Piano music publisher has record year

Piano music publisher has record year


norman lebrecht

February 01, 2021

While most sheet music producers are surviving on state aid, the Munich-based Henle Verlag says 2020 was its best ever, with a 10% sales increase, especially in the US.

Henle specialises in out-of-copyright piano scores. Aparently lot of folk are ploughing through mountains of piano music in lockdown.

Read here.



  • marcellous says:

    I’d have said Henle specialises in editions of out-of-copyright works (and not only piano music). The editions themselves are copyright, or nearly all of them, given that the firm was founded in 1948. Those blue covers are a powerful brand.
    Out-of-copyright scores would be Dover.

  • Peter says:

    “Henle specialises in out-of-copyright piano scores.”

    Funny! Nice euphemism for “the repertoire everybody wants to play and listen to”

  • David K. Nelson says:

    And I would say that Henle specializes in Urtext editions of standard repertoire that clear out the accumulated editorial accretions of the old Schirmer or B&H editions, not to mention the pure reproductions of old editions (including their known errors) that Kalmus was associated with. The Henle copyright is justified because someone put in some real work.

    They are clearly set and easy to read because the notes and bar lines are freshly done and lack the out of focus fuzz of old Schirmer editions, some of which clearly predate 1900 if my Roman numeral skills are intact. (My violin teacher would not teach me the Mozart sonatas until I replaced my Kalmus edition with Henle, likewise the Bach Sonatas for violin and keyboard although Bärenreiter-Verlag was also permitted; he had a firm “No Yellow Covers!” rule he disliked the heavily edited Schirmer editions so much, making only rare exceptions such as the Mozart G Major Concerto because that’s how you got the essential Sam Franko cadenzas).

    If people were just mindlessly ploughing through piano repertoire without a further care all the old Schirmers are still available, and cheaper than Henle as well they should be.

  • Allardyce says:

    Henle is a seriously good edition and one of the few I respect. It produces highly credible Urtext versions of many of the most important works. It’s a long way from the false musicology and dreadful computer generated notation (I suspect Sibelius 3 or thereabouts) of Bärenreiter and others. There’s a lot of joke editions (read cowboy editions) out there.

  • Julien says:

    My favourite scores (with Wiener Uxtext), clear, easy to read, with a good research work. They have also a lot of chamber music and a complete Haydn edition.
    I’m glad that they had a good year, not everyone can say so in the music industry.

  • debuschubertussy says:

    it also helps that Henle has a fantastic digital sheet music app (are they the only ones?), I bet they’re including figures from the app sales in their assessment.

  • John Borstlap says:

    The picture shows a piano after a performance of Scriabine’s ‘Vers la flamme’.