I had an e-mail from a pianist who asked: “on your blog, the music is handwritten, did you write that yourself or do you have a facsimile edition? Because my edition is normal printed music.” This made me realize that all of my “page-by-page” posts on For Bunita Marcus are probably pretty baffling to those of you with the “typeset” score, since the page numbering is totally different!
For the record, the scores of For Bunita Marcus and Palais de mari that I have are copies I acquired some years ago, when Universal Edition was publishing facsimiles of Feldman’s hand-written scores. Since then, they have had the scores prepared in conventional formats that match the style of their other editions. My suspicion is that this was done in part to save money: the manuscript editions were oversized and no doubt more expensive to produce.
The differences in the scores is a serious problem for analysis of Feldman, as Bunita Marcus stressed repeatedly in a lecture I heard her give last year. In composing, Feldman was highly conscious of the layout of the music on the page (“the grid”). As I have noted in various posts here, for example, the structure of certain pages of For Bunita Marcus is based on a system-by-system rearrangement of earlier pages in the score. Without the system and page structure of Feldman’s manuscript, this connection would be obscured, and you would never see the exact method used.
Fortunately, it is relatively easy to make a cross-reference in the typeset score to the manuscript pages. Every page of the manuscript of For Bunita Marcus (including the first and last) contains 45 measures: 5 systems of 9 measures each. So those of you with the newer scores can just count off the measures and mark in where the manuscript page breaks fall.
I just discovered a paper online by Tom Hall, “Notational image, transformation and the grid in the late music of Morton Feldman”, that discusses the relationship of manuscript score structure to musical structure. I have yet to read in detail, but there is a discussion of the problem of typeset scores at the end of this paper.