Last week, I spoke with an editor from the International Science Grid This Week about our research in laptop orchestras. She was particularly interested in our work with computational grid frameworks like SAGA in support of laptop orchestra performances. Our software, GRid ENabled Deployment for Laptop orchestras (GRENDL), has received some interesting notice, both at recent SIGGRAPH and SEAMUS conferences. But this is our first notice in the press on the subject.
I remember when this project first came online. It reminded me of Dover scores, a collection of low-cost reprints of classical piano, orchestra and string quartet music. What Dover did was find old music editions that were out of copyright, scan them, and reprint them in a collected fashion. Everyone knew that these were not “critical” editions, and they didn’t include parts for orchestral pieces. But having large full size scores of all the Beethoven symphonies, or Mozart Piano Concertos, or string quartets, or Debussy orchestral music for a nominal cost was sheer joy to a young composer like me.
The IMSL is not much different from this, except it’s broader and user-driven. The purpose of copyright is to protect the rights of the composer and publisher. But when music is out-of-copyright, it should be open and available to whomever, wherever. I just don’t see this as being so different than what Dover started doing 30+ years ago.
We have two faculty opportunities in the AVATAR Initiative in Digital Media, one in computer graphics, and the other in digital art & design. Please feel free to pass this along to your colleagues and collaborators.