The Modern, Paperless Hornist


One trend I have noticed is that more and more horn players (and musicians in general) are to varying degrees going paperless. Using your iPad or similar device to read PDF music really is convenient and a growing trend.

Langey-cover-small-hornFor the horn player exploring the paperless option, first note that we have quite a library of music now at Horn Matters– solos, excerpts, etudes, exercises, and duets, with more in the pipeline. Make it your go-to first stop, either to print or to go paperless, and it is FREE. Large, hard to tote around collections of excerpts are certainly something of the past. Our PDF page is here:

Besides free and PDF public domain works such you can find here or on ISMLP, the other main option is to buy E-music. Quite a variety of music is actually available when you get looking. Sources include commercial sites such as Online Sheet Music and Music Notes, and also the IHS has an Online Music Sales area. And many recent horn publications are available in E-Book or PDF formats.

I don’t push them too hard here in Horn Matters, but I do sell a series of five E-Books. They are specialized titles that don’t sell in quantity, but all sell steadily. Presently the Horn Notes Edition E-Books outsell print books something like 4-1. If you are a publisher and are ignoring this market you do so at your peril. People are turning rapidly to the convenience of E-publications.

That being said, I have a little bad news. I used to sell my E-publications worldwide but I recently posted this to my publications website:

Due to the EU Value-Added Tax (VAT) changes that went into effect as of January 1, 2015 we were prompted to reconsider our European sales of E-books (which we cannot continue doing) and international sales in general. As we cannot sell E-books at all in Europe at this time (the law is impossible for a small business such as ours to comply with) and shipping costs are high enough that print copy sales were always slow, we have eliminated online sales outside of the USA and Canada. It is a shame too, as we enjoyed steady sales of the E-books to European buyers. Our apologies to those impacted.

Reading up on it all, it is unclear to me if the EU really can enforce this on a business in the USA, but I choose to steer clear and pull out of online sales to Europe. How the commercial sites mentioned earlier will deal with the VAT changes I don’t know. I hope the IHS has a plan.

The rules really are set up so that a small venture like Horn Notes Edition can’t possibly comply with them, for example having to preserve securely for ten years non-contradictory information on the buyer’s location and paying quarterly the correct VAT rates across 28 EU countries, a tax that in round figures is a bit above 20%. Only very big firms are equipped to deal the nuances of this new tax. For a good introductory article to the issues see this one for example.

I can still legally sell print publications (for now) in Europe, but that looks like it will change soon too. For now my plan is to sell outside the USA and Canada on demand only (via e-mail contact). This issue will all sort out over the next few years, and even with the VAT tax there are still a lot of options toward being a paperless hornist. The options are likely to grow.

University of Horn Matters