany. Filmoplast uses a water soluble acrylate adhesive, and a transparent paper, rather than cellophane plastic backing. It also scans really well, becoming almost invisible.

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    We here at Sibley have been scanning public domain scores with reckless abandon since we started in May. We’ve scanned trios, quartets, quintets, sextets, septets, octets, nonets, tentets, eleventets, twelvetets, and a couple of oddball thirteentets. We’ve scanned a great deal of art songs and organ and piano music, and over the next five or six months, you can reasonably expect to see about 2800 duets. (Unless of course we finish them off this week. That’s how crazy we are.)

    I’m writing today to let you know that we’ve reached a real benchmark in our progress. As of yesterday evening, we have scanned and uploaded One Hundred Thousand pages of music. I’m not sure what one hundred thousand pages of music would weigh, or how many square feet that many pages would cover, if used as wallpaper, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that it would take 44.2 days to play (without pause) all of the music we’ve scanned.

    Appropriately, we’ve scheduled a concert to begin at 8pm on August 24th of this year, and to commence on October 3rd at 12:45 am. There will be a short reception following the performance.

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