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Composers' sketches

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Also, more specifically, what would basso mean in a Williams sketch? Based on context, I'm thinking it may mean bassoon, but it seems like bsn would be a more sensible abbreviation, since basso looks a lot like bass or bassa (as in 8va bassa).

The easiest thing to do would be just to listen to the recordings of those passages and take note of which instruments are playing. If it's just bassoons, then you'll know basso means bassoon. But if it's the double bass, tuba, cello, bassoon, contrabassoon and bass clarinet, then you know it means tutti basses.

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A lot of the time the passages in question are buried beneath other instruments, making it a little difficult to tell. I mean, the bassoon color gets absorbed so easily into the low strings. Tuba not so much, but that depends on the recording.

In any case, though, we've settled the issue: basso in Williams sketches means "one octave lower." It's not an indication of instrumentation. :)

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If the vertical line is above the horizontal line, that pitch is flat. If the vertical line is centered on the horizontal line, that pitch is natural. If the vertical line is below the horizontal line, that pitch is sharp.

Seems counter-intuitive. I'd have thought the lines above would indicate sharp and the lines below would indicate flat.

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Yeah, I always have to remind myself that it's the opposite of what you'd expect. But it actually does make sense - the diagram literally shows the position of the harp's pedals, so if the pedal goes down, it stretches the strings and makes them sound sharper.

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just thought about the harp tuning thing again, why don't they simply use key signatures??

also how can I make these vertical lines in sibelius? (...and no I wont switch to finale :P I'm just getting used to this prog :) )

I use Finale, but there doesn't seem to be a way to do it naturally in that, either. On the rare occasion I need a harp diagram, I just create it as a graphic in Photoshop and import it into Finale.

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There's a better way in Finale - you just need the font EngraverTextT. Do it as a text expression. You can type o for the flat bar, O for the natural bar, p for the sharp bar, and P for the vertical line that separates the B from the E. Size 12 seems to be pretty good. (Also, don't be fooled if you see little gaps in the symbol; those don't really show up in the final printed product.)

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There's a better way in Finale - you just need the font EngraverTextT. Do it as a text expression. You can type o for the flat bar, O for the natural bar, p for the sharp bar, and P for the vertical line that separates the B from the E. Size 12 seems to be pretty good. (Also, don't be fooled if you see little gaps in the symbol; those don't really show up in the final printed product.)

That seems like a better of way of doing it. The disadvantage to importing them as graphics is that Finale only recognizes TIFF graphic files and that drastically increases the file size for the score itself-- I've had them go from 200K to 3MB-- all for a few harp diagrams.

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Oh yeah, that'll really bloat the file sizes. Text characters don't have that problem, and they're infinitely scalable to boot! :P

What I do is...I've got one harp diagram saved in my standard library that I import into every new Finale file. Then, when I need a harp diagram, I just duplicate it and type in the right letters to get the diagram I need. That way, I don't have to worry about finding the font again and so forth.

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On 12/21/2009 at 1:05 AM, Henry Buck said:

Well, if you were orchestrating, would you write "basso" and leave it to an orchestrator to choose between bassoon, tuba and double bass? Vastly different timbres, and each belongs to a different "choir."

If I was writing the score, I'd make darn sure that everything I wrote was crystal clear, no matter how many staves it takes.

If I want trumpet and flute doubling up on a melody line, supported by strings, I will write it, as such, so that there is NO question what my orchestrator's job is. 
My job, is to provide the "blueprint." My orchestrator's job is to "build the house" based on that blueprint.

You don't say "use some wood for the door frame"-you SPECIFY what you want in no uncertain terms.

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Why did you decide today to reply to a 7 year old post?  Do you think he hadn't received an answer to that question in all that time?

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58 minutes ago, skyy38 said:

If I was writing the score, I'd make darn sure that everything I wrote was crystal clear, no matter how many staves it takes.

If I want trumpet and flute doubling up on a melody line, supported by strings, I will write it, as such, so that there is NO question what my orchestrator's job is. 
My job, is to provide the "blueprint." My orchestrator's job is to "build the house" based on that blueprint.

You don't say "use some wood for the door frame"-you SPECIFY what you want in no uncertain terms.

 

Thanks, skyy! I really needed that condescending answer to a rhetorical question I asked seven years ago.

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When I woke up this morning, the very first thing I pondered was whether or not skyy38 writes in abbreviated short score (or as Die Deutschen call it, a particell) like his peers, Williams, Davis and Broughton, or leaves anything to a team of orchestrators. I was not disappointed!

 

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1 hour ago, Sharky said:

When I woke up this morning, the very first thing I pondered was whether or not skyy38 writes in abbreviated short score (or as Die Deutschen call it, a particell) like his peers, Williams, Davis and Broughton, or leaves anything to a team of orchestrators. I was not disappointed!

 

 

I too usually wake up wondering if someone asked a question 7 years ago that went unanswered.  Hehehe, sarcasm. 

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14 hours ago, Henry Buck said:

 

Thanks, skyy! I really needed that condescending answer to a rhetorical question I asked seven years ago.


It's only condescending , if you don't have enough knowledge, to back up your original assertions.
I'm not here to "put anyone down" just in case YOU haven't noticed.

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12 hours ago, skyy38 said:


It's only condescending , if you don't have enough knowledge, to back up your original assertions.
I'm not here to "put anyone down" just in case YOU haven't noticed.

 

No, it's condescending either way.

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