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Topic: scoring/parts question

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  1. #1

    scoring/parts question

    to ayone who knows,
    when scoring for brass and woodwinds in a standard full orchestra, (3 or more flutes clarinets, trumpets, trombones, etc...)
    is it OK to use one separate staff for each player, or is it imperative to put players I and II together on one staff and player III on another. also when making parts, does each player have a stand, or do players I and II share.

    I am scoring an orchestral piece where all three players in a section might have very distinct parts and it might get very confusing for two of them to share one sheet of music. I just want to know if i MUST combine players into a part, or if i can give each his own.

    thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Re: scoring/parts question

    Quote Originally Posted by conwaylemmon
    to ayone who knows,
    when scoring for brass and woodwinds in a standard full orchestra, (3 or more flutes clarinets, trumpets, trombones, etc...)
    is it OK to use one separate staff for each player, or is it imperative to put players I and II together on one staff and player III on another. also when making parts, does each player have a stand, or do players I and II share.

    I am scoring an orchestral piece where all three players in a section might have very distinct parts and it might get very confusing for two of them to share one sheet of music. I just want to know if i MUST combine players into a part, or if i can give each his own.

    thanks in advance.
    Hi,

    as a conductor, I would recommend you to write separate parts for each player, finally, each of them normally have separate stand in the orchestra. Although in 21 century is pretty anything allowed, I would strongly recommend you to use separate staves even in the score (i.e. 3 flutes=3 staves, 4 horns=4 staves etc.). Furthermore, use full score through the piece (i.e. don't use "hide empty staves" feature). All of these recommendations will much help and speed up the study process for every musician involved.

    Petr Pololanik
    Conductor, Orchestrator, Music Producer

  3. #3

    Re: scoring/parts question

    Oops, nevermind, you just got a professional answer!
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  4. #4

    Re: scoring/parts question

    thanks capellen
    that's exactly what i needed

  5. #5

    Re: scoring/parts question

    Quote Originally Posted by capellen
    as a conductor, I would recommend you to write separate parts for each player, finally, each of them normally have separate stand in the orchestra.
    Indeed. Separate partbooks are the norm for this, though shared parts used to be more common (and I've resorted to them for a few "quickie" jobs) -- I've seen them in Gilbert & Sullivan, and even some "legit" concert repertoire.

    Although in 21 century is pretty anything allowed, I would strongly recommend you to use separate staves even in the score (i.e. 3 flutes=3 staves, 4 horns=4 staves etc.).
    Why? If, as in most writing up through Beethoven, the two oboes (for example) are playing rhythmically similar parts all the time, what could possibly be gained by writing them on two staves in the score? Conductors have to read too many staves as it is.

    I agree that if the two oboe parts are very independent, they will not be able to share one staff happily, but if they can share one staff, why shouldn't they? Sharing is common practice up to at least 1930.

    I'll grant you that conducting is not a specialty of mine (though I do do it on occasion). You've said you're a conductor, so I wonder if you could explain why you would prefer to see more staves on the page when fewer would do the job. As a copyist, I'd be very interested.

    Furthermore, use full score through the piece (i.e. don't use "hide empty staves" feature).
    I know there is some contention on this point, but again I don't agree here. If, in an orchestral piece, the woodwinds and brass don't play for an extended period, why waste space with empty staves? Surely it's only necessary to have the five staves of the string section in a case like this.

    I will agree that it could be confusing to the conductor if, say, all staves but the second clarinet are represented in a particular system. In that case, I agree that having a staff full of rests is the more practical solution.

    So I guess we're back at Alan Belkin's point about rules vs. principles. The rules don't matter as much as the principles behind them. Of course, in this case, the guiding principle is to make the conductor's and performers' lives as easy as possible.
    Marnen E. Laibow-Koser
    Composer / Web developer
    http://www.marnen.org

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