chapter  Two
40 Pages

House Editorial Techniques

Twentieth-century musicians have questioned the reliability of Novello's editions, denouncing them as inaccurate renderings. Discussing the Handel editions, Paul Henry Lang noted that 'the Novello scores are so lacking in elementary care that they cannot be considered in any scholarly, critical analysis'. This chapter presents some analyses of Novello's editions to investigate some editorial alterations that were made and what these changes disclose about the musical taste, technical capabilities, and demands of the growing amateur market. Although Alfred had accepted responsibility for the firm by 1830, Vincent continued to participate in its management well into the 1840s both as editor and adviser for the numerous piano-vocal editions published by the house. Throughout any analysis of Novello's arrangements, it is important to note that decisions concerning the organization, format, and marketing of the editions were largely dependent on the taste and demands of the firm's market.