Should a musical quote be acknowledged in score?

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David Ward
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Should a musical quote be acknowledged in score?

Post by David Ward » 25 Jul 2016, 11:56

And if so, in what font style (italic, bold etc)?

Specifically, I quote the two-phrase diatonic brass figure that is associated with Parsifal in Wagner's eponymous opera. There is an element of irony in this for reasons both personal to myself and theatrical for my piece, but that may be beside the point.

The several quotes in Shostakovich's 15th Symphony have no acknowledgement in the published score, while the brief Beethoven quote at the end of Strauss's Metamorphosen is acknowledge by the phrase ‘In Memoriam’ rather by naming the source. However, I have placed quasi Parsifal in italics above the brass section for the first figure of my quote (score only, to be hidden in the parts).

Should I hide this for printing in the score, or leave it visible? (I will leave it in the Finale file either way.) Or doesn't it matter much which (ie just do whatever I prefer)?

Occasional quotes in other pieces of mine have mostly not been acknowledged, but this one is blatant and its symbolism unequivocal and impossible to ignore.
Last edited by David Ward on 25 Jul 2016, 14:08, edited 1 time in total.
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OCTO
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Re: Should a musical quote be acknowledged in score?

Post by OCTO » 25 Jul 2016, 12:34

I think that if it is not obvious, than it would be very nice to provide that information. Anyway, I believe that font should be definitely different from all music fonts (perhaps size or boldness). It should not distract musicians in any means. I also believe that in the score only is the way to do it. Musicians can't do anything particular with that information (conductor - can; for instance to perform more wagner-like or similar).
David Ward wrote:Strauss's Metamorphosen is acknowledge by the phrase ‘In Memoriam’ rather by naming the source
In memoriam of, we know all, the Third Reich. Unfortunately and terribly sadly for such a great composer, but he was devastated by German's lost.

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David Ward
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Re: Should a musical quote be acknowledged in score?

Post by David Ward » 25 Jul 2016, 14:11

Thank you OCTO. I've changed the font to non-serif (Helvetica, Oblique Bold), as all other directions are in serif fonts, it looks strikingly different - and I'll show it in the score only.
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Alexander Ploetz
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Re: Should a musical quote be acknowledged in score?

Post by Alexander Ploetz » 25 Jul 2016, 14:25

OCTO wrote:In memoriam of, we know all, the Third Reich.
What you claim to be a generally accepted fact is, actually, a highly dubious minority view.

On topic, I do not think that anything from Parsifal needs special acknowledgement unless it is carefully hidden. From the original post I would assume that we are talking about an open quote, thus it will be recognized as such. There seems to be no need to point it out, for reasons of meaning or of copyright concerns. On the other hand, I see no harm in inobtrusively "pay your debts"; this could be done just as well in a footnote or a foreword, though.
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Re: Should a musical quote be acknowledged in score?

Post by Alexander Ploetz » 25 Jul 2016, 14:31

A further thought: since you go with the rather distinct annotation of "quasi Parsifal", I would recommend to include this in the parts as well (actually, in all parts, assuming that the brass is bringing the Wagner material with all others being silent) for a simple reason: I think there is a good chance that a conductor, seeing it in the score, will ask the brass section to play "from 'quasi Parsifal' directly, please".

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David Ward
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Re: Should a musical quote be acknowledged in score?

Post by David Ward » 25 Jul 2016, 16:42

A translation from Strauss's diary in May 1945 (open to different interpretations, of course). “… … the 12-year reign of bestiality, ignorance and un-culture by the greatest criminals came to an end … …”

On the topic, thank you for the input. I'll give it further thought, but will most likely, I suspect (not sure though), stay with what I decided in response to OCTO's advice.
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John Ruggero
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Re: Should a musical quote be acknowledged in score?

Post by John Ruggero » 25 Jul 2016, 18:30

In my opinion, the only reason to include the marking in the score and parts would be if it affects the interpretation, and your use of "quasi Parsifal" implies that it does. In that case, I would simply write "quasi Parsifal" as I would any other similar interpretive marking: in italics of the same font and size as any expression, below each of the staves involved. It should definitely be in the parts since it is the players who will be playing in a Wagnerian style.

If it does not affect the interpretation, I agree with Alexander Ploetz, that it might appear as a footnote if you are concerned that someone might misunderstand.
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OCTO
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Re: Should a musical quote be acknowledged in score?

Post by OCTO » 26 Jul 2016, 03:58

Alexander Ploetz wrote:
OCTO wrote:In memoriam of, we know all, the Third Reich.
What you claim to be a generally accepted fact is, actually, a highly dubious minority view.
Sorry for my ignorance, and thanks for pointing into this. True, they are just rumours, not based on my knowledge. I will definitely make a research now.

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Re: Should a musical quote be acknowledged in score?

Post by MJCube » 11 Aug 2016, 12:27

In Metamorphosen Strauss was mourning the destruction of centuries of culture by the Third Reich. Clearly this grief could only be expressed once the regime itself had been destroyed. Of course not all was lost culturally, but it must have seemed so at the time.

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