Signor Olivieri had a gentle and quiet voice. His papers rustle so lightly when perused that editorial interventions needed to be minimal, to hear them and make them heard. To order his papers, digitise them, present them in a form mindful of their materiality and significance, publish them open-access in a hospitable context as artistic research, and nothing more. My previous attempts to revise the material in the yellow folder had resulted in the permanent loss of their original order, so I numbered the pages in the folder as I found on my new attempt over thirty years later. The content falls distinctively into three groups: the Trattato per il bocchino del clarinetto papers, Trattato for short, consist of ninety-one typewritten sheets, many on both sides, and one handwritten half music sheet; the Studi di ricerca papers consist of two handwritten booklets of seven and eight music sheets respectively, stitched in the middle (Studi 1 and Studi 2). At the end of the Trattato typescript, I found twenty-five typewritten pages of miscellaneous thoughts and recollections dated January 1975. I will refer to them occasionally as ‘Altri scritti’, but thought best not to publish them because of the personal nature of their content.
The original sheets were scanned, on both sides where necessary, using a flatbed scanner Epson Expression 1640XL at 300ppi resolution and images were saved as uncompressed TIFFs. Their appearance may differ from the original and vary amongst each other because I applied moderate sharpening and adjusted tone and colour values for improving the on-screen readability of each image. The files of the Trattato were named with the prefix ‘TBC’ followed by a sequence number from 001 to 123, and the Studi with the prefix ‘SR1_’ or ‘SR2_’ followed by a sequence number from 001 to 028 or from 001 to 032. I will use their respective sequence numbers as page reference.
The hi-resolution images were exported as ‘High-Quality’ JPEG specifically for publication on the Research Catalogue. The dimension chosen for the Trattato (842 px × 595 px) simulates the physical dimensions of the original, usually A4 or sometimes Letter, and allows good readability when viewed at full size. The dimensions chosen for the Studi (847 px × 1152 px) simulate the physical dimensions of the original half music sheet (22,5 cm × 30,5 cm). The fragment SR1_018a was apparently glued to SR1_018 but was found loos in the folder and scanned separately. SR2_025 is longer than the other pages (22,5 cm × 42,0 cm) because an extra half sheet glued to the bottom and folded. To keep all images of even length, the width was scaled down proportionally (649 px × 1152 px).
Giving a readable sequence to the Trattato was not without difficulties, not only due to the loss the original order, but mainly owing to Signor Olivieri’s working method. The typescript suggests he worked in blocks of one or two pages at the time, following a train of thought more than a structured plan of writing. He composed a section directly at the typewriter, corrected it by hand and often rewrote it from scratch, without discarding previous versions. Not only are many sheets of the Trattato relatively independent units, but it is unclear which version would be the most recent.
Further confusion is contributed by the original page numbers, which appear to have been added after the pages were rearranged using different numberings. On the other hand, the page numberings may indicate a major revision of the text. In a longer and probably older version of the Trattato, the ‘Prefazione’ and ‘Pagina introduttiva’ are followed by four short chapters (parti), with page numbers starting at each chapter. In the shorter version, the preface and introduction are followed by a continuous text, with progressive page numbers and finishing with the ‘Discorso finale e conclusivo’. It is likely that Signor Olivieri changed his initial plan from writing a book-length treatise, into writing a collection of studies preceded by an introduction, as would be custom in a student metodo.
The Studi have a simpler history of composition if the dates in the manuscripts can be relied upon: the first booklet of twenty-two studies was started in Summer 1978 (SR1_003) and completed in September 1980, while the second booklet of twenty-one studies was started in 1980 and completed in Autumn 1980. Both versions appear to be based on drafts or pre-existing material, but Studi 2 also shows improvements confirming that it is the latest version.
To improve the readability of the Trattato, make it searchable and facilitate sharing, quoting, referencing and the automatic translation of the text, I prepared a transcript of the Trattato. However, given the goals of this exposition and the limitations of HTML formatting, I adopted a liberal approach to the standards of documentary editing (Kline and Holbrook Perdue 2008: 123-5). For instance, I regularized margins and spaces, omitted images and captions, dropped hyphenation, corrected apostrophes and accents according to Italian orthography, I accepted all authorial revisions and discarded the others without indication.
The Research Catalogue page made it possible to visualise the history of the documents as far as I was able to reconstruct it. Leaving the sides of the same page together, I arranged the pages from top to bottom according to the text meaning, and horizontally according to the text history, starting from the final version. The vertical middle line separates discontinuous series of versions and represents Signor Olivieri’s major revisions of the Trattato and the Studi. The tables can also be used to navigate the documents: clicking a miniature displays the full size image of the page and caption beneath the miniature links to the corresponding section of the transcript. Signor Olivieris's widow entrusted the original manuscripts of the Trattato and the Studi to Paolo Giudici without restrictions. On the side, scanned copies are available for download and free to use, but please remember to credit their author.