It's been a while since my last post, there is a slight slowdown in new publications over the summer months but also new exam syllabi for various instruments which tends to create a lot of extra work. Plus we had the olympics, so I have several good excuses for getting behind on the blog!
First, ABRSM has published the new syllabus for piano from 2013, so all the new exam books are now on the website. The alternative pieces list runs to 100 items, some of which have been recycled from last time, but there are a number of new ones, most of which are now on the website. A few are currently reprinting and after a mammoth 8 month wait for a syllabus book last time, I have left off any which are not immediately available.
In addition they have revamped the brass alternative pieces books and introduced a massive number of new pieces and studies. ABRSM has also published a new series called 'Shining Brass', all of which are now on the website. As with the piano books, a few are either reprinting or not yet published so I will check them again in a month or so.
On with the other new books:
The Organists Collection from Kevin Mayhew
Organ Plus One - more books in this series for organ plus one other instrument
Organ Music for Communion from Barenreiter
Baila Negra- new latin american music for piano
Secret Love - the best piece from italian composer Giovanni Allevi
Bolero - Ravel's Bolero and other favourites for piano
Pianoworks Duets 2 with CD
Early Start on the Double Bass - Sassmanhaus tutor for bass
Ladies in Lavender for cello
Concert Pieces for Cello from Sassmanhaus
Viola Time Starters - new edition with CD
Cello Time Starters - new edition with CD
Fiddle Time Starters - new edition with CD
Ladies in Lavender for clarinet
Popular Voiceworks 2 for choir
Due to the increasing strength of the pound against the euro, Barenreiter are reducing some of their prices. This is a good thing, I haven't amended them all yet but it's on my list of things to do shortly.
More costs due to regulation. The government introduced new regulation back in 2010 to 'improve' the standards of online payment safety. Reputable companies already had good systems, but apparently there's no system good enough that can't be 'improved' by government. I did what I was obliged to do at the time, my systems are all encrypted to the highest standard in the industry anyway. But as is the way with all regulation designed to 'improve' things for the consumer, business ends up paying for it though many pass it back to the customer in the end. My payment processor has now decided to charge me (in addition to the money it makes from every card transaction) an annual fee for me (not them) to fill in a questionnaire about my payment systems. The questionnaire answers are the same as they were in 2010 (and they know what they are because they process my payments!), but now they've decided I have to do this pointless 5 minute questionnaire every year and charge me around £6 per minute for the privilege. I have to suck up this additional cost.
However they have also decided to add a larger charge for additional work (done by a computer, not a human being) if I take payments over the phone. I don't take many telephone payments, most people use the internet, and this additional charge means effectively I would be paying £1-2 per phone transaction on top of the regular fee. I have therefore reluctantly decided to stop taking phone payments. Most of my phone transactions are regular customers who I know, and I am happy to take cheques instead.
That's all for this week, I have more new music to add for next time.