UE Product design Standards / & on cueing UE-rules

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OCTO
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UE Product design Standards / & on cueing UE-rules

Post by OCTO » 14 Jul 2016, 05:48

Universal Edition's Product design Standards, attached.

Comment: Engraver font, Opus font? :eek:
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tisimst
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UE Product design Standards

Post by tisimst » 14 Jul 2016, 12:09

That's very informative. Thank you for sharing that!

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John Ruggero
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Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by John Ruggero » 14 Jul 2016, 13:56

Thanks, OCTO. I found this quite enlightening, but also somewhat disappointing from a great music publisher. In fact, one might fear for the future of fine music engraving when viewing this material.

In any case, there are certainly things in their house style that it might be interesting to discuss.

Comments:

Music Notation>c. Engraving Rules.General

IMO:

1. Their use of the old rest symbols is strange in the year 2016.

2. There is no comment about the unusual position of the rest numbers.

3. That the tuplet brackets are always horizontal and above the staff would seem to lead to difficulties.

4. A blanket rule about cue notes not appearing in a playing bar is unfortunate and contrary to much tradition. Arnstein insisted that the cues lead the player gracefully into their entrance without sudden pauses that don't actually occur in the music.

5. Their rule that solo and vocal parts do not appear as cues was also an Arnstein principle and makes a lot of sense since soloists and vocalists may not be present in some of the rehearsals or audible in the performance. (However, when I mentioned this rule on the MM Forum last year it surprised many.)

6. If they mean that cues are not transposed (I couldn't quite make it out), it is counter to good sense and Arnstein.

7. The illustration concerning 9/8 and 12/8 does not address the biggest concerns about notating rests in these meters. (See comment below)

Sample Pages

I find rest numbers below the staff quite unusual. A new tradition to avoid conflicts with other markings? It would seem to be less satisfactory in that the numbers do not stand out as much. One's eyes look above a staff first.

They use two rest numbers for double-staffed instruments instead of the traditional single one centered between the staves. I find it ironic that they embrace the worst of the old, i.e. the old rest symbols, and the worst of the new i.e. the use of two rest numbers.

I could find no 3/8, 6/8, 9/8 or 12/8 in the sample sheets. A whole section of the examples should have been entirely in these meters. So one does not know how they notate their note-rest combinations in these meters or other matters that are so tricky and have been discussed on this forum. And there are no examples of complex meters or new notations used in contemporary concert music.

I do not care for the engraving in the examples because:

A the notes are swamped by the markings, in particular the huge rit.'s in bold followed by very ugly large dashes and the a tempos in bold non italic stand out too much. The metronome markings are also too big and bold. The black note heads are ugly in the Finale example. The slurs are too thick in the FInale example.

B I see sloppiness in the placement of articulations (first example: accents in m 44). Dynamics and other markings are inconsistently placed. On the whole, these examples does not have the appearance of first class engraving and one wonders why they were selected.
Last edited by John Ruggero on 14 Jul 2016, 19:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Knut
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Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by Knut » 14 Jul 2016, 15:01

I agree with much of what John said. This is not much of an example to follow, in my opinion, and some of their rules strike me as either odd or too rigid without seemingly good reason.
John Ruggero wrote:2. There is no comment about the unusual position of the rest numbers.
As you suggest, this is done to avoid conflict with tempo markings and other elements. I think they're relatively hard to find in computer set parts, because of the default positioning in most programs. I've seen this quite often in hand engraved music, though, but only as an exception to avoid collisions or improve clarity when following notes in the low register. Placing the numbers below the staff by default like in these samples seems wrong to me as well.

John Ruggero wrote:4. A blanket rule about cue notes not appearing in a playing bar is unfortunate and contrary to much tradition. Arnstein insisted that the cues lead the player gracefully into their entrance without sudden pauses that don't actually occur in the music.
Apparently they must be of the opinion that this disturbs the entrance for the musician, since it would involve shifting the main rests or flipping the stem of the main notes at the entry point in many cases. I disagree with this on the grounds you mention.
John Ruggero wrote:6. If they mean that cues are not transposed (I couldn't quite make it out), it is counter to good sense and Arnstein.
I didn't understand this rule, either, and I'm left wondering what the point of it is.
John Ruggero wrote:A the notes are swamped by the markings, in particular the huge rit.'s in bold followed by very ugly large dashes and the a tempos in bold non italic stand out too much. The metronome markings are also too big and bold. The black note heads are ugly in the Finale example. The slurs are too thick in the FInale example.
The dashes are indeed ugly, and the metronome marks are way too big, but otherwise, as I mentioned in the Brahms discussion, I find this text style preferable to the italic tempo alterations found in a lot of older scores, because it improves consistency. It also seems to me that this has become the default text style for all tempo indications in instrumental parts, so I'm not surprised to find them in UE's house style.

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John Ruggero
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Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by John Ruggero » 14 Jul 2016, 20:33

Thanks for your support, Knut. I was afraid that I might have gotten up off the wrong side of the bed this morning.

The UE (and other's) cue rule apparently grows out of a fear that the player will mistake a cue note for a playing note. Even in the days of hand copying, this was not a real danger with well-copied parts; and still less now. The advantage of having a complete and musical cue would seem to greatly outweigh this slight "danger", if such exists, and a look through the parts of various chamber and orchestral works in Henle and Breitkopf editions and others shows numerous cues that disobey the UE rule.

I can understand concern about tempo alterations being clearly visible especially in orchestral situations. However, I think that the style which puts all tempo indications, whether the principal ones or the alternations, in the same size and style leads to a monochromatic appearance that does not enhance visibility and clutters the score, as in this case. Therefore I prefer all tempo alterations to be in italics, and all major tempo markings in boldface and in a larger size. But, of course, it is a question of taste. The first system would seem to be earlier and certainly has history on its side.
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Ralph L. Bowers jr.
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Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by Ralph L. Bowers jr. » 14 Jul 2016, 20:57

Yes, extremely informative.
Thank you.
Does anyone have other publisher style sheets to share?

Might be a good idea to have a thread devoted just to this topic.?

Knut
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Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by Knut » 15 Jul 2016, 11:54

Ralph L. Bowers jr. wrote:Yes, extremely informative.
Thank you.
Does anyone have other publisher style sheets to share?

Might be a good idea to have a thread devoted just to this topic.?
Unfortunately, I don't think such style sheets are generally for public consumption. The only other one I know that's been widely circulated is the guidelines from the Music Publisher's Association of The United States, available here:

http://www3.northern.edu/wieland/standa ... actice.pdf

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Fred G. Unn
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Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by Fred G. Unn » 15 Jul 2016, 23:40

Ralph L. Bowers jr. wrote:Yes, extremely informative.
Thank you.
Does anyone have other publisher style sheets to share?

Might be a good idea to have a thread devoted just to this topic.?
The Schirmer book is available:
https://classicalondemand.com/manual-of-style.html

The Boosey book is for in-house distribution only, but there are copies floating around.

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Fred G. Unn
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Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by Fred G. Unn » 15 Jul 2016, 23:54

John Ruggero wrote: The UE (and other's) cue rule apparently grows out of a fear that the player will mistake a cue note for a playing note. Even in the days of hand copying, this was not a real danger with well-copied parts; and still less now. The advantage of having a complete and musical cue would seem to greatly outweigh this slight "danger", if such exists, and a look through the parts of various chamber and orchestral works in Henle and Breitkopf editions and others shows numerous cues that disobey the UE rule.
John and I went on this merry-go-round a while ago and I'm sure neither of us are going to change the other's mind, but I was taught and still believe it is better to end the cue before the bar containing the entrance in most cases. The fear IMO is not that the player "will mistake a cue note for a playing note," but rather that the player will space out while following along with the cue, and then all of a sudden have an "oh crap" moment as they miss the entrance. (Unfortunately, speaking from experience here.) IMO, as the cue line itself is not played by the musician that is reading the cue, it is musically irrelevant, so finishing the phrase really has no purpose as the sole purpose of the cue is to make sure the player doesn't miss the entrance, and a cue that ends conspicuously before the bar containing the entrance better serves to highlight the entrance. (In some high school and simpler arrangements, the "cues" are often optional doubled parts so obviously finishing a phrase is essential in these cases.)

Just my $0.02.
Last edited by Fred G. Unn on 16 Jul 2016, 00:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Fred G. Unn
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Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by Fred G. Unn » 15 Jul 2016, 23:58

John Ruggero wrote: 1. Their use of the old rest symbols is strange in the year 2016.

2. There is no comment about the unusual position of the rest numbers.
I too find these conventions very odd in 2016.

John Ruggero wrote:3. That the tuplet brackets are always horizontal and above the staff would seem to lead to difficulties.
This is actually fairly standard in jazz and popular music, but seems very odd to me as well for a classical publisher. Personally, I hate this convention even with jazz and popular published music.

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