The English publisher Boosey & Hawkes has just announced its new online service for viewing scores
through the platform Boosey & Hawkes Online Scores
, which currently offers just under 500 works for orchestra and large instrumental ensembles as well as some operas.
The service is free but only available to registered users. Display of scores is based on Adobe Flash, which allows interactive navigation throughout the score, searches (not very useful in the case of music notation) and zooms.
With the introduction of this new service I cannot help but wonder what exactly Boosey’s strategy consists of. A service that lets you view scores but not print or download them, and which offers no other options except “leafing through” them does not seem particularly tempting for the users
of their website, especially when there is no direct route to buying the score in their shop. A search has to be made elsewhere.
Personally, I can only understand the service if Boosey’s long-term idea is to include its entire catalogue so that users are allowed a complete view of any work before buying it, rather like Google Preview
with books. But, at least for the time being, the service is completely separate from the rest of the services offered by boosey.com
and, for example, you cannot use the viewfinder to view the content of the work in the online shop product information file or in the rental information file.
As I said, I don’t know what their long-term strategy is, but in my opinion it would make more sense to integrate this new function with other services in order to offer complete views of the works before purchase / rental by users. Otherwise, it is just one more section in its global offer of online services, with no possibility of direct financial profit, and which requires users to register. Perhaps its strategy is in the registry.
Link to the news item
and the Boosey online scores