UE Product design Standards / & on cueing UE-rules

Discuss the rules of notation, standard notation practices, efficient notation practices and graphic design.
User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1495
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by John Ruggero » 18 Jul 2016, 22:45

Judging from your story, Fred, Arnstein was correct in not doing anything the least surprising in his parts, and therefore he always used the standard system of cuing. As a result, we would receive calls from composers telling us that entire acts of their operas were read at the first rehearsal without pause and error-free.

There is a similar story about Arnstein and a premiere of a large work that had been prepared by a well-known composer and his own team of copyists and delivered to the NY Philharmonic way behind schedule. The work consisted of constantly changing subdivided measures of incredible complexity. The parts were grossly under-cued, impossible to rehearse, and brought to Arnstein and team to completely re-cue on a very tight schedule. By then there was only enough rehearsal time left to perform one of the movements.

What is curious about your story is that one would think that the NY Philharmonic plays from Durand parts every time they play anything by Debussy or Ravel and would be very familiar with this style of cuing. One suspects that there was something else going with these parts that compounded the problem; the fact that the cue notes were only "slightly smaller" than the playing notes might have been a factor.

But, of course, the virtues or lack of virtues of the "Durand style" was not the point of my post, which was that publishers have included cue notes within playing measures for a very long time and for very good reasons, and that musicians have been playing from such parts for just as long.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1495
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by John Ruggero » 18 Jul 2016, 23:10

The other point of my post was to use the opportunity to present a few of Arnstein's ideas on cuing for the record.

He definitely did not allow descriptive or general cues of any kind, such as writing the word "Perc." over a multi-measure rest. And he did not allow text cues, such as one sees throughout the parts for many Italian operas. As I mentioned, he allowed vocal cues only in rare cases. And he was a copyist who specialized in American opera.

A cue could only consist of a single melody line, had to be audible and clearly recognizable to the player playing the part. Single note or chordal cues were completely verboten.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

User avatar
Alexander Ploetz
Posts: 22
Joined: 08 Oct 2015, 01:55
Location: Dresden, Germany
Contact:

Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by Alexander Ploetz » 19 Jul 2016, 01:23

While I would agree that "text only" cues are not suitable for cueing an immediate entry, I find them very economical for "landmark" cues during long stretches of rests. They have to be unambigous, of course. But if the main reason for a cue is to just confirm that you are still on the right track, it should be sufficient to indicate, for example, a full brass section entry by text (provided it is the first such entry since the player reading along is silent).

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1495
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by John Ruggero » 19 Jul 2016, 01:58

Alexander Ploetz wrote:
While I would agree that "text only" cues are not suitable for cueing an immediate entry, I find them very economical for "landmark" cues during long stretches of rests
.

Arnstein did not need to use landmark cues, because the player was never faced with long stretches of un-cued multi-measure rests. In a 4/4 context, the largest multi-measure rest used was about 10 measures. Excellent cues connected all multi-measure rests, and all entrances were prepared by cues with no rests intervening, as mentioned. Players commented that his orchestral parts "played themselves", and he was warmly greeted by orchestral players when he attended rehearsals because his presence assured them of a great rehearsal experience.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

User avatar
Fred G. Unn
Posts: 193
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 13:24
Location: NYCish

Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by Fred G. Unn » 19 Jul 2016, 11:36

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.
Sorry, it was late when I got home last night and I didn't get around to it. Here's the La Mer Piccolo part, as how I would do it is probably the most different from the original that John posted.
LaMerPicc.jpg
LaMerPicc.jpg (218.92 KiB) Viewed 4756 times
A few comments:
1) I do virtually no historical work, but if I were to do this as a current work, I wouldn't use the "Grande Flute" abbreviation. "Fl." is fine.
2) Unless there is a specific reason to include them, written cues only need pitch and rhythmic information. Anything else is often just clutter.
3) Cue notes are reduced size, stems flipped, full size rests added.
4) Entrance doesn't need to be marked, should be clear enough as cue notes do not enter the bar with the entrance.
5) I'm fine with leaving out the tuplet indication for a repeating pattern, but for clarity it needs to be included for an entrance.

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1495
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by John Ruggero » 19 Jul 2016, 12:11

In Fred's example, the added tuplet markings should be two triplets, rather than one sextuplet; triplets are also Debussy's notation in other similar places. The Durand omitted the markings in this case because of the extensive cue preceding in triplets.

Arnstein would have cued it like the original but with the standard reverse stems etc. What he would not have done is what occurs in the preceding line in the original part: 12, 12, 8, 4, 4, 6, 6, multi-measure rests without a cue. Two or three good cues would have occurred within this stretch of rests.

He also would not have started the piece with 8, 9, 8, multi-measure rests. All parts that started with even a one measure rest, started with a cue. This immediately puts the player at their ease.
Debussy La Mer part 2 Picc.jpg
Debussy La Mer part 2 Picc.jpg (144.63 KiB) Viewed 4746 times
In this case, cueing into the entrance is particularly appropriate because the piccolo is actually continuing the melody line from flute 1 including a crescendo that is badly notated in the cue in original part and missing in the picc. the score. This is a case where accurate dynamics in the cue would be very helpful.
Debussy La Mer part 2.jpg
Debussy La Mer part 2.jpg (150.25 KiB) Viewed 4751 times
Last edited by John Ruggero on 19 Jul 2016, 14:49, edited 2 times in total.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

User avatar
Fred G. Unn
Posts: 193
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 13:24
Location: NYCish

Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by Fred G. Unn » 19 Jul 2016, 12:26

Alexander Ploetz wrote:While I would agree that "text only" cues are not suitable for cueing an immediate entry, I find them very economical for "landmark" cues during long stretches of rests. They have to be unambigous, of course. But if the main reason for a cue is to just confirm that you are still on the right track, it should be sufficient to indicate, for example, a full brass section entry by text (provided it is the first such entry since the player reading along is silent).
+1, I completely agree with this. Furthermore, a written cue at the beginning of a section with regular phrases (such as 8 bars) has the added benefit that you are actually counting "5" in the fifth bar instead of "3" as you would if that section started with a 2 bar cue. I know that sounds incredibly frivolous, but counting every rest while you sightread at an 8 hour recording session is a different skill than counting rests while performing a 75 minute concert of music that has been throughly rehearsed. You don't want to space out for a second, forget if you were on bar 5 of the phrase or bar 5 of the rest you are counting, screw up, miss your entrance and ruin the take. (And likely not be hired again if this is your first time recording with a project.) I know that sounds kind of silly, but it can be hard to maintain focus while repeating take after take for a normal 8 hr session, and using word cues as landmarks while leaving the rests visible to see the the structure can be quite helpful to the sightreader.

User avatar
Fred G. Unn
Posts: 193
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 13:24
Location: NYCish

Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by Fred G. Unn » 19 Jul 2016, 12:39

John Ruggero wrote: In this case, cueing into the entrance is particularly appropriate because the piccolo is actually continuing the melody line from flute 1 including a crescendo that is badly notated in the cue in original part and missing in the picc. the score. This is a case where accurate dynamics in the cue would be very helpful.
I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on this. It is much more difficult for a player to follow another line of tuplet sixteenths and hope to jump in at the appropriate entrance than it is to simply count "1,2" and then come in on 3. The flutes are quite literally sitting right next to the picc player so the cresc and continuation of the line cannot possibly be missed by any performer that is competent enough to play a piece of this difficulty.

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1495
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by John Ruggero » 19 Jul 2016, 12:46

David, thanks for posting that. The brass parts are often shamefully under-cued. Arnstein's parts never came back with cues marked in in any part. The only penciled markings were bowings and fingering.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1495
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: UE Product design Standards

Post by John Ruggero » 19 Jul 2016, 13:02

Fred wrote:
I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on this. It is much more difficult for a player to follow another line of tuplet sixteenths and hope to jump in at the appropriate entrance than it is to simply count "1,2" and then come in on 3. The flutes are quite literally sitting right next to the picc player so the cresc and continuation of the line cannot possibly be missed by any performer that is competent enough to play a piece of this difficulty.
I guess we will, Fred. I have to admit trouble relating to such a difficulty. I like to see where my part fits in and not just entering blindly.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

Post Reply