Sunday, November 2, 2008

Scanning Old Parts

Scanning, scanning, scanning.

The Florodora vocal score is scanned and now I'm scanning the orchestra parts. Some of the orchestra parts are quite old and fragile and have a lot of edge damage from years of quick page turns and many repaired tears fixed with - now yellowing - tape. The binding on the covers is quite old and the deteriorating tape on rips and replaced adjacent pages is sticking together. And as with all old ephemera, the acid in the paper is causing some foxing and ink is fading a bit, but this isn't an issue - yet.

All this, you can imagine, makes the scanning (even more) tedious. So far, the 14 numbers comprising the cello parts of Act 1 need the most TLC. They are the top of the list for re-entering in a modern notation program.

But - happy news - most of the orchestra parts are VERY readable and still could be used out of the box. In fact, some of the pages never seem to have been used (well not, say within the last 50+ years). The second act was most recently re-copied very meticulously by hand for all of the parts on very good paper.

At one time there must have been at least 14 full sets of Florodora in circulation - these parts are marked "Set 'N'", and I have a couple of books marked "Set 'H'". Some have "1952" written on the cover.

Even if we can't do the Discovery with full orchestra, I will feel good having preserved Florodora. Too many of these old shows have lost their orchestrations over the years.


  1. That's very good news about the majority of the orchestra parts!

    Ah, yes, wood-pulp paper! Isn't it wonderful? Ironically, books printed 500 years ago on rag paper will still look new when much of the printed matter from the 19th and 20th centuries are reduced to little brown chips.

  2. I clicked the images to see them bigger (thanks for sizing them nicely), since I also love the notations that people make. These are hand written? I'm clueless about the printing technology of the day.

    And on "Tell Me Pretty Maiden," I have no idea what the symbol is on the third system that looks like a dollar sign.

    These are really cool. It's sort of like finding Mom's old piano lesson books from when she was a kid, with her maiden name in child's handwriting. :)

  3. The dollar sign is a del signo - a very non-subtle repeat sign. Cues in these parts are - for very good reason - not subtle. They are also, at least in the parts for act 1, in red, whereas the rest is black ink. Sometimes warnings and cues for other instruments are also in red, so I scan those pages in color when its significant.

    I hope you're planning on being a Florodora Girl, too.

  4. @Marc
    First Greetings from Germany. I really love this Musical an I managed to find a Piano/Vocal Score, now I'm really interested in the Orchestral Parts, and I asked myself If there is any possibility that you can send me the Scanned Parts.
    You would make me a very happy Person.
    My E-Mail is:

    Hoping to here from you,