History of MusicWWW
so far.

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The Domain name "musicwww" is a pun. My name is William Wynne Willson, and so I have had the initials "WWW" since 1932 — giving me many years of priority over the "World Wide Web". Having been an enthusiastic amateur pianist since the age of 12 I have acquired shelves and shelves of music, mostly for solo piano, piano duet, two pianos, harpsichord and clavichord. I am now keen to make the best of this music available to anyone who would like to use it.

The internet has opened up a variety of possibilities for rapid, widespread and inexpensive sharing of cultural treasures. A noteable early example is Project Gutenberg which started in 1971 and now makes over 25 000 classic books available for free download; this has been achieved by involving thousands of volunteers in converting the original texts into electronic format. A second project with similar aims in a different field is Mark Harber's Artchive which provides freely downloadable JPEG images of works by a wide range of artists. Remarkably this collection has been assembled by one single person. A third example is the Karadar site which provides a large choice of mp3 files of performances of classical music, again all available for free download.

This site is intended to follow in this tradition, in my case providing a store of classical sheet music for piano and harpsichord. This is available for anyone to download completely free (for technical details of how to do this, click here). In order to avoid costs to the user the music is restricted to works which are out of copyright. However this still leaves a wide age range open: 400 years between John Taverner's In Nomine written in the 1520s, and Ivor Gurney's "Western Watercolours" written in the 1920s. I have been converting my scores into electronic format for at least 10 years, and now in July 2008 have got round to posting the first 150 or so here on the internet. I hope that the number available will increase steadily.

The selection has the disadvantages of being (so far) the work of one individual. It makes no claim to provide a complete or even a representative coverage of any composer or genre or theme. While I have tried to be accurate I still come across awkward bits of formatting and even wrong notes: it would be very helpful if you can let me know about any mistakes which you detect — it is usually quite easy to make corrections. And no doubt there will be many instances when you will not find particular items which you may have hoped would be there.

On the other hand there are advantages to a purely personal choice. Its inevitable quirkiness is likely to mean that you will find some music which is unexpected and unfamiliar. And you have the guarantee that everything included is here because at least one person finds it interesting or beautiful or both. If you ask "Why is this here?" the answer will generally be "because I like it, and hope to introduce it to other people who may not know it". The question "Why is that not here?" is more difficult: the answer may range from "because I don't know it" to "because I think everyone knows it already."

Anyway I hope that you will find music to interest you in this collection, and I would be delighted to have your comments.

Please email these to me at emma@emmadogliani.com 01 July 2008
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