Artistic Score Engraving — August 2022 Newsletter

Dear all,

A warm welcome to this August 2022 edition of the Artistic Score Engraving newsletter from Belgrade, Serbia! I hope you are all having a great time wherever you are in the world and that you are ready for a snow-slide of musical news. We reached Belgrade on the 5th of July, with a 4-hour delay due to a mighty flood that blocked most flights between Central Europe and the Balkans. The first couple of weeks were refreshing as temperatures never rose beyond 30 °C, and it was so pleasantly windy that it quickly made me forget the sufferings felt in my hometown, Saluzzo. In the last few days we passed 40 °C several times, but, luckily, the sheer amount of green in this city made it way more manageable. There are a few big forests around the city, and there is no avenue in it that is not lined up with big old trees.

The sun is dawning around 5am here, and setting around 8pm, making it the best place for me to work during summer. I usually get up with the sun, or a bit later, around 6am, work a bit, then have breakfast, then work again until lunch, which here is at 2pm. In the socialist times, here, people used to work from 7am to 3pm, then go home, have lunch around 4pm, and still have plenty of time for family or leisure activities. Thanks to globalisation and to capitalism, that is no longer the case. Inflation is powerful here, as I am sure it is with you as well, and social inequalities are much more evident here than in Italy.

Now, let’s talk music!

What have I been up to?

For the first 20 days of July I have had zero paid assignments, which is worrying from one side, and a blessing from the other. While I could not go on like that forever, being able to work just on things I wanted to do, without any external influence, has been refreshing.

I have gotten back in touch with an old friend and colleague to realise a new edition on Piatti, published a new instalment of the Dotzauer project, and so much more. In the last few days I resumed working on some scores for HNE Rights and on a challenging new project: setting four poems by Emily Dickinson in music. I am not composing this, rather assisting a British composer who lives in Georgia (Eastern Europe), and this is a fascinating new turn for my job. Until now, I was either a) getting an already typeset Sibelius file to work on or b) get a finished and quite clean manuscript to transfer into Sibelius, no other option. Now, I am actively participating in the creation process, and it is something I am absolutely loving! Thanks to the flows capabilities of Dorico, we are creating separate sketches of the different sections of the songs, setting creativity free. We are using a mix of Musescore, Dorico, Excel, video, WeChat, and this is proving both challenging and inspiring! I will let you know how this goes as soon as I can share something.

New Sibelius template: Oboe fingering

After the huge work on the Clarinet fingering template, which you can find here, I have now started a new template covering Oboe fingerings. The Clarinet template counted 1648 symbols and I can tell you that this new one will contain even more! Such a complex instrument the oboe is, I could have never imagined. For this template, I have been forced to use Adobe Illustrator to manually draw the necessary symbols for the different embouchures and reed positions. It will be a long ride but, today, I am already releasing a free version of it for you to try out. Talking with my esteemed colleague Philip Rothman of Scoring Notes, he noticed how I decided to use the Plantin Pro MT font for the clarinet template, which is not a freely available font. He suggested me to change it to Times New Roman, which I just don’t like for music, but is also the most supported font out there. So, for the free version, which includes all diatonic fingerings, I have created a Times New Roman version for you to try out. You can download it from here FREE.

Please let me know what you think of it, as there is no README file yet.

Here is an image of what you can expect from the final product:

Dotzauer Project: a new edition & plans

July 27 has marked the publishing of the 3rd edition of the Dotzauer Project. This time it was the turn of the Twelve Original Pieces for Two Cellos, Op. 52. In Dotzauer’s plan, this ought to be the FIRST BOOK in a five-book series, yet I have decided to publish it in third position. Why so? Well, simple: in my process of typesetting all the 300+ duets by Dotzauer, I have ordered them in ascending difficulty. That has brought me to plan their publishing in the following order: Op. 58, 159, 52, 156, and 63. I am overjoyed to tell you that all notes of the remaining two books have already been typeset, so the next stage of the work can begin. Here’s the plan:

  • Op. 156: since I only recently got hold onto the manuscript, the first version to realise will be the one by Carl Hüllweck, followed by the one by Johannes Klingenberg, and, finally, by the Urtext. This will be another great endeavour, especially if, like I have done for Op. 52 & 159, I will take the time to list all differences between versions. Sincerely, even if no one will buy this, it will be a great addition to my pedagogical array, and a unique work in any case.
  • Op. 63: the same process will repeat, just this time, like for Op. 52, without Hüllweck’s version. While that is an interesting addition, I do not find it vital to provide the best musical message. The source is fundamental, and Klingenberg’s rendition is very clean and useful.
  • Revision of Op. 58: as we near 10 copies sold of this, I will add Klingenberg’s version to it as a bonus and upgrade everyone’s purchase to Collector’s Edition level for free. Moreover, I will also add the version published by French publisher Janet & Cotelle. This has been sent to me by Münster Music Library thinking it was Op. 52. Indeed, on the cover, it stated “Op. 52, Livre II”. Upon opening it, it was clear that the “52” was wrong, and that what was inside was actually Op. 58. I will see whether this has enough changes to warrant another version by itself, or if a simple text document will be enough.
  • Revision of Op. 159: I have finally been able to find a copy of the first edition, at an incredibly steep price, about EUR 2,50 per page. I had no choice but to pay for it, as they were the only library holding it in the world. This will result in a complete restructuring of the edition. The base purchasing option will become the Urtext one, in either parts or score, while the Collector’s Edition will contain Hüllweck’s and Klingenberg’s versions. Anyone who purchases it by then will be upgraded to the Collector’s Edition at no extra charge.

At the moment of writing this, more than 100 extra duets have already been typeset and are waiting publication. I would like to dedicate all my day to it, but sadly, I can’t. I also don’t expect three editions by Dotzauer to support my living, but I hope that when I will get to 100 published editions, things will noticeably change. Presently, I have 26 editions in my catalogue, plus 2 Sibelius Templates, and 1 Notational Tool.

Opus 52 has been a wonderful run, as I have learned immensely in InDesign and Illustrator while working on it. If you already subscribe to my mailing list, you will receive the 11th piece—a fugue in C minor—free; if you don’t, please consider doing so by clicking here and inserting your e-mail address. I will not use it for anything else. I have also published a deep-dive article, which is an expanded version of the Editorial Notes found at the start of the edition, and a promotional video where you can see and hear the 11th piece.

Here below you can see the subject of the fugue from No. 8 in G minor, possibly my favourite one:

I hope to have raised your interest in it, and that you will want to at least consider looking at its publishing page here. Stay tuned to know how this project progresses!

A friendship from a glorious past

You most probably don’t know, but between 2010 and 2015 I have been the Artistic Director of the Cappa Festival in Saluzzo, Italy. What is the Cappa Festival, you may ask? Well, Gioffredo Cappa (1652–1717) was a great luthier who built incredible instruments, especially cellos and violins, who was born, lived most of his life, and died in my hometown, Saluzzo. Like most of the people from my town, e.g., Giovanni Battista Bodoni, the typographer, he had to move away from it to find any success. He went to Torino, where he founded a Violin Academy and opened a violinmaking workshop.

It was a day of March in 2010, and I was attending my first year as a Bachelor student in Sion, Switzerland, in the class of professor Marcio Carneiro. In the Eglise des Jesuites, just in front of the Music Academy building, a concert was scheduled for that evening, featuring the Wanderer Trio—I’m sure you all know them, but in case you don’t, check here—. The cellist, Raphael Pidoux, was—and still is—playing a cello built by Gioffredo Cappa in Saluzzo. As soon as I read that detail in the programme notes I knew I had to do something about it so, after the concert, I went to the dressing rooms, approached Mr. Pidoux and, in almost impeccable French, said:

Bonsoir! Je viens de Saluzzo!

I will never forget the light in his eyes! He blocked all of us and said:

You are coming to dinner with us!

It was a lovely evening, we exchanged contacts and, from then, everything started.

The ghost of Festivals past

The first edition of the Cappa Festival happened in August 2010, when—I still cannot believe it truly happened—we played in duo together! Yes, that’s right: a total nobody like me played in duo with Raphaël Pidoux! We played David Popper’s Suite for 2 cellos, Op. 16. The point is, our duo performance came at the end of his solo concert where he played, in this order: Kodaly Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 8, J. S. Bach Suite No. 5 in C minor, and Gaspar Cassadò Suite for Solo Cello. After 1h30m of solo concert, we played the 25m-long Suite for 2 cellos! It was an unforgettable experience!

During the next four years I would have kept organising this festival, with my strengths alone, moderate to non-existent financial support, and a lot of political opposition from my town. Since Saluzzo is known for its Scuola di Alto Perfezionamento Musicale, and I will say nothing else about it, anything you do that doesn’t directly involve them is considered competition by the city council and subtly opposed in every mean possible. That’s why I turned to private businesses to sponsor and host the different events. The people’s response to this was just astonishing, with small businesses queueing to offer even 50 EUR to have their name on the concert programmes. This kind of sponsorship is possibly common in the United States of America, but believe me, in Europe, and especially in Italy, that just doesn’t exist.

The goal of the festival was simple: bring as many “Cappa players” to Saluzzo as possible, and make them play together. The 2011 edition brought Jane Salmon from the Schubert Ensemble, Enrico Groppo (violin professor in Torino), and Jae-won Lee (now violinist in the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam) to play in the Schubert’s Quintet for Two Cellos in C major and in Boccherini’s Quintet in E major (the one with the most famous Minuet). There being no known violas by Cappa, we had to call for external help, but that also meant finding a new friend in Christoph Fassbender.

The power of Italian food!

I will never forget those concerts, and I am sure they will also never forget our moments together. I know, I am talking as if they were my friends, but that was the thing: I could have never paid those stars’ fees. Instead, I called them and said:

I can pay you (very little amount of EUR), plus trip, hotel, AND food.

They all signed the deal without having to think a minute about it.

The year after that, I even managed to organise a violinmaking workshop with Balthazar Soulier, and a baroque cello masterclass with Christophe Coin! This last one was interesting, as Mr. Pidoux one evening called me and told me more or less the following thing:

That big school in Saluzzo called Christophe last year to hold a masterclass, but they couldn’t find students. Do you think you could do something about that?

Well, sure — I replied

Ah, one thing — Raphael added — he said he wants to sleep in that specific hotel and nowhere else.

Two days later, I had a deal with the hotel to host Mr. Coin free of charge and to organise a dinner for all masterclass participants and festival attendants. I then created a simple Facebook event on the Festival page. I am not joking: 1h 30m after creating the event, the masterclass was sold out!

The next year we even organised a tasting-concert with a wine producer from the Langhe region (Alberto Troia from I Calici). You need to know that, in Italy, everyone expects concerts to have a free entrance, unless you are actually going to the big auditoriums in the main towns. Well, all my concerts have been free but, that time, we offered a Rossini-themed concert with his Sonatas-a-quattro with double bass, a tasting of 6 different wines from the producer and of handmade salami from another local producer, all for EUR 10. Two hundred people came, and the wine producer sold 400 bottles of wine, plus an uncountable amount of salami, so much that he had to come back the next day to deliver what he couldn’t carry with him. It was the funniest evening ever. Just to make everything clear, I didn’t earn ONE EURO from all these events, rather simply paid for the expenses I had to face in advance, and that was it. I did everything for the love of Cappa, of music, of my town, and of the wonderful people I met and that will always remain my family.

Sadly, though, even nice things must come to an end. External artists came to the Festival one year as two musicians from Frankfurt Orchestra had to cancel at the last minute. They started to raise issues with everything since they had nothing to do with the general idea of the Festival and the magic broke. One more year and the Festival held its final edition, in 2015. We wanted to continue until 2017 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Cappa’s death, but that was not going to be. That big school, talking through a member of the city council, clearly stated that, if I wanted to go on, I had to relinquish all organisational credits to them. I could stay and do things, but could take no credit for it. Another person very close to me—actually a member of my family—sold me to them to save his interests, and that was it. It was one of the saddest times of my recent life, but one needs to be strong and move on, and so I did.

A bright future for Piatti’s music

Recently, I have started to feel the urge to reconnect with all those who had been a positive influence for me, and to keep in touch with them. I decided one day to write to Mr. Pidoux and to know how he was. He is now professor at the CNSM in Paris, where he has taken the place of his father Roland, and he tours extensively in concerts. His oldest son is now First Timpanist at the Teatro alla Scala in Milano, which his second son his touring the world as a solo oboist. His daughter, the youngest, is now pursuing a career with contemporary dance. We talked at length about my editions, and we both understood what a great opportunity it was to curate future editions of Piatti’s works together. We had already done something in the past, but it was outside our control. Now we had the chance to create something great and unique together again.

The first edition of this new, hopefully glorious cycle, is The Race (La Corsa), for cello and piano. I engraved the work with two separate cello parts, one of which kept the original (and sparse) markings by Piatti, while the other would contain Mr. Pidoux’s markings. It is now published and available in the wild, here. This piece was written shortly after the Elegia sulla morte di A. Rubinstein for two cellos (available here), in 1895, to celebrate the happy recovering from the six-months-long illness that had kept him far from the cello. Make sure you check both these out and let me know what you think of them.

What’s coming up next?

Honestly, plenty of things! I am already heavily at work on the next Piatti and Dotzauer editions, at least one of which should see the light of day during this month. I am also going to make a big announcement in a few days time about a new service I want to offer to the engraving and composing community, so stay tuned.

Useful links

I have already announced this last month, and thus I am just listing it here. At this link, you can sign up to become an Artistic Score Engraving affiliate, where you will earn a commission for every sale you bring.

My catalogue is always available here, and it will already be up-to-date with the latest additions by the time you receive this newsletter.

Learning Path

Thanks—or because, depending on the perspective—of not having many paid assignments this month, I could give a push to my learning paths. I have completed the Illustrator Essentials course on LinkedIn Learning, with amazing teacher Tony Harmer. It has been a blast, and I truly feel like I have retained something. I have also completed the Apple Teacher path for GarageBand, an entirely new topic for me. I can’t say I liked it, but it is a fundamental skill I will have to use when I start recording my pedagogical videos in the future.

Learning how to code has a bit stalled, but I have converted yet another app from Swift to Objective-C and, in the next few days, I hope to be able to learn more about blocks in Objective-C. It is such a fundamental and deep topic that it requires a lot of time, calm, and concentration.

As soon as I will get back to Italy, then, I will get back to practicing my cello, that’s a promise. If you think this could be interesting or useful to you, I will start recording videos of my practicing routines.

One last thing

I know, I am annoying, but without that most of what I do will be for nothing: please share this around, rate any of your purchases, show them around, encourage your peers to contact me… Every one of you can make the difference between this project being just a personal hobby and it becoming a wave of hope for better music notation, and better cello teaching!

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading this fully, I know it has been particularly long. Don’t hesitate to comment here below to let me know what you think of it.

And that’s it for this month! If you follow me, and received this in your e-mail inbox, you will find below a list of all my products with a 5% discount code already applied. If you don’t, please subscribe here, and you will get your personal codes in a few days.

As always, thank you for reading through this update, and let me know your thoughts, your suggestions, and critiques, as I read and react to all of them.

I wish you all the best


Michele Galvagno

Published by Michele Galvagno

Professional Musical Scores Designer and Engraver Graduated Classical Musician (cello) and Teacher Tech Enthusiast and Apprentice iOS / macOS Developer Grafico di Partiture Musicali Professionista Musicista classico diplomato (violoncello) ed insegnante Appassionato di tecnologia ed apprendista Sviluppatore iOS / macOS

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