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Topic: Opus problems...

  1. #1

    Question Opus problems...

    Let's say that I'm planning to take an old composition of mine and redo it into a whole new piece. Should I then use the next opus number in line or use the same? And if using the next one, the old will no longer count (or?) and there'll be a void in the number sequence...


    op. 29
    op. 30
    op. 32
    op. 33 <-- new piece (earlier op.31)

  2. #2

    Re: Opus problems...

    I simply place on my title page, for example:

    Bagatelle for Bagpipes, Bugles and Bicycle Horn in Bb
    Opus 79 Psi. (rev. 2007)

    For example, my recent post here of Dance of Untruth was massively revised since its composition over 10 years ago, so it keeps its original opus number, but has as an added note "rev. 2007" next to the opus number.

    I think for a piece to merit a new opus number there has to be a VERY significant alteration in the material to warrant the change of opus numbers. Enough for the two pieces to not be recognizable as the same composition, even if the themes are recognizable.

  3. #3

    Re: Opus problems...

    You could do something like Brahms did in his "Variations on a theme of Haydn." The orchestral score was published as "op. 56a," and the version for 2 pianos came out a few months later as "op. 56b." I think he did that for other works as well.
    Dan Powers

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  4. #4

    Re: Opus problems...

    I would add that if you are withdrawing the earlier piece from your catalogue, then the number also gets withdrawn.

    so if Flute sonata opus 20 is withdrawn for a major rewrite, and becomes flute sonata opus 25, then your opus numbers will jump right over the previous "20"... 18, 19, 21, 22, and so on.

    It's not like anyone is going to really notice the missing numebr in the sequence anyways.

    I have SO much trouble keeping track of my opus numbers! Particularly with the massive re-organization I put into my catalogue a few years ago.

    basically, all of my works previous to opus 20 or so have been withdrawn.

    I was actually considering simply putting years on my pieces, instead of opus numbers, however, that would make life difficult for a few titles, like "Sonate". I don't like naming a piece "sonata FOR x-instrument", I prefer simply "Sonate". A second sonata for that same instrument becomes "Sonate no.2".


    I hate naming pieces.
    I hate writing bios.
    I hate cooked zucchini.

    there I said it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Re: Opus problems...

    Quote Originally Posted by qccowboy
    I hate cooked zucchini.

    More than we needed to know...
    Ron Pearl





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