Author Topic: Multiple movements - conductor's score vs parts  (Read 206 times)

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Patrick O'Keefe

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Multiple movements - conductor's score vs parts
« on: April 01, 2018, 04:09:35 PM »
I'm writing my first multi-movement work that might actually sit on music stands.  I have some score preparation questions I don't see addressed in Gould or Read. 

The piece is for chamber orchestra - pairs of wind and brass plus strings.  I've written one instrument per staff (which makes for easy parts extraction).  Should I combine the pairs of winds and brass into single staves in the conductor's score?  (Sometimes the members of a pair don't have the same dynamics.  Combining them with be a pain.)

I've written 5 movements as separate pieces but have appended them together using my notation software - Sibelius.  That has resulting in a reasonably good conductor's score: continuous page numbers throughout the score; measure numbers and rehearsal mark starting over in each movement; page breaks at the start of each movement.  Some movements start on an even page; some start on an odd page.  Is that OK?

The results of the append process has created a mess in the parts.  The new movements don't even cause a system break, let alone a page break.  (There may be some option I've set wrong but for now I assume this is a "feature".)  Is that typical for parts of a multi-movement work?  I assume there should at least be a system break between movements.  Should I make it a page break?  The original separate scores had "page 1" title information.  If I put a page break for each movement do I include the title of the movement?  (I feel like I should.)   Do I include the title of the composition?  (That feels redundant.)

Ron

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Re: Multiple movements - conductor's score vs parts
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2018, 05:22:47 PM »
I would combine the parts for the conductor's score where it does not cause confusion. I wouldn't worry about whether a movement starts on an odd or even numbered page in the conductor's score.

Yes, I would start each instrument's part on a new page for a new movement and include the title of the movement. Of course the cover page for the entire part should include full title of the work along with all the other pertinent information, like composer's name, date, performance notes. Don't forget that measure numbers and rehearsal marks must coincide in all parts including the conductor's score.
Ron
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Patrick O'Keefe

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Re: Multiple movements - conductor's score vs parts
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2018, 07:08:31 PM »
Thanks Ron.  I think I have some work ahead. I think the bar numbers and rehearsal marks ae the only things I've got under control at the moment.  :)

tbmartin

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Re: Multiple movements - conductor's score vs parts
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2018, 05:28:36 AM »
One option is to keep the movements separate in Sibelius and combine the movements via pdf. That might be simpler than trying to keep your parts from getting messed up.
Terence Martin

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Ron

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Re: Multiple movements - conductor's score vs parts
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2018, 07:16:26 AM »
I don't know if this will help, but In Finale you have the option of combining separate files (movements) into one. Otherwise, it is a simple matter to change the page numbering and rehearsal numbering in each file. I have handled multi-movement pieces both ways. I assume Sibelius has similar options.
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Patrick O'Keefe

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Re: Multiple movements - conductor's score vs parts
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2018, 08:40:01 AM »
You've both convinced me to stay with separate scores.  That's what I've got now, and I think dealing with the page numbers is easier than combining them in Sibelius.

Regarding cover pages(s) for the parts, should those be identical to the conductor's score cover pages (except for page size)?   

Michel.R.E

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Re: Multiple movements - conductor's score vs parts
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2018, 10:12:40 AM »
Regarding score/parts:

1) Cover Page
I personally use the same image but with different settings. The score, since it it is a larger format, hard-cover edition, gets a colour image. Parts, since they are on regular (albeit thick) paper without a cover, get the same cover but in a black and white version.
This is a personal preference, it works for my scores.

2) Different Movements
A new movement should not force a part onto a new page. If there are two systems of one movement on a page, then start the next movement immediately after (essentially becoming the 3rd system of that page).
Any movement titles should be included in parts, exactly as they are in the score, leaving sufficient space between the last system of a movement and the first system of a subsequent one for the necessary information. Composer name, opus number, date of composition, etc.. are NOT required at new movements, only a title.

Page breaks are neither required nor desirable at new movements if there is space for a system of the new movement. This applies to both score and parts.

N.B. for difficult page turns, it is permitted to leave half a page blank in a part if that is the only place that permits the musician to comfortably turn the page. It is also permitted to leave an entire page blank if doing so creates better page turns in later movements. If you resort to the latter, include a note in the middle of the page "blank page" or something to that effect.

3) Consolidated Staves
A chamber work never has consolidated parts (ie: two of an instrument on a staff), however, a chamber orchestra is not a "chamber group".  If you have woodwinds by twos and brass and strings, then it is a full orchestra (even if it isn't Mahlerian). It then becomes desirable to consolidate parts as often as the score permits.

My preference is to keep page-by-page layout as similar as possible. I have even resorted to keeping an entire page of empty staves leaving only a pair of instruments playing, rather than optimize out the entire orchestra leaving only the playing pair. The sudden shift from a full page of music to sudden minimal amount of staves can be confusing and create more of a nuisance during rehearsals. Again, this is a personal preference, neither right nor wrong, and certainly not obligatory. In my experience, however, it makes for smoother rehearsals.

N.B. I HAVE been asked in the past by some conductors to simply leave all staves unconsolidated. So it happens.

4) Additional Consideration
Make PROFUSE use of cues in the parts. Like REALLY profuse. The more the musicians know is going on in other parts, the fewer chances of them screwing up an entry.
In my percussion parts I have even taken to following bartok's lead and creating a percussion part with an extra staff that is a reduction of the rest of the ensemble's part. That way you KNOW the percussionist will follow. besides, it's a LOT more fun to see what's going on in other parts than to sit there and apathetically count 42 measures of rest.
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Patrick O'Keefe

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Re: Multiple movements - conductor's score vs parts
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2018, 10:46:39 AM »
Thank you, Michel.   Lots of good information there.

I think "Page breaks are neither required nor desirable at new movements" directs me back to a single score with all movements.  There are probably tools that allow combining PDF files mid-page but I don't want to deal with that now.

Michel.R.E

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Re: Multiple movements - conductor's score vs parts
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2018, 11:20:29 AM »
let me just include a part from my clarinet quintet.
it will show how I dealt with a couple of issues.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

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Patrick O'Keefe

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Re: Multiple movements - conductor's score vs parts
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2018, 11:23:26 AM »
Thank you very much!

Update:
The part did an excellent job of demonstrating everything I needed to see ... except for the lack of requirement or desirability of page breaks between movements.  :)   I bet I can figure that one out all on my own.

And the part reminds me of how I would dearly like to include a page with the comment, "This page intentionally contains a lie stating the page is blank".
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 12:57:05 PM by Patrick O'Keefe »

tbmartin

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Re: Multiple movements - conductor's score vs parts
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2018, 12:26:06 PM »
In my percussion parts I have even taken to following bartok's lead and creating a percussion part with an extra staff that is a reduction of the rest of the ensemble's part. That way you KNOW the percussionist will follow. besides, it's a LOT more fun to see what's going on in other parts than to sit there and apathetically count 42 measures of rest.

Oooh! I'd never heard of that. Great idea.
Terence Martin

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Jerry Engelbach

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Re: Multiple movements - conductor's score vs parts
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2018, 06:07:14 AM »
Michel,
 
A technique question.

In bar 114 of your 3rd movement you have the violin marked pizzicato on all four open strings.
 
I'm curious about how the violinist plays that.
 
Cheers,
Jer
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Michel.R.E

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Re: Multiple movements - conductor's score vs parts
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2018, 07:08:25 AM »
Jer, that's a strummed chord.
The performer simply pulls the edge of the thumb on the bow hand across the strings, starting from lowest (left most) to highest (right most) string.
It can be done extremely fast, almost giving the impression of simultaneous quadruple stop, or done slower with the emphasis on the strumming part.
For the latter it's best to indicate "quasi guitara" to make sure you're really getting that "strumming" sound. Otherwise, it's not really necessary. Usually the musicians will take context into consideration to decide how to approach that type of passage.

The same can be done with chords not comprised of open strings, by the way. The difference being that open strings have more resonance and a longer ringing time.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

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