What We've Created
We (that is Urs Liska and Janek Warchoł) are enthusiastic music engravers using LilyPond engraving software. For nearly two years we have been working hard to produce a beautiful music book with a new edition of the songs of Oskar Fried (1871-1941). Oskar Fried is a composer who is mostly known for his merits as a condutor, and it's our interest to give the composer Oskar Fried the place in music history he deserves. As Urs is also a pianist and musicologist, he has recorded the music for Deutschlandradio Kultur, the CD hopefully being released in the course of this year. Together with our fellow musicologist, Alexander Gurdon, we recently finished the demanding project of making Fried's 26 songs available in a beautiful and accurately revised edition.
The result gives proof of what you can achieve with Free and Open Source software: LilyPond for creating beautiful scores, LaTeX for compiling the complete volume and Git version control for managing the whole project. The text based programs allowed us to produce a music book the same way as developing a software program. This was an overwhelming experience, and we can't imagine how we could ever have been working differently. We shared our passion on our blog, and you may enjoy following our journey on Scores of Beauty.
We're very thankful to the small independent publisher, sound-rel, for taking the financial risk and making our work possible. Of course the beauty of the result is rewarding in itself already, but we were absolutely thrilled to learn that our edition has been elected ”BEST EDITION 2014” by the German Music Publishers' Association! This is a terrific public appreciation of our work and the quality of our used programs.
We will receive the award during an event at the Frankfurt Musikmesse on March 14. Of course we will update you with images and comments, for all of you who can't come to Frankfurt.
Freely Created... and Freely Available!
The edition was produced almost completely using Free software, and we were very conscious about it. Actually we were very close to the development and communities of our tools. Developers acted upon our requests to make LilyPond better or used our scores as benchmark for their ideas, and Urs developed a Free LaTeX package to use notation elements in continuous text.
Somehow it simply doesn't feel right to have all the work created with Free tools result in a proprietary edition that can only be obtained commercially. Wouldn't it be better if anbody could freely use, redistribute or modify the edition? Wouldn't it be better if we could create a large-scale community effort around it, using it as instructional material, using it as a benchmark for LilyPond's automatic engraving, using it to promote Free software, Free culture and the beautiful music of Oskar Fried?
Opening up the edition and make its sources available will allow all of this: Singers may create their own transpositions, LilyPond or LaTeX programmers may inspect the source code and learn from our experiences (or mistakes ;-)). Therefore we are happy to see that the publisher has agreed with opening up the edition for everybody's use - as soon as the expenses of the edition have been fully covered. It would make us happy if we could this way return something of our success by redirecting parts of the attention we get through the award to LilyPond, LaTeX and Git.
So the goal of this crowd-funding campaign is to feed back the investment to our publisher so they can wholeheartedly let our edition go into the wild. Please support us with this undertaking!
A Word About The Calculation
As mentioned the publisher took considerable financial risk to enable us working on that edition. And if we want them to give away the source code for free we don't want them to be frustrated, so we want them to make their ends meet.
The funding target is based on the current calculation of the project. That is, it includes all expenses that have been already done and all expenses that are still to come which amount to something like € 6.700.-. On the other hand it includes the revenues of all sales so far, as well as contributions by several foundations that supported the project, reducing the sum by € 2.500.-.
This has a significant implication: Reaching the target funding of this campaign doesn't necessarily correspond to reaching the goal of covering the expenses, as there are variables that may change the balance - in both directions:
Regular sales outside the campaign will of course also be taken into account. This means each sold volume lowers the campaign's need to raise funds. And of course we seriously hope that the prominent award will generate a number of regular sales.
The first costs of some Perks are of course effective in the other direction. But as many of our perks aren't limited in numbers we couldn't calculate this part in advance. This isn't true for buying printed copies of the edition, as the printing costs of the first run are already part of the calculation.
Of course we'll regularly update you about the state of affairs ...
The funds raised by this campaign will go to the publisher, but we completely trust them that they will account correctly.
What Happens If ...
... we don't reach the goal?
Unfortunately we won't be able to immediately open up the edition then - but we'll have come closer to the break-even-point and can do the opening earlier than without your support. The perks are chosen so they all can be shipped regardless of the outcome of the campaign.
... we reach the goal?
If we reach the goal we will do some cleaning-up of the source repository of the edition, creating a free “fork” by removing material specific to the publisher and/or non-free stuff. Then we'll make the repository publicly available and license it under a free license.
... we overfund, but by less than 1.200 Euro?
We will distribute this surplus evenly between the three collaborators on the edition: Urs Liska, Janek Warchoł and Alexander Gurdon. This is because the break-even-point does include our fees, but they are actually calculated extremely tight. Topping them up by these 400 Euro each would actually be a step towards the usual market fees.
... we overfund by more than 1.200 Euro?
This additional surplus will be distributed with 10% for each collaborator and 10% for the publisher, while 60% will be used to sponsor development of LilyPond and other tools necessary for scholarly editing and publishing. So if this campaign goes through the roof it will have a concrete impact on LilyPond! We won't decide upon specific issues in advance, but we maintain a list of thoughts and wishes in this repository. The idea is to concentrate on aspects that are related to scholarly editing.
About the Perks
Some perks have to be shipped physically. In these cases the shipping to Germany is included in the perk's value. If you live outside of Germany please don't forget to add the appropriate value to your pledge.
(Of course we'll embellish the print with information on the campaign and will (on your request) eternalize your name on them.
With our merchandise articles you can show your appreciation to the world, even if you can't actually use the music score or source code yourself. We thought that a coffee mug and a mouse pad is a good but very small selection. If you think we should give a wider choice, e.g. shirts, USB sticks, rulers or whatever, don't hesitate to make suggestions. We can add stuff as long the campaign runs (and maybe even later).
We provide two designs that you can choose from (please specify upon order). The following images aren't perfect representations because you will of course have different sizes and ratios on the different types of article. Maybe we will slightly modify the text elements - according to the outcome of the campaign ;-)
Design 1: Free Fried
Design 2: beautifulScores
Bug Fix / Feature Request
These are our ”luxury” perks. The idea behind them is to directly support our campaign and the development of our tools. Consider them as a significant donation with the extra bonus of having personally enabled a bug fix or the development of a new feature in LilyPond or our LaTeX packages. Half of the plegde is the remuneration for the developer, half of it accounts for the campaign.
Of course your name will be highlighted at all appropriate locations.
If you're interested in pledging for them it is crucial to get in touch with us beforehand to avoid misunderstandings and disappointment on either side. The given price for this perk is a generic one and should finally be agreed upon between you and the developer. And we have to ensure that there really is a developer at hand who will guarantee you that the given perk can actually be delivered.
The following list isn't authoritative and you even can make suggestions yourself. But we have already set up a number of issues we would like to be solved because they were bugging us during the creation of our edition. (Probably they will only make sense to you if you're somewhat into using our programs yourself)
- Make the
\shapeIIfunctions in LilyPond aware of changes in line breaks again. This will greatly reduce the risk of spoiling the engraving when the score layout changes.
- make lilyglyphs available for plain LaTeX, significantly extending the potential user base.
- Add a considerable set of commands to lilyglyphs. You'd like to have all special noteheads available or the complete set of articulations? Or the glyphs for mensural notation? Get in touch with us and we can talk about an appropriate set of commands and its price.
- Create a reliable document statistics module in the Frescobaldi LilyPond editor.
Other ways to help
Even if you cannot contribute financially to this campaign, please spread the word as widely as you can. Repost on all your social media sites, but also invite friends through personal mailings and even outside the digital world.
And don't miss our blog Scores of Beauty where we and others also talk about other interesting things around musical engraving. If you're creating sheet music and text documents, consider giving Free software a try!