Clutter?

Discuss the rules of notation, standard notation practices, efficient notation practices and graphic design.
User avatar
Fred G. Unn
Posts: 202
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 13:24
Location: NYCish

Re: Clutter?

Post by Fred G. Unn »

John Ruggero wrote:
09 Feb 2017, 13:41
Fred, I have looked through many standard piano and orchestral scores from the best publishers from Brahms to Ligeti, and I can't find an 8va anywhere. They are all 8----. Could this be a Pop vs Classical thing?
I dunno. I just went to Boosey's perusal site, clicked on the three most popular scores and found instances of 15ma and 8va in just a few seconds. Steve Reich's Music For 18 Musicians has a 15ma on pg 32, John Adams's City Noir has an 8va on pg 28, Copland's Third Symphony has an 8va on pg 18. I stopped looking after that.
http://www.boosey.com/cr/perusals/

Perhaps it's a piano vs other instruments thing, as pianists are more accustomed to reading them.

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1569
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: Clutter?

Post by John Ruggero »

Schonbergian, I didn't mean to target anyone and certainly not you, but I must admit that our interaction on the other thread jogged me into finally posting on a subject that I had been thinking about for a while and needed to get off my chest. Of the clutter, those little periods are certainly not the worst offenders.

Knut, you seem to understand the situation quite well even from my wordy description, but here is an example from a Chopin Waltz(?). It only exists as a single sketch that was first published in the 1950's. There are no performance instructions in the sketch, so any editor is faced with adding some slurs at the very least.
Chopin Grace note slur.jpeg
Chopin Grace note slur.jpeg (26.45 KiB) Viewed 5150 times
Chopin Grace note slur example 2.jpeg
Chopin Grace note slur example 2.jpeg (51.65 KiB) Viewed 5150 times
1a This would be my preferred slurring, since the piece seems more a waltz than a mazurka (although there are mazurka-like touches) and the grace notes would probably be of the connective type.

1b This would be the same with the traditional extra slur. It tempts the unwary player who thinks of slurs as indicating phrasing rather than as legato into making a break before the grace notes.

1c This would counteract 1b, but I have never seen it done. For me, it seems to be clutter.

2a Were one to perform the piece more in mazurka-style, this would be my preferred slurring. This is the slurring in the Henle edition.

2b This is the same with the traditional extra slur. In this case it reinforces the break and seems more acceptable.

Regarding stemming in the example:

Note the immediate change of stem direction after the first note of the melody in the sketch. If continuing the prevailing stem direction were simply a convenience, why would he change direction here, where the next note should be up-stemmed and the note following is the flexible middle line note? In fact, he changes stem direction so the three upcoming notes, which form a unit, have the same stem direction and match the next three, which form a similar unit, and the next three which also form a similar unit.

This is what Henle does with ms. 1-2, destroying the unity of the three note motive by including the upbeat in the slur and changing the stem direction and implying that the third beat of measure 1 is an upbeat into measure 2 by breaking the slur. That this cannot be correct may be seen by the absence of an upbeat to measure 5 of the sketch and the same stemming as measure 1.
Chopin Grace note slur example 3.jpeg
Chopin Grace note slur example 3.jpeg (10.4 KiB) Viewed 5150 times
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

Schonbergian
Posts: 215
Joined: 03 Feb 2017, 02:25
Location: Toronto

Re: Clutter?

Post by Schonbergian »

John Ruggero wrote:
09 Feb 2017, 19:07
Schonbergian, I didn't mean to target anyone and certainly not you, but I must admit that our interaction on the other thread jogged me into finally posting on a subject that I had been thinking about for a while and needed to get off my chest. Of the clutter, those little periods are certainly not the worst offenders.
My comment was intended to be light-hearted, rather than expressing annoyance, so I apologize if it came across that way.

Re:grace note slurs - I agree with Knut that they work better on aesthetic rather than merely practical grounds.

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1569
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: Clutter?

Post by John Ruggero »

I was pretty sure that it was light-hearted and apologize if it sounded as if I thought you were annoyed. ;)
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

Schonbergian
Posts: 215
Joined: 03 Feb 2017, 02:25
Location: Toronto

Re: Clutter?

Post by Schonbergian »

John Ruggero wrote:
09 Feb 2017, 20:45
I was pretty sure that it was light-hearted and apologize if it sounded as if I thought you were annoyed. ;)
Just goes to show that text - unlike music - is an imperfect medium!

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1569
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: Clutter?

Post by John Ruggero »

Fred, maybe it's an American phenomenon? I remember using the 8va with Arnstein.

I just spent some time looking through many pieces that are at the core of the modern repertoire. 8 - - - - seems to have been the standard since at least the end of the 19th century. However, since Finale makes 8va the default for the Octave Tool, this may have been forgotten, which is really a step backward,

Here are the scores I sampled. All of them use 8 ----. Some famous pieces are not listed because I could find no octave signs in these scores.

Brahms Symphonies 1-3, Piano Concertos 1-2, Violin Concerto, Piano Works
Tschaikovsky, Violin Concerto, Symphonies 4, 5, The Nutcracker, Piano Concerto no 1
Rimsky-Korsakoff Scheherazade
Elgar Enigma Variations
Debussy Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Nocturnes, La Mer, Piano Works
Ravel Daphnis and Chloe, La Valse, Piano Works
Respighi The Fountains of Rome, The Pines of Rome
Mahler Symphonies no 1, 2, 4, 5
R. Strauss Don Juan, Don Quixote, Ein Heldenleben
Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos 1-4, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Symphony no 2, Piano Works
Prokofiev Symphony no 1, Alexander Nevsky, Piano Works
Schoenberg Pierrot Lunaire, Orchestral Pieces op 16
Bartok Music for Strings Perc and Celeste, Concerto for Orchestra, Piano Works, Piano Concerto no 1
Stravinsky Firebird, Petrushka, Rite of Spring, Les Noces
Berg Violin Concerto, Piano Sonata, Double Concerto
Gershwin Piano Concerto (score), 3 Preludes
Barber Piano Sonata
Bernstein Symphony no 2
Ligeti Etudes for Piano

I found the following with consistent use of 8va: Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue (2 piano) and Piano Concerto (2 piano) and the Carter Piano Sonata. The Bartok Piano Concerto no 2 and 3 are primarily 8 ---- but have occasional uses of 8va which look like editorial lapses.

And I should add that modern editions of older piano repertoire: Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt etc. use 8 - - -
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

Felipe Copaja
Posts: 11
Joined: 06 Mar 2017, 19:18

Re: Clutter?

Post by Felipe Copaja »

OCTO wrote:
09 Feb 2017, 02:11
Here is one of these clutters that actually is perfectly clear to perform.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=22
Not sure why, but sometimes dense pages make more sense than loose. Maybe I cannot call it clutter!
What do the curves after second A and D indicate?
Attachments
curve.jpeg
curve.jpeg (70.15 KiB) Viewed 4995 times

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1569
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: Clutter?

Post by John Ruggero »

This unusual marking is discussed at the end of the thread:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=22
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