As a beginner piano player who has a desire for a completely digital library of sheet music, I have benefited greatly from the process of copying music into notation software. Rather than simply scanning paper books or relying on the various providers for digital copies, creating my own engravings allows complete control over the editing and styling for the output documents. Re-engraving music has helped me to develop my skills in reading music, learning vocabulary, understanding music theory and the structure of pieces, as well as familiarizing myself with different composers.

IMSLP is a great resource as well, but not a source for clean copies.

I’m not academic enough to know when urtext editions (exactly like the originals from the composer) make more sense compared to ones with scholarly editorial decisions given historical context or even autographed revisions from composers themselves. Beyond that, some editors take a ton of liberty with interpretive markings and expression, although it sounds like that practice is falling out of favor. I’m honestly surprised how much change can be found between editions. Translations for titles and other text isn’t straightforward either.

It gets even tricker when we’re talking about more modern music and individual arrangements instead of classics.

What goals do I have for the editions I create? I mostly want nice resources for beginners like myself.

Readability, typography matters…historically drawn to LaTeX, engraved a lot in LilyPond, eventually invested in Dorico. While I find Musicnotes to be a great resource to support, their sheet music output has a lot of room for improvement in the legibility department.

House Style for Consistency

Modern Notation Practices (urtext is not the primary goal?),

I do wish there were a good mechanism for community collaboration and feedback. That could exist in a LilyPond workflow published to GitHub (similar to what the Mutopia Project did), but I had too many small manual tweaks where continuing its use didn’t seem like the best path forward. Will have to think about that.

Further Reading