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© Copyright 2018 Jeremy Aknai

Music engraver, editor and proofreader


I have worked in music engraving, editing and proofreading since 2001. After many years employed at the publisher Stainer & Bell I became a full-time freelancer in 2012. Clients include Banks Music Publications, Boosey & Hawkes, Gresham Books, Hallé Orchestra, Music Sales (Chester/Novello), Peters Edition, Royal Opera House, Schott, Stainer & Bell, The Open University and The Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust.


The many publications to which I have contributed span music from the medieval period to the present day, and encompass:



With every score I strive to make the presentation both beautiful and eminently practical for performers. I have a sharp eye for spotting mistakes and inconsistencies, helped by an innate understanding of the inner workings of many musical styles. When engraving, in matters such as layout, note-spacing, and design and placement of text and symbols, I am never content to rely on the software’s default settings and will always find a way to achieve the ideal. I take pride in meeting deadlines and being flexible to the stipulations of editors and composers, and in using Sibelius combined with Adobe Creative Suite there is almost no limit to the notational requirements I can fulfil.


Jeremy Aknai’s work for The Open University has been characterised by excellent attention to detail and layout, prompt turnaround, and patience to cope with the frequent updating of music examples. Neither Schenkerian graphs nor transcriptions by ethnomusicologists were a problem.

Trevor Bray, The Open University


I was impressed by the diligence and attention which you paid to creating the published edition of the full score [of And all the trumpets sounded], and delighted with the result.

Ronald Corp, composer


In work that calls for mental stamina, undivided attention and a creative eye for composers’ intentions, Jeremy is amongst the most meticulous of the generally underrated race of music proofreaders.

Howard Friend, Managing Editor, Music Sales (Chester/Novello)


Writing as a former Music Editor for Schott, I must say that Jeremy’s proofing work on my most recent composition, beset as it has been by software problems, has been phenomenal in its efficiency, meticulous accuracy, sharp-sightedness and in its creative suggestions for clarity of presentation. I’m enormously impressed!

Anthony Gilbert, composer


The quality of your scores has been one of the undoubted strengths of the relationship with Stainer and Bell!

Morgan Hayes, composer


Your recent work for Musica Britannica has been exemplary. The setting of volumes 93 and 95 in particular must have been hugely challenging, and the result in both cases is not only fantastically accurate but visually stunning as well.

H. Diack Johnstone, General Editor, Musica Britannica


Jeremy Aknai’s acute editorial eye for notational errors, omissions and inconsistencies has saved me from many an anomaly. Better yet, as a sometime composer, he well understands that achieving the clearest, most articulate notation is, itself, part of the creative process in conveying the composer’s fullest intentions to the performer.

Bayan Northcott, composer


Below are examples of my engraving and editing, with thanks to Stainer & Bell for their permission to reproduce them.


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John Ireland: London Pieces

Piano solo


A fresh engraving made in 2012 to coincide with the London Olympics and the fiftieth anniversary of Ireland’s death. I was able to condense the spacious layout of the original in order to reduce the number of page turns. The opening four pages of the first piece, Chelsea Reach, are provided.



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Ralph Vaughan Williams: A Cambridge Mass

SATB soloists, double chorus and orchestra


This large-scale student work was recently rescued from obscurity by Alan Tongue and given its world premiere in 2011. More information may be found here. My task was to set the full score and vocal score (including transcribing the piano reduction) and extract the orchestral parts. Editorial emendations are indicated by means of crossed slurs/ties, small notes/accidentals, bracketed text etc. The three files below demonstrate the process by showing the same passage from the end of the Credo.



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Songs in British Sources c.1150–1300

Musica Britannica volume 95


The illustrious Musica Britannica series is renowned throughout the world for its outstanding scholarship and high editorial standards. Volume 95 was published in 2013 and raised some notable engraving difficulties. As rhythm is not notated I had to reconfigure Sibelius’ note-spacing routine and devise an input method which would ensure logical and consistent note-spacing (there are just three note ‘durations’: normal notes, notes at the end of a phrase which are twice the length, and melismatic groups of notes which are half the length of normal notes – a very different system to conventionally notated music). Furthermore, instead of the usual practice of allowing the natural spacing of the music to determine the layout, the editor required the structure of the underlaid poetry to determine, and be elucidated by, the layout.



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Ivor Gurney: Ludlow and Teme

Tenor, string quartet and piano


Philip Lancaster’s new edition was published in 2011. A particular challenge was incorporating the variant passages where Gurney changed his mind, both in terms of creating a workable layout and managing, in effect, different simultaneous time signatures and bar lengths – something not straightforward to achieve in Sibelius. This may be observed in the extract given, taken from the opening of the first song.



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Alfredo C. Piatti: Method for Cello Book 1


The perennially popular Piatti Cello Method provides an example of my work in the field of educational publishing. This re-set edition with minor revisions was issued in 2011.



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Morgan Hayes: Slippage

Piano and ensemble


My experience in complex contemporary classical music may be represented by the above work, one of many pieces by Morgan Hayes that I have edited and engraved. It was first published in 1999 as an autograph score but recently reissued in this new computer setting.