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Professor Matthew Mehaffey Launches English Heritage Music Series With UMN Libraries

March 11, 2021

Originally appeared on the UMN Libraries’ English Heritage Music Series website.
 
School of Music Professor Matthew Mehaffey recently launched the “English Heritage Music Series," serving as editor of the series with The University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing. 

The “renaissance” in English music is generally agreed to have started in the late Victorian period, beginning roughly in 1880. Although many works from this period have found their way into print and are regularly performed today, performance scores for a considerable number of compositions, both large-scale and more intimate works, are not available.

Performance scores for these works either were never published or were published but are no longer available. While vocal scores with piano reductions for many works are accessible online, autograph manuscripts held in various U.K. libraries (Royal College of Music, Bodleian Library – Oxford, Cambridge University Library, Royal Academy of Music) are the only resource available for creating the full scores and orchestra parts required for a full performance of these works.

The English Heritage Music Series has been created to ensure that these compositions are preserved, are accessible for scholarly research and, most importantly, are available for performance by future generations. The EHMS mission is to:

  • Source unpublished/out-of-print English composer compositions that are in the U.S. public domain
  • Preserve these compositions through the preparation of performance scores using notation software
  • Provide open Internet access to the scores to facilitate study, performance, and sharing of performance material (program notes, audio, reviews, etc.)

With over 30 works currently available online for download, the EHMS composer listing includes C. Hubert H. Parry, H. Walford Davies, Benjamin Dale, Patrick Hadley, and Sydney Nicholson. Additional scores are currently in preparation, which will add to the inventory of works by Parry and introduce new works by Alan Gray and Granville Bantock. Music engravings provided by Dave Fielding.

The inventory of composers and compositions will grow over time as the libraries in the U.K. resume operations following the removal of COVID-19 restrictions.

For questions or comments about the English Heritage Music Series, please contact ehms@umn.edu.