Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)

Bar Numbering in the Published Editions

This page lists those modern editions of works by Sorabji that use bar numbering. Several of his works, especially those for piano, contain very long bars that often reach two or three dozen beats in groups of semiquavers or even more rapid note values spread over two or three systems. Many editors have therefore refrained from using the bar numbering feature offered by notation software. The table below gives the titles in chronological order, followed by the publication year, and the editor’s name.

Bar numbers are normally given at the start of systems, with the numbers in parentheses when the bar is the continuation of the previous system. Exceptions are:

  • Quintet II for Piano and String Quartet (1932-33; 432 pp.) and “Il gallo d’oro” da Rimsky-Korsakov: Variazioni frivole con una fuga anarchica, eretica e perversa (1978-79; 93 pp.): every tenth bar.
  • Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra (1935-37, 1953-56; 540 pp.) and Messa grande sinfonica (1955-61; 1,001 pp.): each bar, at the top of the score.

The large numbers inside boxes in the score of Symphonic Nocturne for Piano Alone (1977-78; 113 pp.), edited by Lukas Huisman (publ. 2016), are not bar numbers, but the page numbers of the manuscript.

The manuscript of Concerto [no. 1] pour piano et grand orchestre (1915-16; 177 pp.) is unique in that Sorabji himself numbered every tenth bar. The published score of Concerto for Piano and Orchestra [no. 5] (1920; 144 pp.) comes with numbers at each tenth bar; however, as some publishers did at the time, the first bar happens to be 0 rather than 1, and numbering is off by one.

The published score of Quintet no. 1 for Piano and Quartet of Stringed Instruments (1919-20; 72 pp.), the manuscript of which is unknown, includes an “index of beats” consisting of a series of numbers aligned underneath the piano part and cued to each quaver.


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Title Publication Year Editor
Title Publication Year Editor
The Poplars (1915; 3 pp.) Withheld Roberge, Marc-André
Chrysilla (1915; 4 pp.) 2006 Roberge, Marc-André
Roses du soir (1915; 4 pp.) 2002 Powell, Jonathan
L’heure exquise (1916; 2 pp.) 2006 Roberge, Marc-André
Vocalise pour soprano fioriturata (1916; 3 pp.) 2006 Roberge, Marc-André
Apparition (1916; 5 pp.) 2001 Abrahams, Simon
Hymne à Aphrodite (1916; 5 pp.) 2006 Roberge, Marc-André
Sonata no. 0 for Piano (1917; 30 pp.) 2015 Jarvis, Frazer
Chaleur—​Poème (1916-17; 32 pp.) 2013 Jarvis, Frazer
Quasi habanera (1917; 6 pp.) 1992 Roberge, Marc-André
L’étang (1917; 2 pp.) 2006 Roberge, Marc-André
Désir éperdu (Fragment) (1917; 1 p.) 2005 Jarvis, Frazer
I Was Not Sorrowful—​Poem for Voice and Piano [Spleen] (between 1917 and 1919; 3 pp.) 2006 Roberge, Marc-André
Le mauvais jardinier (1919; 1 p.) 2006 Roberge, Marc-André
Music to “The Rider by Night” (1919; 54 pp.) 2008 Roberge, Marc-André
Arabesque (1920; 2 pp.) 2006 Roberge, Marc-André
Two Piano Pieces (1918, 1920; 20 pp.) 2019 Lee, Ramer Davey
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra [no. 5] (1920; 144 pp.) 1923  
Three Pastiches for Piano (1922; 17 pp.) 1992 Roberge, Marc-André
Opusculum for Orchestra (1923; 36 pp.) 2014 Jarvis, Frazer
Cinque sonetti di Michelagniolo Buonarroti (1923; 40 pp.) 2005 Roberge, Marc-André
Concerto per pianoforte e piccola orchestra, “Simorg-Anka” [no. 7] (1924; 100 pp.) 2020 Powell, Jonathan
L’irrémédiable (1927; 8 pp.) 1993 Roberge, Marc-André
Sonata IV for Piano (1928-29; 111 pp.) 2004 Abrahams, Simon
Symphony no. 0 for Piano Solo (1930-31; 333 pp.) 2019 Sánchez-Aguilera, Abel
Movement for Voice and Piano (1927, 1931; 9 pp.) 2001 Abrahams, Simon
Quintet II for Piano and String Quartet (1932-33; 432 pp.) 2007 Abercrombie, Alexander
Pasticcio capriccioso sopra l’op. 64, no 1 del Chopin (1933; 8 pp.) 1994 Roberge, Marc-André
Fragment Written for Harold Rutland (1926, 1928, 1937; 2 pp.) 1993 Roberge, Marc-André
Tāntrik Symphony for Piano Alone (1938-39; 284 pp.) 2015 Sánchez-Aguilera, Abel
Transcription in the Light of Harpsichord Technique for the Modern Piano of the Chromatic Fantasia of J. S. Bach, Followed by a Fugue (1940; 15 pp.) 1993 Roberge, Marc-André
Trois poèmes (1941; 13 pp.) 2007 Roberge, Marc-André
Transcription of the Prelude in E-flat by Bach (1945; 4 pp.) 1992 Roberge, Marc-André
Concerto da suonare da me solo e senza orchestra, per divertirmi (1946; 70 pp.) 2001 Powell, Jonathan (general editor), Richard Younger, Alexander Abercrombie, and François Fabre
Schlussszene aus “Salome” von Richard Strauss—​Konzertmäßige Übertragung für Klavier zu zwei Händen (1947; 25 pp.) 2007 Powell, Jonathan
Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra (1935-37, 1953-56; 540 pp.) 2014 Vignani, Alberto
Third Symphony for Piano Solo (1959-60; 144 pp.) 2016 Sánchez-Aguilera, Abel
Suggested Bell-Chorale for St. Luke’s Carillon (1961; 1 p.) 2004 Roberge, Marc-André
Messa grande sinfonica (1955-61; 1,001 pp.) 2017 Fabre, François
Frammento cantato (1967; 1 p.) 1992 Roberge, Marc-André
Concertino non grosso for String Sextet with Piano obbligato quasi continuo (1968; 48 pp.) 2004 Roberge, Marc-André
Benedizione di San Francesco d’Assisi (1973; 2 pp.) 2013 Roberge, Marc-André
Symphonia brevis for Piano (1973; 120 pp.) 2010 Abrahams, Simon
“Il gallo d’oro” da Rimsky-Korsakov: Variazioni frivole con una fuga anarchica, eretica e perversa (1978-79; 93 pp.) 2004 Abercrombie, Alexander
Il tessuto d’arabeschi (1979; 32 pp.) 2004 Roberge, Marc-André
Villa Tasca: Mezzogiorno siciliano—​Evocazione nostalgica e memoria tanta cara e preziosa del giardino meraviglioso, splendido, tropicale (1979-80; 47 pp.) 2008 Abrahams, Simon
Passeggiata variata sul nome del caro e gentile giovane amico Clive Spencer-Bentley (1981; 3 pp.) 2013 Roberge, Marc-André
Fantasiettina sul nome illustre dell’egregio poeta Christopher Grieve ossia Hugh M’Diarmid (1961; 10 pp.) 2005 Roberge, Marc-André
Last modified: 2021-05-21
© Marc-André Roberge 2021
Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)
Faculté de musique, Université Laval, Québec

The contents of this website devoted to the English composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji may be freely used for documentary purposes in a research context provided that due credit is given but may not be mirrored on any other server. Links to external or third-party websites cannot be guaranteed to be, or remain, valid or persistent, and their contents cannot be guaranteed to be, or remain, accurate or appropriate.

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