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1842 Musical Antiquarian Society edition of Purcell’s Bonduca crowdfunding project patron FAQ

July 24, 2019

What is the aim of this project?

The aim of the project is to make a high quality digital version of the 1842 Musical Antiquarian Society edition of Henry Purcell’s opera Bonduca (1695).  The project includes commissioning an introductory essay.  The digital edition will be distributed free of charge under an open source licence.  The edition will include a list of patrons.  This is just the first step in a project to publish high quality digital editions of significant nineteenth-century editions of Purcell’s music, specifically the c. 1850 Novello edition of Purcell’s complete sacred works.

Why is it a good idea?

The 1842 edition of Bonduca is a particularly beautiful one and its worth extends beyond the information it contains.  The Musical Antiquarian Society put a lot of effort into creating a book that has aesthetic value in addition to providing information.  The musical score is beautifully engraved and there is an elaborate title page and an even more elaborate frontispiece.  The motivation for the project is therefore to a large extent to reproduce the aesthetic value of the edition.  The project will also add value to the edition by including an introductory essay.

How do I contribute?

There are two ways to contribute.  You can contribute by becoming a patron on, where the website for the project is   You can also make a contribution directly to Theory of Music Ltd using paypal, using the reference Purcell. Payments can be made to

What will happen to my donation?

Your donation will be transferred from Paypal to the Theory of Music ltd HSBC business account and will then be used to pay for the costs incurred by the project.

Is there transparency about the use of funds?

All the invoices in connection with the project will be kept and I will be happy to share them with patrons if they so wish.  In addition, Theory of Music Ltd is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales and it submits its annual accounts to Companies House and HMRC.  The annual accounts are in the public domain and can be viewed on the Companies House website.

How was the budget worked out?

The budget was worked out by sourcing quotations for the tasks involved.

Do I have to make a contribution every month?

If you contribute on this is set up so that patrons make a contribution every month.  However, you can stop your donations at any time by letting me know.  Otherwise you can make a one off donation.

Can I request a refund?

Provided the funds raised have not been spent refunds are possible.  Contact me by email at or using my Whatsapp number, which I will give to all the patrons.

If I become a patron how will you keep in touch?

I will give all patrons my Whatsapp number.  You can also contact me by email: and also

Who will write the introductory essay that will be commissioned as part of the project?

This hasn’t been decided yet but I intend to find a suitable author by contacting people in my network, which includes Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance (where I teach the opera studies degree), the Society for Music Analysis (of which I am a member).

Do you have any experience of creating digital editions?

Yes.  For a digital edition of Beethoven’s Engedi see the post on this site: Beethoven’s Engedi: facsimile of Novello’s edition c. 1860

This edition of Beethoven’s Engedi can be downloaded free from this site.

I also worked as a volunteer restorer on the Tudor Partbooks project. The Tudor Partbooks project was a research project run by the University of Oxford and Newcastle University. It was funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council. The aim of the project was to study and restore (in digital format) a manuscript of Latin sacred songs copied out by the Elizabethan clergyman John Sadler in c. 1566-85. Because Sadler used ink that contained too much acid, over the centuries this has burned through the paper leaving the once beautiful partbooks stained, fragile and difficult to read. However, using digital editing all these problems can be solved and a more or less pristine manuscript created. The project was so large that a team of volunteers was needed to carry out the restoration work, which was done using Adobe Photoshop.

Can’t you just photocopy the book and put it on the internet?

This would be a suitable course of action if the intention was only to provide the information in the text.  As outlined above, the aim is to do justice to the aesthetic value of the 1842 edition. Another simpler answer is that most normal office photocopiers would not be big enough to accommodate the size of the book.  In fact, reproducing a musical publication that is over 150 years old is not as straightforward a process as it might seem.  The creation of the digital edition will include stages such as  the set up of equipment, initial test shots, capture of 76 images (there are 76 pages to be reproduced), processing and re-formatting of images, supply of PDF on a flash drive.

Who will make the digital copy?

A professional printing company with top of the range scanning equipment.

What is the timetable for this project?

There is no set timetable for the project.  It all depends how long it takes to raise the funds.

Will the new edition always be available free?

Yes.  The new edition will be distributed free under an open source licence which will legally forbid reselling.

If you have any questions please contact me by email at or use the contact form below.


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