General Background 1



With MOODS activity, the partners intend to exploit a strongly innovative idea: automating and managing the large information used by orchestras during rehearsals and public performance of concerts (e.g., symphonic music), as well as for operas or ballets.

The amount of information to be managed by orchestras is really huge; a main score is usually comprised of more than 100 B4 pages, and for each musician, or every two, a specific music part is used (usually about 100 musicians are needed for constituting a medium-sized orchestra, and 200 for a large one). In certain cases, also chorus are present with even more than 100 choristers. All this information is consumed in about 30 minutes.

Market Situation

In Europe there exists more than 3000 theaters, 600 orchestras, 20 television networks, 500 schools of music, among these 350 are medium-sized orchestras. All these orchestras use paper versions of main scores and parts for rehearsal and final performances.

Paper versions of main scores and parts are usually manipulated by the director/conductor (before rehearsals) and by musicians (during rehearsals for preparing the final performance) for modifying and/or adding interpretation comments (by using jargon symbols of each instrument, for example see {LIOOMANUALE95}, {MSLIOOMANUALE96}, and {LIOOEVOLUTION96}). The modifications are usually very heavy and time consuming for preparing operas and ballets, while for classical music lighter changes are introduced. Simple modifications consist in adding interpretation/execution symbols (position of fingers, arc up, arc down, mute on/off, etc.) or modifying other figures (ties, slurs, measure, etc.) {LIOOANALISI95}. Heavy modifications can also consist in moving score parts, adding new portions of score, arranging the music for different instruments, etc.

When the same paper version of a music score is used by different musicians, old modifications are deleted on the paper (if possible) and new modifications are made on the same scores. This is due to the fact that the cost of buying a new paper version is too high for the theater; hence, it is very often that main scores and parts are rent by the theater from the publishers paying in this way also the Copyrights. Modifying scores, even by using a pencil, causes the deterioration of paper versions of music scores (some of these are also very antique), others have interpretation notes of very famous authors and directors. Thus, some of these modified versions are very precious (technically and economically as discussed in the sequel), but have to be frequently returned to the publishers.

There exists in the market several professional programs for editing music by using a computer: Score, Sibelius, Finale, Encore, Graphire Music Press, etc. Many other non-professional editors for music are also available, but these are mainly based on executing music by means of a MIDI interface: Darms, Csound, QuickScore, CUbase, Cakewalk Express, Lime, MasterScore, MusicShop, Hightingate, Music Manuscript, Music Time, Notator, Overture, etc.

It should be noted that, in recent years, publishers are more interested in using professional editors, such as Finale, Score, Sibelius. Since 1991 their adoption has led to the computer-based production of many scores. On the other hand, due to the constant evolution of music editors and to the fact that up to now there only exists a market for paper versions of scores, the electronic versions of scores are only present in publishers' archives (sometimes they appear in some multimedia CDs).

According to our market analysis, performed by interviewing publishers, conductors, archivists, teachers in schools, and musicians, and by performing direct experiments, none of the professional editors in the market is completely satisfactory:

These are the reasons for which the DSI has implemented stand-alone lecterns/editors for musicians, LIOO {LIOOMANUALE95} and for directors/archivists, MSLIOO {MSLIOOMANUALE96}.

LIOO and MSLIOO have been considered quite satisfactory as stand alone editors/lecterns for parts and main scores, respectively by important musicians, archivists, etc., as the partners involved in this project: SCALA, RICORDI, SMF and others.

Finally, none of the above mentioned editors/lecterns (including LIOO and MSLIOO) allows at present the connection with other similar editors for implementing a distributed system of synchronized music lecterns and allowing the cooperative editing of the same score.