General Background 2

Current Operational Way

When the modifications are heavy, such as for ballets and operas, they have to be made by using cut and past (paper and glue). Minor modifications are directly decided and made by musicians by using pencil/pen -- e.g., position of fingers, personal interpretation symbols. Important changes are decided by the director and mainly performed by the archivist during the rehearsals (only sometimes before for classical music). As a result, during rehearsals, due to the high number of different scores (at least 30 in a medium-sized orchestra), the musicians as well as other people involved are frequently constrained to wait even hours for the new version of score.

The time spent in waiting for the new version of score is usually 40 % of the total duration of rehearsals. This is an unsuitable cost considering that musicians, dancers, choristers, supernumeraries, etc. are usually paid on the basis of the number of hours spent (for non-stable orchestras, ballets, etc.). For this reason, it is reasonable to assume that with a distributed system of lecterns/editors for music the modifications could be made for all musicians in few seconds saving at least 50 % of time lost, saving thus 20 % of total duration of rehearsals.

Therefore, for evaluating the benefits for the end-users (i.e., orchestras, theaters, etc.) in a more realistic case, it can be assumed that at least 20 % of the time spent by 100 people including musicians, dancers, choristers, supernumeraries, etc., could be saved for each rehearsal. A rehearsal can take typically 6 hours for concerts and 15 days for ballets and operas (6 hours per day). Thus considering a cost of 37.5 ECUs per hour per person with 6 hours per day, then a saving of 20 % leads to save 45 ECUs per days per person. This leads to save 4500 ECUs per concert, and 67500 ECUs per ballet or opera. Considering that a programme of a medium-sized theater comprises in a year at least 5 operas, 3 ballets, and 15 concerts, it could save about 405 KECUs by using a MOODS system. Please note that this value is lower than the final cost of a MOODS system of lecterns for a 100 musicians orchestra.

This guarantees the return of the investment for end-users such as theaters and orchestras in general.

Moreover, according to the mechanism of score renting, the modifications are not saved even when they are performed by very famous directors/conductors, thus loosing precious information for these professionals. This produces a lot of work for the directors and the soloists which have to remake their usual modifications on the scores of every theater in which they give the performance. The cost of these people is very high and difficult to be evaluated; they are usually paid per performance with a forfeit. For this reason, they are strongly interested in adopting a mechanism/tool to reduce/simplify their work. MOODS can avoid the problems of remaking modifications.

From the point of view of publishers, it should be noted that each director, in each specific theater, executes a different version of the same piece of music by adopting a different set of personal modifications which define the ``interpretation''. These specific versions are presently not available for the market and could open a possible new market for distributing main scores and parts of each specific performance as it presently happens for audio CDs of classical music. Moreover, due to presence of modifications several versions of the same main scores and parts are present in the archives of theaters. Presently, publishers let scores to theaters; in the future, they could let the electronic versions and the system of lecterns could maintain trace of the exploitation of each score and part for accounting the copyrights that the theater must pay to the publisher (see project CITED of EC). Publishers have also interest in MOODS for editing in parallel scores of music, thus reducing the time to make a new edition of a score.

The mechanisms for maintaining all specific version of the scores are strongly relevant for schools of music. These have a strong interest in discussing with students different interpretations of the same score, to this end it is very useful to have fully annotated main scores and parts of important directors and soloists. On the contrary, with a MOODS system, different scores should be available on the lecterns of students in few seconds. Several schools of music have also large orchestras.

Actual Orchestra

Also the musicians are interested in using a MOODS system for saving their specific annotations and interpretation symbols without replicating on the scores of the theater their personal modifications. In addition, during the actual public performance some musicians are usually in trouble for turning pages fast, since both hands are needed to play their instruments. These problems are even greater for the presence of jumps to labeled points for refrains. In critical conditions, the page turning must be performed within the execution of a measure, in less than 1 second. Musicians frequently memorize the score in these critical points, but they are human beings! This problem is evident for individual pianists who usually need help for page turning. This need has been noted by Roland/Sony which in the past tried to produce an electronic piano incorporating a very small display as a soloist lectern, showing only a small part of the score under execution. Thus, it cannot be considered an electronic lectern. As far we know, no other patent about electronic lectern exists other than that by ELSEL (partner of this project). The mechanism studied for turning pages is described later.

In general, during the rehearsals or the preparative actions there exists the need of recovering scores contained in the theater archives in real-time. The recovering of scores is usually made for extracting score pieces or for comparing the work under modification with those of other directors/conductors who have prepared the same opera/ballet in the same theater in the past, for example to look for a suitable (modifiable) version of scores. Please note that an archive of a medium-sized theater contains more than 10,000 scores (Teatro alla Scala of Milan, one of the project partners, has an archive with more than 90,000 scores).