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J.S. Bach, Well-Tempered Clavier, Volume 1, complete video available

on Wed, 12/02/2015 - 14:13
This video is for Bach lovers who want to become more familiar with the intricate structures of his Preludes and Fugues. Utilising the scores of two different open source music projects, the video shows line by line how all of the voices relate. The Fugues, in particular, are marvellously split into one voice per stave, revealing insights that are otherwise hard to recognise. Enjoy J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier!

Kimiko Ishizaka's Open Well-Tempered Clavier

on Sat, 03/21/2015 - 16:59
Pianist Kimiko Ishizaka has released her new recording of J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. The project, called the Open Well-Tempered Clavier, includes a new score by, and was financed by more than 900 fans on The recording was made in the Teldex Studio, Berlin, on a Bösendorfer 280 grand piano, with Anne-Marie Sylvestre as the recording engineer. Both the recording and the score are released to the public domain using the Creative Commons Zero license.


on Sun, 12/07/2014 - 23:08

One of the original goals of the Open Goldberg Project was to give artists, musicians, multimedia artists and film makers, or just you and me the chance to use this unique, wonderful and eternal piece of music in the form of a brilliant recording by Kimiko Ishizaka to download, study, share, enjoy, reshape, remix, mash up – or just to be used as a soundtrack. Without having to worry about any copyright infringement. Groovy, eh?

Many people have done so, including swiss multimedia artist Landscape Windscreen who created a series of fractal videos accompanied by the Goldbergs. Or vice versa.

WDR3's "Open Klassik" features the Open Goldberg Variations

on Fri, 08/29/2014 - 17:46

One of Germany's premiere radio stations, WDR 3, has featured the Open Goldberg Variations in a cool radio and web project titled "Open Klassik". The series of interviews and videos aim to highlight new and powerful trends in the classical music industry.


Braille edition of the Open Goldberg Variations

on Sun, 03/23/2014 - 20:21

MuseScore and the Open Goldberg Project are happy to announce the immediate availability of the Open Goldberg Variations score in braille format. This score will allow blind musicians to read Bach's Goldberg Variations on braille terminal devices, or to print the score onto paper using braille embossers. We were able to make this score only with the help of the Golden Chord Braille Music Transcription Service, and with the support of over 900 backers of our recent Open Well-Tempered Clavier project

Here are the files:

Ba©h to Bach: The Open Well-Tempered Clavier

on Thu, 09/19/2013 - 17:22

UPDATE: The release of Kimiko Ishizaka's Well-Tempered Clavier will be available on the new Well-Tempered Clavier website starting in March, 2015.

After two years of preparation, including two world tours, Kimiko Ishizaka and the Open Goldberg team are now ready to announce the next project to create public domain, open source music! We are happy to present the "Open Well-Tempered Clavier: Ba©h to Bach"

We've taken the recipe that made the Open Goldberg Variations great, and expanded it to include some new partners.

Robert Douglass and Kimiko Ishizaka at Observe.Hack.Make. 2013

on Sun, 09/15/2013 - 10:57

Observe.Hack.Make. (OHM) is a massive event for the European hackers and maker communities. It attracts just about anybody who is into open source, open culture, hacktivism, copyleft, privacy, and much more. The event takes place in tents in the fields of northern Holland.

Robert Douglass and Kimiko Ishizaka both presented different aspects of "Open Source Bach". Robert gave a lecture that presented the Open Goldberg Variations, the recent Twelve Tones of Bach Tour, and the upcoming Open Well-Tempered Clavier project.

Robert Douglass interviews Aaron Dunn of Musopen about "Setting Chopin Free"

on Thu, 09/12/2013 - 20:57

Aaron Dunn's Kickstarter project is on track to raise over $75,000 to record the entire catalog of Frédéric Chopin, and to release it into the public domain. Aaron joined me on a Google Hangout (which unfortunately didn't capture his video) to talk about the project, and its importance as a catalyst to shift the incentives of the music industry, while bringing classical music and the works of Chopin to entirely new audiences. You can support Aaron's project at:

Open Goldberg Variations now recognized by YouTube's ContentID

on Fri, 08/02/2013 - 11:40

UPDATE 2: We have added a claim release form specifically for those who wish to have their "AdRev for Rights Holder" claim released.

UPDATE: Anyone interested in this topic should absolutely read the blog at Free Music Archive (who did their due dilligence better than I did), because some of the claims of border on being outright misleading.

One of the distinct benefits of having the Open Goldberg Variations free for use by everyone has been the plethora of great YouTube videos that have made use of the content. From fractal animations, to dance videos, to nature collages,

Classical CD distribution is a failing business - three major players shutting down

on Sat, 07/20/2013 - 09:42

It's been a bad month for classical record labels, hundreds of whom are now scrambling to see how they will continue to distribute their physical products to merchants and retailers around the world. In the shortest time, three major distributors have gone out of business, leaving artists and labels in the lurch as they try to sell their CD inventory. Which companies are closing their doors? 

  1. Codaex: The European (Codaex Group) and U.K. (Codaex U.K. Lt.) entities are in administration, affecting hundreds of labels. The Codaex blog now says "Auf Wiedersehen" (goodbye). The German blog lists

Amanda Palmer explains gratis music and the artist / fan trust

on Sun, 03/24/2013 - 17:34

No musician has had more success reaching their fans via than Amanda Palmer. Her fundraising project is the most successful music campaign in the history of crowdfunding. In this video she brilliantly explains why she asks her fans for support, and why they're so willing to help her. The Open Goldberg Variations project has a lot in common with Amanda and her point of view. This video really rang true in our hearts. Thank you, Amanda Palmer, for explaining so eloquently why we're all doing this. You're an inspiration.


100 Goldberg Variations - The Unboxing

on Fri, 01/18/2013 - 09:36

On a cold winter day in Germany, I received two boxes full of music. These are the last Open Goldberg Variations scores to be delivered to the project's backers. They're quite beautiful. You can order yours directly from the GRIN website.

Soundsnips, a free iPhone app featuring the Open Goldberg Variations

on Fri, 12/21/2012 - 20:33

An exciting early Christmas present just arrived by email. A new free iPhone app called Soundsnips has been created by KUSC, a public radio station in southern California, and it features the Open Goldberg Variations by Kimiko Ishizaka. Classical KUSC claims to be "the largest and most listened to public radio and non-profit classical music station in the country", so this is a big deal for Open Goldberg.

The app is designed to educate people about music from different eras such as the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern.

GRIN.COM publishes crowdsourced musical score of Bach´s Goldberg Variations / New Partnership with Open Goldberg Project for sheet music publishing

on Tue, 12/04/2012 - 10:09

MUNICH, December 4, 2012. GRIN.COM, german Online-Publisher of over 200.000 E-Books and textbooks, partners with the Open Goldberg Variations project and releases new crowdfunded, crowdsourced, public domain engraving of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations. GRIN.COM will distribute the newly published musical score to the hundreds of music lovers around the world who in 2011 funded the engraving via the website The new edition of the Bach’s Goldberg Variations was made by Werner Schweer using the open source MuseScore notation software.

GRIN Verlag veröffentlicht rechtefreie Notenausgabe von Bachs Goldberg Variationen / Zusammenarbeit mit Open Goldberg Project

on Tue, 12/04/2012 - 10:07

München, den 4. Dezember 2012. Der GRIN Verlag, Online-Publisher von über 200.000 E-Books und akademischen Texten, veröffentlicht zusammen mit dem Open Goldberg Variations Project die Fan-finanzierte und -unterstützte Notenausgabe von Johann Sebastian Bachs Goldberg Variationen. GRIN.COM vertreibt ab sofort die neue Edition der Partitur, die in 2011 weltweit von hunderten musikbegeisterter Fans über die Crowdfunding-Plattform finanziert und von Autor und Initiator Werner Schweer mit der Open Source Notationssoftware MuseScore erstellt wurde.

The Open Goldberg Variations Double CD now on Amazon

on Mon, 09/03/2012 - 21:58
Amazon now carries the Open Goldberg Variations double CD. If you enjoyed the album, consider giving it a review. Sales of the disc on Amazon directly help Kimiko Ishizaka's project to record Bach's Well Tempered Clavier next.

Free CD drawing winners

on Sat, 09/01/2012 - 15:23

Congratulations go out to Walter, LINS, Bogdana, Philiippe, and Benson for being chosen randomly from the pool of people who entered our drawing to win a free copy of the Open Goldberg Variations CD. Your prizes will be in the mail shortly. Enjoy!

The Open Goldberg Variations CDs are in production

on Sun, 08/12/2012 - 10:35

After a long search for an appropriate production company, and much effort invested into the graphical design of the booklet, the Open Goldberg Variations double CD is now being manufactured. In addition to the backer dedications, the liner notes will include short essays written by Kimiko Ishizaka and Andrew Melck, in both English and German. The booklet design was done by Jeffrey A. McGuire (aka "jam").

Backers of this project will start to get their CDs in the mail late August and early September. Anybody wishing to order more copies of the CD can do so by supporting the Well Tempered

Kimiko Ishizaka announces world tour performing Bach

on Fri, 08/03/2012 - 10:47

Kimiko Ishizaka, the Open Goldberg Variations pianist, will visit seven cities around the world playing the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. With an eye on a larger recording project, Kimiko is sharing her new interpretation of the Well Tempered Clavier, Volume 1, with audiences in Cologne, Ann Arbor, New York, Rockport, Toronto, Vienna, and London.

To help finance the tour, and to sell early access tickets, a Kickstarter project has been launched.

Complete series of fractal landscapes for Open Goldberg Variations finished

on Sun, 07/29/2012 - 11:33

Landscape Windscreen has finished creating a series of fractal landscape videos set to the music of the Open Goldberg Variations. Here's how they were produced:

The fractal movies were made by me with Fractal eXtreme which is simple to use and incredibly fast. The shortest one was made within hours, the longest took about 55+ hours to render and contains about 25'000 single frames. There were drawbacks (such as when I ran out of memory after a 2-day render and had to start again ), but I had fun exploring and making these movies and pay honor to the efforts of the Open Goldberg Project.

Short film on mountain climbing uses the Open Goldberg Variations

on Fri, 07/27/2012 - 08:11

"The Gift" is an appropriate title for a short film that uses the Open Goldberg Variations as its musical material. Indeed, it is the full intention of the OGV team that the music is used in derivative art works. It's the best way we have to pass on the gift of Bach's music that has come down to us through the centuries. Andrew Querner, the creator of the film, contacted us to say this: "As a kid, I grew up listening to the Goldberg Variations; that I can work with the music now means a great deal to me." Here is Andrew's film, enjoy!

The Gift from Andrew Querner on Vimeo.

Here come the mashups and visualizations

on Mon, 07/02/2012 - 06:00

One of the clear goals of the Open Goldberg Variations was to create a work which would spawn even more creativity in the hands of musicians, filmmakers, and artists to come. By licensing both the recording and the score with the Creative Commons Zero tool (ie placing the work into the public domain with no copyright and no usage restrictions), we've made it as easy as it can be to incorporate Kimiko Ishizaka's artistry into your own works. Here are the first two examples to come to light.

Visualizing Fractals

Torsten Stier used the Aria from the Open Goldberg Variations in his 1st prize

Score following with Wisconsin Public Radio a success

on Sun, 06/24/2012 - 21:53

Wisconsin Public Radio and Open Goldberg have successfully made radio history. On June 24, 2012, WPR broadcast the entire Goldberg Variations recording made by Kimiko Ishizaka. At the same time, technologies for score following provided by MuseScore and SampleSumo were used to broadcast the score of the Goldbergs to anyone who was watching via a browser. The radio audience was instructed to visit, choose their radio station, and then watch the measures get highlighted in synchronicity with the broadcast of the radio.

This event was uniquely possible through the combination

How much money has pumped into the music industry?

on Thu, 06/07/2012 - 16:53
By Robert Douglass, June 7, 2012.

Have you ever wondered exactly how much money is flowing through into the music industry? I did, and as preparation for my appearance at Classical:NEXT I consulted the Kickstarter site itself, with the help of a little script I wrote, and tallied all of the succussfully completed music projects since the site launched in 2008. The results are pretty remarkable. 

In total, in roughly 4 years, Kickstarter has poured a staggering $36,075,878.78 into music projects. Over the 10 categories that Kickstarter lists - Indie Rock, Rock, Country, Pop,

MuseScore releases free iPad app for Open Goldberg Variations

on Sun, 06/03/2012 - 21:07

iPad owners can now enjoy the Open Goldberg Variations, played by Kimiko Ishizaka, while following the score on their iPad. MuseScore has released a free iPad app that is dedicated to the music, the score, and the history of the Open Goldberg Variations project. Have fun!


Overwhelming positive response to the release of the Open Goldberg Variations

on Sat, 06/02/2012 - 12:30

In the few days since the recording and score to the Open Goldberg Variations have been released, the internet has been buzzing with excitement, and people around the world have been enjoying the new public domain works that have been given to them. There are now dozens of sites where people can find the downloads, listen to the recording, or procure the score. As such, it will never be possible to know exactly how many people are listening to the work. We do have some statistics from our sites, though, as well as a partial list of articles and reviews that have been written.



Open Goldberg Variations and MuseScore to appear at Classical:NEXT

on Wed, 03/21/2012 - 20:14

Open Goldberg Variations director Robert Douglass, pianist Kimiko Ishizaka, and music notation company MuseScore have been invited to demonstrate a unique score-following technology at the Classical:NEXT conference in Munich at the end of May. In addition, Robert Douglass will be speaking on a panel discussing crowdfunding music projects.

This score-following technology, developed by SampleSumo, recognises the music as it is being performed and follows the score from MuseScore accordingly, allowing the audience to see every note being played.

Recording the Goldberg Variations at the Teldex Studio

on Fri, 02/03/2012 - 15:41

After a year of preparation and hard work, we've reached a significant milestone with the Open Goldberg Variations project: Kimiko Ishizaka has recorded the piece. The recording sessions went from January 9 to January 13, 2012, in the Teldex Studio in Berlin.

17 microphones and 6 pairs of ears

Kimiko was joined in the studio by Anne-Marie Sylvestre, the Producer of the recording, who flew in from Montreal just for these sessions, Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer and a partner at Teldex, Bernhard Farenholtz, master piano builder and technician who cared for the instrument, Robert Douglass,