"Broadway Style": always 4 measures per staff?

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"Broadway Style": always 4 measures per staff?

Post by HaraldS » 05 Dec 2016, 11:40


when playing in musical shows here in Germany, we usually get the sheet music from the US or UK publisher, which means that the music is written with 4 measures per staff. I vaguely remember that someone called that the "Broadway layout", maybe it was in one of the equally meaningful and entertaining Express music articles ?

It's quite obvious that changes could be done easily if there are so few measures in a line, and 4-bar-structures are easily recognized, but on the other hand, e.g. as a keyboard player, you toss around piles of paper. So my question to the big apple chaps: as revisions in today's times are mostly always done in the software, is there any reason to stick to the 4-measure-per-staff rule? More and more show music doesn't have the traditional 4-bar-structures anyway. Are Broadway copyists requested to stick to that format due to historical reasons? Thanks for enlighting me.

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John Ruggero
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Re: "Broadway Style": always 4 measures per staff?

Post by John Ruggero » 05 Dec 2016, 22:17

What an interesting question. If this is still the rule, it may have to do with Local 802 copying rates. Fred G. Unn might know.
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Re: "Broadway Style": always 4 measures per staff?

Post by MJCube » 06 Dec 2016, 23:49

I’m not currently doing any work in this area but the last time I did (10 years ago) the 4-bars-per-line rule was indeed being relaxed, at least by some. I would think with today’s technology it’s rarely necessary to pencil in changes any more.

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