MusOpen.org is pressing forward with a campaign to professionally record over 240 of Chopin’s works. When it is done you’ll be able to download all of them from their site, possibly for free! Read on to find out more about this unique project and why it is so important to the music education community.
I have mentioned Musopen.org in the past on several occasions regarding their free online collection of sheet music and audio music recordings. Their site even made it into my High Tech-Low Budget presentation at the Midwest Clinic last December. Until recently the majority of MusOpen’s recordings have come from good quality high school ensembles, college ensembles, or dedicated individuals. Although many of them have the normal background noises one would expect from a live performance they are still usually good enough to be used as teaching tools in a music ed classroom.
Now MusOpen is in the process of securing funding for another big recording project that will dwarf the success of their first one which added dozens of titles to their free recording catalog. This time they plan to make available all the collected works of Chopin. I’ve Tweeted or blogged a few times in the past when the Big Chopin Box went on sale over at Amazon for 99 cents, but this project looks to go far beyond that and at an even better price point. Plus, all of the recordings will be made available as public domain materials, allowing teachers and others to do with them as they please without fear of breaking copyright laws.
According to the project’s Set Chopin Free KickStarter page. They intend to hire professional performers and record all of Chopin’s pieces (over 240 of them) in full 1080p video and 24bit/192khz audio. With so many teachers realizing the benefit of using video clips in addition to plain audio listening in class the video recording thing has me quite excited. No word if they intend to host the video themselves or post it on a YouTube channel or a similar site.
The project has a goal of $75,000, over $55,000 of which has already been pledged. The project still has over a month left before the deadline so there is still time for individuals to contribute and help them meet this lofty goal. They even have special incentives set up for those who donate ranging from early access to the recordings, DVD’s of the music, MusOpen Pro memberships (which provides unlimited access to lossless higher quality recordings), and several more.
Hopefully they will make their goal and push forward with similar projects as well. It’s a cool idea that deserves to be supported and encouraged.