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Topic: Q for Peter Alexander. Revised or original R-K?

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  1. #1

    Q for Peter Alexander. Revised or original R-K?

    Hi Peter:

    In a previous post, you said the following in response to my questions on what orchestration textbooks to get: \"The secret of the Rimsky book (original) lies in the subheads because this is where you find the key lists of orchestral devices that make John Williams\' and everyone elses music sparkle. Herb Spencer, JW\'s late orchestrator, told me that to make it in Hollywood, you needed to know 1000 devices. The original R-K is where you find the list.\"

    Wow. That sounds like a great grab bag of useful tricks, that would help me get started while I\'m studying.

    My question is: is this list in all versions of the book? If not, which exactly should I get? (which edition, year, etc...)

    Thanks.

    PS: I am going with just R-K and Alder for the moment, and the Fux book for counterpoint.

  2. #2

    Re: Q for Peter Alexander. Revised or original R-K?

    Also,

    why are the example scores in many orchestration books not in concert pitch?!? What use to me is looking at alto and tenor clefs, with all the instruments in different keys? I have found this to be the case with a lot of books on orchestration (flicking through them in the bookshop), and it takes ages to work out the chord that the various sections are building if you have to start transposing in your head... What a bore!

    I hope this is not the case with the R-K.

  3. #3

    Re: Q for Peter Alexander. Revised or original R-K?

    Well, most of the examples in orchestration books are simply made by (photo)copying original (printed) material. If you were to study orchestration examples with all parts written in C, how could you ever make the jump to \"real\" printed scores?

    The old Rimsky-Korsakov book (as all other orchestration books) adhere to this old standard...

    A helpful (though also painful) trick is to start using alto, tenor clefs etc in your sequencer...

    Peter Roos

  4. #4

    Re: Q for Peter Alexander. Revised or original R-K?

    Thanks for the answers, Peter.

    The edition available in my local bookshop is standard book number 486-21266-1, from Dover publications. It\'s the one edited by Maximilian Steinberg, and its the \"slightly corrected, unabridged republication of the 1922 edition. Two volumes printed as one.\"

    Is the one with the list of devices?

    cheers

  5. #5

    Re: Q for Peter Alexander. Revised or original R-K?

    Another advantage of transposed scores is that you can see, at a glance, which instruments are playing at the top of their range, (upper ledger lines) demanding some attention, and which are playing a more supporting role. Concert scores hide this somewhat.

    But, I know what you mean, Leon, harmonies are a real pain to figure out... I\'m glad Elfman (and others) have made \"concert\" scores the norm in hollywood.

    It\'s probably best to forget about what\'s going on vertically anyway, and concentrate more on the horizontal lines when studying scores. The shape of a phrase is much more powerful than the underlying progression (except maybe for chromatic mediants [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] ).

    Neal

  6. #6

    Re: Q for Peter Alexander. Revised or original R-K?

    Leon: Glad you posted this question in a new thread. I also followed the previous thread and was wondering the same thing: IE: does the NEW editition have the grab bag or ONLY the old edition.

    The R-K book is the first one I read for my first orchestration in High School. It\'s an excellent book but I never bought it, just kep borrowing it from the library way back then. I\'d like to know if the new edition has the grab bag. If so I\'ll make my order....

  7. #7

    Re: Q for Peter Alexander. Revised or original R-K?

    Hey, fellows, thanks for the questions. Here are some answers.

    1. The Rimksy book is a complete revision and it\'s Volume 1 of 8 Volumes. Each volume is designed to completely go through all the techniques with both Rimsky\'s examples and new ones from major 20th century and late 19th century writers whose works are both PD and recorded. The current volume is built around 27 scores that have heavily influenced film composition. There are instrumentation notes edited by the section leaders that play in Jerry Goldsmith\'s orchestra in LA. Thus, what you need for the scoring stage is right here. Here\'s a link that gives the TOC:

    http://www.alexuniv.com/orch_princ.html

    You\'ll also find more info on the GOS update CD\'s.

    FYI, Volume 2 will be out in 2003.

    2. The list of techniques that Herb Spencer was talking about is listed in the Dover edition, but completely fleshed out in each succeeding volume I put out. For each technique, you often have to go through 30 or more scores completely before you find it.

    3. Our Fux book is called Counterpoint by Fux, it goes through three-part counterpoint, has real music examples for each \"species\" covered, and focuses on how to write counterpoint in each mode. For those with a jazz background, this is THE bridge between classical and jazz.

    http://www.alexuniv.com/cpoint.html

    4. Scores are not in concert pitch because they\'re printed for the conductor so that he has in front of him, on the stand, the exact part being played by the instrumentalist. With a concert score, a great deal of time can be wasted in a rehearsal with \"transpositional\" conversations. All of the scores in our Rimsky revision are full score, and transposed.

    5. If you\'re having problems sight reading alto and tenor clefs, get a book called Rhythmic Articulation by Bona.

    Thanks for the questions. Let me know if you have more.

  8. #8

    Re: Q for Peter Alexander. Revised or original R-K?

    Originally posted by Neal Keane:
    ... I\'m glad Elfman (and others) have made \"concert\" scores the norm in hollywood.
    Neal
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I\'m sorry, but concert scores are not the \"norm\" in Hollywood. Many composers do write their scores in concert, but these are immediately transposed. Transposed scores are at the recording sessions. If the conductor is the composer, as Jerry Goldsmith always is, he may conduct from his concert sketches, but often may defer to the transposed score to see what\'s going on. When conducting is being done from the concert score, it\'s done from a large sheet published by Judy Green Music (www.judygreenmusic.com) with 16 bars in two groups of eight. When two pages are open, 32 bars are visible to the conductor.

    Thanking Danny Elfman and others for making concert scores the \"norm\" is just not accurate. And as far forgetting vertical harmony to concentrate on linear lines, good grief, CRAFT!

  9. #9

    Re: Q for Peter Alexander. Revised or original R-K?

    Thanking Danny Elfman and others for making concert scores the \"norm\" is just not accurate. And as far forgetting vertical harmony to concentrate on linear lines, good grief, CRAFT!

    OK, I should thank Elfman et al for making concert scores \"more acceptable\".

    Well, I didn\'t mean that vertical harmony should be completely forgotten (when studying). However, once the \"craft\" is understood, it should take a back seat to the more important melodic and orchestration techniques. It\'s easy to get bogged down with transpositional details and miss the forest for the trees.

    At least for me, I tend to shelve a score rather than fight constant accidentals...but, then again, I\'m not a great reader [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img] .

    Neal

  10. #10

    Re: Q for Peter Alexander. Revised or original R-K?

    Peter, before this topic zooms off into the realms of wether it is best to study concert or transposing scores, could you give my above question a quick answer? (If the book I quoted is the one with the list of devices)

    Thanks!!

    PS: Neal, melodic contour remains intact with a concert score. Good point about spotting the tessitura of each instrument at a glance, though. Overall, I\'d still prefer concert scores, and you can learn the tessituras of all instruments as they relate to standard treble/bass clefs. This is, in my opinion, much less hassle than looking at a score in 4 simltaneous keys! It\'s a mind bender for me, anyway. And seing whether, say, the bassoons have crossed above the clarinets, etc... For the purposes studying, surely concert scores are the way to go.

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