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Topic: Proof-reading Thread

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  1. #11

    Proof-reading Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by marnen
    [*]In the comments about "natural order" at the end of the lesson, neither Rimsky nor Belkin mentions that it's quite common -- in fact, often desirable -- to put the clarinets higher than the oboes. This is often done to achieve a more brilliant sound, or simply because the clarinet can go higher than the oboe. In my opinion, this practice is too common to qualify as a real disturbance of "natural order".
    The point if RK's "natural order", I think, is to avoid getting into trouble with the low register of the oboe. And if the clarinet is used (melodically) much above the treble staff, the sound is much more strained then the flute, which is the "natural" inhabitant of this space. More of a special effect ...
    Alan Belkin, composer
    Professor of Composition
    University of Montreal

    http://www.musique.umontreal.ca/pers...n/e.index.html (links to examples of my music, as well as my online textbooks)

  2. #12

    Re: Proof-reading Thread

    To decide whether to put the clarinets above the oboes will usually depend on what is going on elsewhere.

    If there is not much brass, and the volumes are not above forte, then Rimsky's "natural order" will be right.

    If there is a big tutti, with plenty of brass, and you want maximum reinforcement from the woodwind, then keep the oboes low/medium in pitch, where they are strongest, and clarinets fairly high, where their penetrating tone will tell. They could perhaps dovetail with the flutes, or be immediately below them. Above the stave, anyway.

  3. #13
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    Re: Proof-reading Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Cantabile
    You cannot really use the back examples as "set in stone" as again I mentioned all the copyist mark mistakes(and indeed there are alot when one takes the time to obtain live versions of these rarely performed operas). What im curious about is how this book has been floating around for so long with missing copyist markings ranging from tempos to articulations?? One would figure after so long these things would eventually be caught/corrected. Maybe it takes the combonation of sound files/proof reading/live recordings(which are very hard to come by! I luckily found some) to clean it up as RK intended things.
    Cantabile is right. There are copyist mistakes and omissions in the 275+ examples. There are also Russian notation concentions that were different than today. Many of the scores were compiled by Maximillina Steinberg, after Rimsky-Korsakov's death and the material remain unchanged until this day.

    When markings were missing, Robert referred to orchestral recordings of the score or took his best guestimate as to what the composer's intentions may have been. It is a good thing to try to update and correct some of the material. Some things are obvious, but many are simply a matter of interpretation or subject to the period or copyist considerations.

    Let's not loose sight of the forest for the trees. When we are focusing on melody in the violins, it does little to debate where an omitted slur ought to be in the bassoons. It may be more edifying to focus of the subject matter being addressed in the lessons. Otherwise we can go off-track and be derailed into subjective minutia.

    It's a slippery slope to try to re-interpret the original scores and we prefer to remain true to the original. We'll do our best to correct obvoius mistakes and other concerns will be addressed on a score-by-score basis.

    Gary Garritan

  4. #14
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    Re: Proof-reading Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    This thread is to point out any concerns found in the scores. Identifying obvious and clear errors in the scores or text are helpful.



    It seems to me part of the problem in this and other texts that give examples from composers of different nationalities is the different names for instruments in different languages, and playing instructions in different languages. I used to think Italian was the universal language of classical music, but that's clearly not the case. The French used French, the Germans German, the Russians Russian and Italian, etc. For the purposes of this class (and other texts on orchestration,) should we "normalize" all instrument names and playing instructions to something we 21st Century folks could agree on? Maybe English for instrument names, and Italian for all else? Or all Italian? Or should we just bite the bullet and learn that a "trombone" is a "Posaune" in German, or a "Hautbois" is French for Oboe? And the one that really got me until I looked it up- "Hfe"- which as Gary knows is "Harp" in German ("Harfe")

    Keith Walls

  5. #15

    Re: Proof-reading Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithW
    I used to think Italian was the universal language of classical music, but that's clearly not the case. The French used French, the Germans German, the Russians Russian and Italian, etc.
    Well, Italian is the universal language of classical music in the sense that classical composers, 99% of the time, will either use Italian (unless they're French) or their local language. Some Mahler and late Beethoven scores even have both Italian and German in parallel, apparently by the composer's own choice (at least in Beethoven's case).

    For the purposes of this class (and other texts on orchestration,) should we "normalize" all instrument names and playing instructions to something we 21st Century folks could agree on?
    It's probably not necessary. The variation is not that great, and there's not much risk of confusion.

    Maybe English for instrument names, and Italian for all else? Or all Italian?
    Well, certainly we can use English for instrument names in an English context -- we say "the flutes and oboes are in unison", not "the flauti and oboi are in unison" -- but translating expression markings is seldom a good idea. Heck, much of the Italian used in these markings isn't even proper Italian; rather, it's "musicians' Italian", a technical vocabulary that has evolved into its own special dialect over the past few centuries. And there are certain expression markings that have no good equivalent in other languages, so translation wouldn't be particularly helpful.

    Or should we just bite the bullet and learn that a "trombone" is a "Posaune" in German, or a "Hautbois" is French for Oboe? And the one that really got me until I looked it up- "Hfe"- which as Gary knows is "Harp" in German ("Harfe")
    Absolutely, bite the bullet. If you only know the English names, what happens when you need to study the score of a Beethoven symphony, where all the instruments will most likely be labelled in Italian, or a Wagner opera (German), or Ravel's Bolero (French)? You won't be able to make sense of the score because you won't know which instrument is which. Most introductory orchestration books give the names of all the instruments in English, French, German, and Italian for just this reason. If enough people want, I can probably put together such a list and post it here.
    Marnen E. Laibow-Koser
    Composer / Web developer
    http://www.marnen.org

  6. #16
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    Re: Proof-reading Thread

    It seems like it a good thing to learm all the various versions of the instrument names, abbreviations and expressions... you know "diversity!" ...and "Be Prepared!"

    If you can read some French, you can infer a lot of the Italian, and so it probably also works visa versa, or with anything latin based, and English speakers can already read a lot of French since we have so much of it in our English.

    Googling the names and abreviations with the word music or the words music abbreviation turns up some handy sites like this one:

    http://www.dolmetsch.com/sitemap.htm
    Scroll down for music dictionary, scroll down farther for Music Theory and History.

    David

  7. #17

    Re: Proof-reading Thread

    Not sure it hasn't been posted yet:
    cf- No. 40. Sheherazade, 2nd movement, Section A - Bassoon melodycounter to Oboe.
    The last note in the last-minus-five bar, Fag. I: should be a fa, not mi.
    -- Mr. Kej

  8. #18
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    Re: Proof-reading Thread

    Lesson 7- Example 60- It talks about "English Horn." I see no English Horn on the score, unless I'm missing something.

    Keith W.

  9. #19
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    Re: Proof-reading Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithW
    Lesson 7- Example 60- It talks about "English Horn." I see no English Horn on the score, unless I'm missing something.

    Keith W.
    This was taken verbatim from the text. The Rimsky-Korsakov score and text cites there being an oboe and English horn in octaves. The Ob. c-alto, with its pear-shaped bell, or contra-alto oboe referred to in the score is equivalent to the modern English horn.

  10. #20
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    Re: Proof-reading Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    This was taken verbatim from the text. The Rimsky-Korsakov score and text cites there being an oboe and English horn in octaves. The Ob. c-alto, with its pear-shaped bell, or contra-alto oboe referred to in the score is equivalent to the modern English horn.
    Thanks, Gary. I'm learning as much about instruments as anything else in this course!

    Keith W.

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