African Composers Edition (ACE) is an online publication imprint for sheet music by African composers who have not been extensively published before or whose works have not yet been transcribed into staff notation.
The mission of African Composers Edition (ACE) is to serve African composers and African music by professionally editing and typesetting sheet music previously available only in manuscript or unedited form, or in tonic solfa notation that few choirs worldwide can read.
ACE aims to give African music global visibility by making it available online as critically edited performing scores.
ACE also aims to produce recordings of historical or contemporary performances of this music.
ACE works closely with the families who own the music as intellectual property, who are consulted about the edition, and who receive a percentage of sales.
A new critical edition of a literary or musical text such as a novel or an opera aims to present a new ‘authentic’ version of that text, either from scratch (where no publication previously existed) or without the perceived errors or editorial impositions deemed to exist in previous published editions of the same work. It presents the new text together with scholarly ‘apparatus’ such as introductions, explanatory footnotes, and editorial comments.
African Composers Edition — ACE — was founded in 2012 by Christine Lucia while she was Extraordinary Professor in the Department of Music at the University of Stellenbosch. Her initial aim in establishing this imprint was to produce a Complete Critical Edition of the works of Sotho composer Joshua Pulumo Mohapeloa (1908-1982). Dr Lucia’s interest in Mohapeloa began in 1989 and after meeting the composer’s daughter-in-law, Mrs Ntsiuoa Joyce Mohapeloa in y2006 she made her first visit to Lesotho, where the composer was born and where he spent most of his life.
African Composers Edition (ACE) is a publication imprint that specializes in music by composers in Africa, particularly but not exclusively, South Africa. African sheet music scores are often difficult to obtain and most works do not reach a global market. Some music exists only in manuscript, in tonic solfa notation, or as MIDI files. African Composers Edition (ACE) helps African composers of instrumental and vocal music to achieve greater visibility and recognition by creating attractively produced, critically edited scores for performance or study. The imprint was launched with music for unaccompanied choir by Mohapeloa, presenting vocal scores in two A4 formats: staff notation only, and staff notation with tonic solfa.
Christine Lucia was born in London and read music at Oxford (St Anne’s College, 1965-1968), completing a post-graduate certificate in higher education at Durham University in 1969. She completed a Licentiate in Piano Performance through the Royal Academy of Music in 1971 and emigrated to South African in 1974.