IMSLP:Community Projects/Bach-Gesellschaft Ausgabe/style guidelines


General Information

This guideline will outline the style in which BGA project submissions should be made. This includes both the splitting of files, as well as the submission process itself.

The Bach Gesselschaft Edtion of the complete works of Johann Sebastian Bach was published in a series of volumes from 1851-1900. These volumes are public domain worldwide. The last surviving editor died a century ago in 1906. Scanning volumes does not place a work into copyright. Something must be added to the original, like a new preface, new editorial markings, etc. in order to claim copyright for a derivative work. In some countries - Germany for example - there is a particular, limited class of copyright granted to so-called "critical editions." The term for such "scientific" works - when it is simply a re-engraving of existing public domain material - is 25 years from date of publication. The BGE varied in quality, depending upon the individual editor in quesion. The BGE volumes edited by Wilhelm Rust (1822-1892) were generally quite good and often differ little from their modern counterparts published in the Neue Bach Ausgabe. Other editors were less meticulous than Rust. In a few cases, manuscripts and other source material have surfaced which resulted in significant changes. (Thanks Carolus)

Splitting the PDF file

  • Only the music portion of that particular book should be used; the preface of all the BGA books will be submitted to IMSLP separately.
  • Never split a piece mid-movement, or have several pieces in a single split. Never split a single movement work, no matter how long or large it is.
  • It is permissible to split a work between movements if the work is long enough. A rough guide is that any work over or about 70-100 pages long should be split between movements, unless it is a single movement work. However, much flexibility is desirable here (for example, pieces that fall into the same category should be treated similarily, unless there is a very marked difference in length). It is a good idea to consider the matter from the downloader's point of view.
  • When splitting movement-wise, it is permissible, and sometimes desirable, to have more than one movement per split. For example, it is not a good idea to split a Bach Passion into 100 movements because it makes downloading the work a pain (no offense meant to Musikwissenschaftler, hehe); splitting it by section is a much better idea, even if the resulting files are a little large. What defines a section of a particular work is not always clear, and will involve both research and, in many cases, personal judgement. It is usually also a good idea to consider this matter from the downloader's point of view.
  • All non-preface pages of a BGA book should be accounted for, except for empty pages at the beginning and end. Work title pages should be included in the resulting PDF file. If there are multiple works after a single title page, the title page should go with the first work.

Uploading Files

  • Please follow the following naming format: "BWV<number>.pdf"

Creating the Work Page

  • Because of the large number of works, it is a good idea to group multiple works into one work page (there are many examples of this already). This makes it easier for the user to find a piece. Pieces that share a single title page should be put in the same work page, though they do not have to be the only pieces on that work page.
  • A single work page should not have more than 15 pieces (ideally 10), to prevent overcrowding.
  • The title of the work page should always contain the BWV number or range at the end, with a space seperating "BWV" from the number or range (ex. BWV 232 and not BWV232). There must also be a comma seperating the title from the BWV number (this should be the case for all submissions on IMSLP actually), ex. "Cantatas, BWV 101-110". If the title is a generic title (ex. Sonata, Concerto, etc.), the English name should be used for consistency; otherwise, the German name must be used for the work page title, and optionally, the English translation for the Alternative Title.
  • A note must be made in the Misc. Comments box as to the origin of the works (ex. "This work page contains pages 1-100 of BGA Book 22", or if the page numbers are not continuous, "The works on this page are from BGA Book 22").

Submitting the Files

  • The file description field must be filled. If the work page contains more than one work, the file discription field will include both the BWV number and the proper name of the piece. The recommended format is: "BWV <number> - <work name>". If the work page contains only one work, the file description field should be filled like it normally is (ex. "Complete score", "Complete score of all movements", "Complete score of movement 1 of 5", etc.)
  • The editor field must be filled. You can find the name of the editor of that particular book here.
  • The page count field must be filled, and should also include the page range. The format should be: "<page count> (<page range>)" (ex. "25 (p.34-58)"). Page numbers should refer to the page numbers on the scan itself, and not the PDF file page number.
  • The publisher information field must be filled. The format should be: "Bach Gesellschaft Ausgabe 1851-1899 Band <book number> (<published date>)". The published date can also be found here.

Submissions Prior to the Formulation of this Guideline

There has already been many pieces submitted as part of this project, and many (indeed, most) do not conform completely to this guideline. Cleanup of these submissions is much encouraged, but the submission of new BGA scores should have priority.