Editorial Criteria for the Edition

The Collection

Standards for the Edition of Ponchielli’s Music for band

These standards are based on those developed by AR Editions for their editions of eighteenth and nineteenth century instrumental music. With few exceptions the music in this edition is drawn from single, autograph scores intended by Ponchielli to communicate with Francesco Belforti who was his copyist for virtually all of his band music. On the list of Piacenza band members Ponchielli omits Belforti very likely because he knew exactly where Belforti was at all times. Given Ponchielli’s skills as a musician, there is good reason to assume that he never referred to a score after finishing it.

Order of Works

The music will be organized in “series” with similar works grouped together. Dr. Licia Sirch applied opus numbers to them in the thematic catalog she completed in 1989. These were arbitrary and derived from her organization of that catalog by type of work with the band pieces at the end. As there are few works that she did not discover, these will be supplied. The marches retain a numbering system that seems to have been internal to the operation of the Cremona band in the nineteenth century. As the covers with these numbers may have been after Ponchielli’s time, they cannot be determined to be original. In all cases, however, the new library identities of each piece will be given as all works in Cremona are now in the Biblioteca statale.

Score Order and General Notational Issues

Ponchielli’s score order will be preserved as well as his instrument names. In the event of a change from Ponchielli's normal score order, a FINALE template will be used to adapt the order to that of the edition. First, the ensemble’s instrumentation is unique to his situation. Second, in the few cases when his band music was published, this score order was still used. Ponchielli’s instrument naming is an important part of understanding his scores, and ancillary material at the website will explain these details. Tempo markings will be placed above the top staff. Ponchielli uses key signatures, meter signatures, and clefs in the modern manner. His repeats and first and second endings will conform to modern practice. Double barlines will be used to clarify changes of tempo, key, or meter. The FINALE software will supply measure numbers that will appear above the first measure on each score page after the first page. Scores will not be optimized as will be no constraints on the number of pages in the edition. In this regard, they will retain the character of the original scores.

Notes and Rests

Original note values are retained. All matters of stem direction, beaming patterns, and rhythmic groupings of notes and rests will conform to modern practice. Grace notes will be modernized, and slurs will be added. Measured tremolos will retain Ponchielli’s notation. Colla parte and other shorthand notations will be realized without comment. Tuplet notation will have the number on the beam side and brackets when there is an intervening rest. After a pattern is begun, the numbers and brackets will be omitted.

Expressive Markings, Dynamics, and Fermatas

The spelling, orthography, and placement of expressive and dynamic markings for individual parts are regularized. Given Ponchielli's scoring techniques, dynamics and articulations will be carried into other parts to maintain good order. Due to the manner in which FINALE handles fermatas (as articulations), these will be distributed in the parts in a manner that will clarify their exact rhythmic position and will ease the extraction of parts, should that become necessary. Due to the unedited nature of the scores, dynamics will be distributed through the parts. Any additional markings will be bracketed and additional dynamic markings will be set in bold as opposed to the customary bold-italic type. Hairpins will be distributed among adjacent lines. Notes regarding special cases (as in the performance of the marches) will be part of the commentary.

Ornaments, Articulations, Slurs, and Ties

Ornaments and articulations are regularized with respect to placement. Those added (e.g., in parallel passages) are placed in brackets unless it becomes too cluttered. Slurs and ties are regularized with editorial items indicated by broken lines. Converging slurs are combined unless this confuses or disrupts the phrase.

Transposing Instruments and Percussion

Ponchielli’s scores are all ready to be copied into the correct notation as to transposition. He does make occasional errors but usually catches them. These are corrected without comment. Ponchielli’s percussion usually consists of lines for snare drum and bass drum/cymbals. These are combined. There are some notation regarding the use of cymbals; however, it is obvious that the bass drummer was expected to “realize” a cymbal part in most instances.


Editorial accidentals are placed in brackets when none are found in similar parts. Cautionary accidentals are placed in parentheses. Redundant source accidentals are tacitly removed. Octave accidentals are noted in the modern manner, i.e., they are placed in both octaves.