Symphony and Release Numbering

So, there I was last Sunday in rehearsal, minding my own business in the middle of the trombone section, and I look up and I see sheet music entitled "Symphony in E Minor (No. 5 Opus 95) / From the New World".   But wait, isn't the "New World" Dvořák's 9th Symphony?  Err, well, yes it is, at least in all the concert programs and liner notes I've ever seen....  the musicologists and the sheet music publishers seem to disagree..

This is more confusing than our release numbering scheme for SunOS/Solaris ...




Comments:

I am not very familiar with the numbering scheme for music, but I was intrigued and took a look. It seems you found a particularly interesting case. The opus number is assigned based on the date of publication or composition. This would be like the OS version number: 5.x in Solaris. Then the other numbers are assigned by publication based on the type of composition, i.e. 5th Symphony, 2nd Cantata, etc. But in this case there is an additional factor. It seems that Dvorak was superstitious and thought that most composers died after their ninth symphony, so he himself named his 9th symphony "Symphony No. 5", and then died.

Posted by Brian Utterback on August 15, 2005 at 02:27 AM EDT #

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