Author Topic: Solo/Section String Question  (Read 1264 times)

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RJB54

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Solo/Section String Question
« on: February 15, 2019, 06:32:21 AM »
I am working on something where I am having the strings switch between solo and tutti passages.

My question is about pizz/arco indications in relation to solo and tutti passages. Does the most recent pizz/arco indicator apply to subsequent passages which are either tutti or solo?

For example, if you have a tutti passage where there is a pizz mark followed by a solo passage which should also be pizz. Do you have to supply another pizz mark for the solo passage or does the tutti pizz mark apply to the solo passage?

For another instance, say you have a pizz tutti passage followed by an arco solo passage to be followed by an arco tutti passage. Do you need to mark the tutti passage as arco or does the solo arco mark apply?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Ron

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Re: Solo/Section String Question
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2019, 07:00:20 AM »
The purpose of engraving is to make things clear for the players. So, I would treat a soloist as a separate instrument from the rest of the section and apply instructions appropriately. So, if, for some reason, I had a solo instrument on the same staff as the rest of the section (which I would not recommend), I would not assume that instructions for everyone would apply to the soloists and visa versa. (I trust you got that I strongly suggest a soloist have its own staff.)

BTW, it is my understanding that "tutti" is not the opposite of "solo" when applied to strings. It would be more appropriate to use "gli altri" to refer to the rest of the players.
Ron
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RJB54

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Re: Solo/Section String Question
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2019, 07:44:54 AM »
Thanks for the info Ron.

Since I asked the question I have found a YouTube video of Bartok's Divertimento For Strings with the score. There he freely switches between solo and tutti parts without using separate staves for the solo parts.

He marks them solo and tutti so I will follow that pattern.

He also seems to have the pizz and arco marks carry over from solo to tutti and vice versa, however, at the moment, I am leaning towards your suggestion and place the pizz and arco marks explicitly for both solo and tutti to ensure that everyone is aware of what they should be doing.
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Ron

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Re: Solo/Section String Question
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2019, 08:17:01 AM »
I use gli altri because that is what Gould recommends in her book on modern notation. Bartok was writing 75 to 100 years ago and styles have changed.
Ron
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RJB54

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Re: Solo/Section String Question
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2019, 08:53:51 AM »
Well, that's true.

However, nowadays I can't afford to buy an expensive book like Gould's so I guess I will tend to be somewhat behind the curve with what's considered good current practice as I tend to go with the info that's available in the free scores I can find.
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Michel.R.E

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Re: Solo/Section String Question
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2019, 09:44:53 AM »
to add a bit of information re. Gould:
the marking "gli altri" is if/when your solo part is playing at the same time as the others in the section.
if it's just a question of some measures having only a solo violin RATHER than the section, then returning to the whole section after that passage, the use of solo/tutti is fine.
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RJB54

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Re: Solo/Section String Question
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2019, 09:48:47 AM »
OK, thanks.
Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST.
Frank Zappa