UE Product design Standards / & on cueing UE-rules

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John Ruggero
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Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by John Ruggero » 16 Jul 2016, 16:22

Examples of cues that occur in same measure as the playing notes:

Beethoven Violin Sonata no. 1 (Henle and others) The cue must be the in the playing measure to clarify the syncopation:
Beethoven Op 12 no 1 .jpg
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Beethoven Symphony no. 1 Flute 1 (Kalmus (Breitkopf)) Short cues, some to show continuity with other instruments:
Beethoven Sym 1 mov 1 Fl. 1 ex 1.jpg
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Beethoven Sym 1 mov 1 Fl. 1 ex 2.jpg
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Beethoven Sym 1 mov 1 Fl. 1 ex 3.jpg
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Beethoven Sym 1 mov 1 Fl. 1 ex 6.jpg
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Beethoven Sym 1 mov 1 Fl. 1 ex 7.jpg
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Debussy La Mer Picc and Ob.
Debussy La Mer Picc.jpeg
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Debussy La Mer Ob 1 ex 2.jpeg
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Fred G. Unn
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Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by Fred G. Unn » 16 Jul 2016, 23:29

I seriously don't mean to reopen this debate, as I think we will just have to agree to disagree, but I'll add a few quick comments and then be done with it.
1) Fine, especially if the rhythmic feel is a bit uncertain with the pickup.
2 & 3) As a performer, I would rather just leave these out. They aren't especially helpful and seems mostly like added clutter.
4) Clef change makes end of cue passage quite clear even though it enters the measure.
5) I'm fine either way as the cue is so short after such a long rest. Usually I would probably prefer breaking the 15m rest and adding a cue somewhere in the middle, but we are in 2/4 so probably ok.
6) Unnecessary. I'd leave these out.
7) This is exactly the kind of cue I hate. I absolutely hate the way the cue enters the bar and without full size rests and flipped stems this is exactly the sort of cue that a performer will space out on and miss the entrance. Hate, hate, hate the cue in the final measure passionately.
8) I dislike this one too. Why continue the cue into the bar by an eighth note? This adds nothing to help the performer find their entrance. Add to the fact that the engraver left out the full size rests in that bar, the added cue size eighth note and cue size rests only add to the confusion. This would be much clearer just ending the cue after the half note and then using a full size half rest prior to the entrance.

I'm in full agreement that continuing the cue as the music dictates is much more elegant visually, but we shouldn't forget the sole purpose of the cue is simply to prepare the performer for their entrance. If a cue enters a measure with "real" notes, the stems should always be flipped and full size rests added to make the entrance as clear as possible. That 7th one in particular is terrible and only serves to obscure the entrance in the bar. Under no circumstances would I ever use a cue like that without flipping the stems of the cue and adding full size rests underneath.

[/rant] :)

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John Ruggero
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Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by John Ruggero » 17 Jul 2016, 14:01

Fred, I was just giving these examples to show that the blanket UE house style rule to exclude cue notes from playing measures doesn't fit real world situations.

Their rule is certainly not what the best publishers, including UE, have done in the past. (And the examples are from parts that orchestras play from today.)

Universal flute part from Mahler Symphony no 1:
Mahler Sym 1 Fl 1.jpeg
Mahler Sym 1 Fl 1.jpeg (22.32 KiB) Viewed 4973 times
In examples 2 and 3, it is good for the flutes to see that they don't start a phrase (in spite of the slur beginning) but simply continue from the oboes, so that they blend in when they enter. This is unfortunately not the kind of cue that most editors would provide today. Here is the situation from example 3 in the score:
Beethoven Sym 1 .jpg
Beethoven Sym 1 .jpg (100.71 KiB) Viewed 4973 times
Example 6 helps the flutes respond to the Ob in a syncopated situation. Again, the cue is certainly not necessary, but helpful. These parts were produced after careful consideration, not time pressure.

The last two examples are simply the Durand house style for cues. I see a lot in favor of it actually and have considered using it in my own stuff.
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Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by John Ruggero » 18 Jul 2016, 15:04

As a postscript, I looked through E. Gould's section on cues, which is excellent and contains many of Arnold Arnstein's rules: she has reservations about vocal and solo parts as cues, asks for special treatment of cues at page turns, requires recognizable cues of sufficient length, transposition of all cues and use of octave signs to place them in their actual register, exclusion of single chords as cues, and many other matters.

She accepts the Durand cuing style without rests, and she gives examples of cues within playing measures when musically justified. Her use of open ties to avoid final sustained notes in playing measures is in accordance with Arnstein. I found no examples of rest numbers under multi-measure rests in her book, and I remember no such usage with Arnstein, who avoided all such "surprises" in his parts. I could find not examples of polyphonic or chordal cues in her book, so single voice cues are apparently her preference, also in accord with Arnstein.

She differs from Arnstein in the following:

1. She clearly prefers no cue notes in playing measures. Arnstein actually required them, unless the cued phrase clearly ended before the playing measure. Arnstein seems to have been highly influenced by the Breitkopf parts for the standard orchestral literature in this matter, although one finds numerous exceptions in the Breitkopf parts.

2. Arnstein excluded clefs alien to the instrument for cues. That is also her preference, but she allows treble and bass clef in all instruments with restrictions on their use. I prefer Arnstein's stricter rule, which is again an avoidance of "surprises."

3. Arnstein excluded measures rest before an entrance. She allows it if there is a prominent cue shortly before an entrance. I prefer Arnstein's rule unless it would lead to confusion.

4. The Arnstein house style was all cues notes stemmed upward with rests underneath. The standard reverse stem style or the Durand style seems preferable to me.
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Fred G. Unn
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Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by Fred G. Unn » 18 Jul 2016, 16:12

John Ruggero wrote: The last two examples are simply the Durand house style for cues. I see a lot in favor of it actually and have considered using it in my own stuff.
You are of course free to do so, and I know a major London copy shop employs this style, but I would encourage you to speak to people who make their living reading new music with very little or no rehearsal for performance/recording, and see what they would like to have in the way of cues. I know of an instance appox. 15 years ago where this "Durand house style" for cues single-handedly brought a NY Phil rehearsal to a screeching halt, where a colleague of mine was then chewed out in front of the entire orchestra by both Kurt Masur and a Pulitzer prize winning composer, before Mr. Masur cancelled the rest of the rehearsal and ordered the cues corrected by the following day.

EDIT: I guess spoiler tagging isn't supported on this forum. OCTO, is that possible to add that feature? I'm sure most people aren't interested in this long-winded story and it has little to do with the original post in this thread.

Spoiler tagging very long story below.
[spoiler]
I've mentioned this job before here, but it still is probably the largest job I've ever worked on, and was the job where I really learned how to run a big project, and probably more importantly, how not to run a big project. A Pulitzer prize winning composer was commissioned to write a very ambitious work for the NY Phil plus two other ensembles. The work was 12 movements, approx. 2 hours long, and a chorus was involved in 6 of the movements. This composer is still incredibly busy, but also somewhat notoriously last-minute, and had delayed starting work to the point that Mr. Masur was ready to cancel the whole concert.

The composer had his own "project manager," and he hired a woman I still frequently work with to do the engraving from the composer's pencil scores. She is an excellent manager, incredibly well-organized, very experienced, and put together a team of around 20 copyists and proofreaders able to do the work as fast as the composer could get them to us. I was one of the lead copyists and I set up the template for the job. A job this size reasonably would need a minimum of 4 months prior to performance (and preferably 6) to get scores engraved, parts created, everything proofread by both in-house proofreaders and composer, in order to get parts to the orchestra librarian a month prior to the performance as they usually request. We didn't see a single note until 6 or 7 weeks before the performance.

Mr. Masur was furious at the tardiness of the manuscript and in order to save the concert a deal was struck: if we, the composer and copyists, could provide parts and scores to 6 movements by a certain date, he would allow the concert to go forward as planned, otherwise it would be called off. In order to make this insane deadline, we were essentially working around the clock, including weekends and over a holiday. As the copying bills started to come in, it soon became clear that the composer's project manager had not budgeted anywhere near enough to cover the copying costs for this project. (The final bill was 2.5x what was budgeted, and easily into 6 figures.) Now, the NY Phil is a union organization, but this was being billed through one of the other groups involved and they did not have a union copyist agreement, so the project manager decided in order to save money he would have us engrave the scores so they would be of acceptable quality to Mr. Masur, then he would send our files to a less expensive copy shop in London that he knew to have them extract parts. (This is in Finale prior to the linked parts feature.) We would have liked to have had full control of the parts as well, but as we had as much work as we could handle anyway, we were ok with it, even though we really didn't have a say in the matter.

Not to brag too much, but our team made the score deadline, and I'll humbly say our scores were visually quite excellent. Mr. Masur received them a few days before the rehearsal and was very happy with them. I remember they were even mentioned in a NY Times interview about the work with him and the composer where he said, “the score is very clear,” or something to that effect. (I'm sure he was talking about what the composer wrote, but we took it as a compliment.) The tension over the tardiness of the manuscript seemed to have defused now that he had half of the movements in his hands, could see what the composer had written, and saw the quality of our work. Typically orchestra librarians will get copies of the parts to the musicians well ahead of the first rehearsal for practice at home, but as the parts were being emailed from London the day before the rehearsal (and some morning of the rehearsal), and they still needed to be printed and bound, this was not feasible in this case. The musicians would just have to sightread at the first rehearsal.

A representative from our NYC team would be at all rehearsals to take note of all changes, errata, etc., that needed to be incorporated into the files while the rest of us were still cranking away on the remaining 6 movements. It turned out that the London based team had used this "Durand house style" of cues for all the parts, where the notes were slightly smaller, but the stems not flipped and no full size rests added. Since the musicians of the NY Phil were sightreading new music and this cueing style was not the typical one they were familiar with, they were playing lines that they should not have been playing, missing entrances as they weren't distinguishing them from cues, etc. The musicians all began to complain and blamed the cues. In turn, both Mr. Masur and the composer were absolutely furious and blamed the copyists. As they didn't know all the details about how the project manager had farmed the parts out to London to save money, the only copyist at the rehearsal was the guy from our team, who had to bear the brunt of their fury even though we had nothing to do with the parts and cueing style.

Mr. Masur cancelled the rest of the rehearsal and ordered the cues in the parts corrected by the following morning. The composer was seriously pissed off at everyone involved as he was operating on no sleep and was embarrassed that his music sounded so poorly at the rehearsal. After the initial catastrophic rehearsal, Mr. Masur had now again lost confidence in the project and was back on the brink of cancelling the entire concert.

The London team changed their part cues to the more familiar style, the composer finished the remaining 6 movements (although he was still writing the day before the performance), we engraved all the scores and the concert went as planned. The work was recorded by another well-known orchestra and is still available as a 2-CD set. There were many other screw-ups along the way with this job though, including the composer's project manager wasting time MIDIfying scores, his failing to have an adequate file naming system that reflected current versions and sending the wrong files to London for part extraction, etc. There were haggles over the final bill, even though the woman running the job on our end did everything as well as could possibly be expected under the insane circumstances. The majority of the bill overage was mostly due to the project manager failing to adequately estimate costs, and the composer's tardiness with the manuscript.

Obviously there were plenty of other underlying tensions involved at the first rehearsal, but the "Durand house style" of cueing really did almost derail the entire project. New orchestral music is almost never adequately rehearsed (as it is unfamiliar to the audience anyway), so cues are fairly important for the best reading. From this experience, and my own experience as someone who performs and often sightreads new music several times a week, I strongly dislike that style of cueing. It not only isn't always helpful, but it also can actively cause performance mistakes.
[/spoiler]

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tisimst
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Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by tisimst » 18 Jul 2016, 16:37

Fred G. Unn wrote:I know of an instance appox. 15 years ago where this "Durand house style" for cues single-handedly brought a NY Phil rehearsal to a screeching halt, where a colleague of mine was then chewed out in front of the entire orchestra by both Kurt Masur and a Pulitzer prize winning composer, before Mr. Masur cancelled the rest of the rehearsal and ordered the cues corrected by the following day.

EDIT: I guess spoiler tagging isn't supported on this forum. OCTO, is that possible to add that feature? I'm sure most people aren't interested in this long-winded story and it has little to do with the original post in this thread.

Spoiler tagging very long story below.
...
Perhaps I am the only one interested in these kinds of experiences, but I find them quite valuable as it breaks through the mists of hypothesis and theory and shows what works and what doesn't by way of "real world" examples. It's hard to refute one's first-hand testimony. Certainly there could have been other factors that contributed to how things played out and I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong (and I'm probably the least qualified to do so anyway), but it seems we can all learn something from this. So, thank you for sharing the spoiler story!

I'm wondering, when you have a minute, how you would engrave the previous examples given by John Ruggero if you were in such a "real world" situation. I think that would be very enlightening to compare them with the originals.
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Fred G. Unn
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Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by Fred G. Unn » 18 Jul 2016, 16:39

John Ruggero wrote:
She differs from Arnstein in the following:

1. She clearly prefers no cue notes in playing measures. Arnstein actually required them, unless the cued phrase clearly ended before the playing measure. Arnstein seems to have been highly influenced by the Breitkopf parts for the standard orchestral literature in this matter, although one finds numerous exceptions in the Breitkopf parts.

2. Arnstein excluded clefs alien to the instrument for cues. That is also her preference, but she allows treble and bass clef in all instruments with restrictions on their use. I prefer Arnstein's stricter rule, which is again an avoidance of "surprises."

3. Arnstein excluded measures rest before an entrance. She allows it if there is a prominent cue shortly before an entrance. I prefer Arnstein's rule unless it would lead to confusion.

4. The Arnstein house style was all cues notes stemmed upward with rests underneath. The standard reverse stem style or the Durand style seems preferable to me.
1. I prefer this as well, unless it's a case like your example #1 that might be rhythmically ambiguous without them.
2. I prefer Arnstein on this one, and have no qualm with simply adjusting octaves as needed.
3. I'm fine with rests before an entrance. I always assume most musicians can't count past 10, so I generally try to have cues at least somewhere in every 10 bars unless it is a structurally repetitive piece, i.e. 8 bar phrases over and over, in which case word cues can sometimes suffice. I wouldn't want a 9 measure rest before an entrance, but a few bars is fine.
4. I think reverse stem reduced notehead with full-sized rests under/over is the clearest. The small size and incorrect stems clearly show that it is a cue. Reinforcing this with a full size rest, which would be absolutely required if in the same measure as an entrance, is clearest to the performer.

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Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by Fred G. Unn » 18 Jul 2016, 17:07

tisimst wrote: I'm wondering, when you have a minute, how you would engrave the previous examples given by John Ruggero if you were in such a "real world" situation. I think that would be very enlightening to compare them with the originals.
Sure, I'll make a pass at them later tonight. I would mostly do as I described a few posts up though. My overall principle is just to strive to make things as sightreadable as possible, which I think generally means making the difference between cues and "real" notes as obvious as I can; adding information that is helpful while eliminating extraneous information which can be distracting. Where I differ from many may be that I have no problem using simple word cues if the situation warrants it. As a performer, I want to look ahead to my next entrance and sometimes a simple word cue is enough to know I'm in the right place without having to read the cues from another part. If the brass have the melodic content starting right at a rehearsal mark, I might be content to simply put "(Brass)" in the woodwind parts. As a woodwind player myself, that would be enough of a landmark for me to recognize exactly where I was, and I can read ahead to my entrance rather than having my eyes drawn to the brass entrance of a traditional cue. Overcueing can be annoying to performers just as undercueing is.

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Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by RMK » 18 Jul 2016, 18:29

Take a look at the parts for the Copland Sextet for Clarinet, Piano and String Quartet (can't post here due to copyright restrictions). The parts are so over-cued that I actually had to use Wite-Out to eliminate many of them because the music I had to play was obscured.

Sometimes it's better to just count!

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Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by David Ward » 18 Jul 2016, 20:07

Here's an example of under-cueing from Beethoven's Fidelio (the overture here, but the whole opera is like this for the trombones).

Some of you will already have seen this example from a while ago on the Finale forum. In my experience, it's far from unique.
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