Thursday, October 25, 2018

E5 and Notaset

Do you remember Notaset?

Back in the 1970s, when we first started publishing, we used the transfer system Notaset. Each note on the transfer sheet was placed on its correct line or space and then rubbed with a pencil (or a dead biro). Each symbol stuck itself on to the manuscript paper. It took hours...
The first, and last, work that I undertook was Emerson Edition No.5 Variations on a Dorian Theme for saxophone & piano by Gordon Jacob. Dear Gordon said it looked lovely, but I knew the spacings were extremely dodgy. After that we contracted the work out to professionals. You can imagine how happy we were when Sibelius was invented.
(E5 has been professionally re-engraved since then, by the way!)
June Emerson

Fortunately the piece proved popular and has been on various examination syllabus lists over the years.

E5 Variations on a Dorian Theme - Gordon Jacob

Gordon Jacob (1895-1984)

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Francis Baines


It was early in the 1970s that we received this little note:

"I heard my comic variations the other day for the first time and liked them and have accordingly sent the enclosed. Will you publish it? I don't want any money. Yours sincerely Francis Baines"

At the time, as well as looking for good music for young players, we were looking for pieces that were fun to play. It was still the era of Hoffnung cartoons and Fritz Spiegl broadcasts - classical music fun was in the air.
We decided to push our luck even further and ask the famous cartoonist Bill Tidy whether he would illustrate the cover for us. He produced the above, accompanied by a very modest bill. "I'll charge you  more when you're in Tin Pan Alley" he said.

Needless to say we did send him money, and the Comic Variations have been earning their keep, and making people laugh, ever since.

E4 Francis Baines - Comic Variations for clarinet & bassoon