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Presser Music Library

Abschrift: Definitely Not Short Shrift

by Tim Sestrick on 2019-11-01T15:23:00-04:00 | Comments

By guest author Hannah Shields

This week’s term is: Abschrift


Abschrift is a German word that when translated to English means reprint, or copy. A reprint is a later unaltered printing of a work that ordinarily is no longer in print, often issued by another publisher who specializes in these editions.

Unlike a facsimile, an abschrift isn’t a re-creation of a manuscript. So the focus is shifted from the replication of a composer’s handwriting, blemishes, and other markings, and more towards the reproduction and republishing of a specific edition of a work. 

As previously mentioned, there are publishers who specialize in reprinted editions, such as Dover and Da Capo. The libraries at West Chester have many materials from both of these publishers; 885 books and 213 scores from Dover; 447 books and 69 scores from Da Capo.

Most of the Dover scores available in Presser are of solo piano music, or orchestral works. However, there is a great variety, ranging from chamber music to American Indian song records. While some of the scores covers are replaced for binding and shelving reasons, Dover editions often have some visually appealing covers, as seen below:


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