Notating to encourage rubato.

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David Ward
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Notating to encourage rubato.

Post by David Ward » 22 Mar 2018, 16:50

If you look at the screenshot you'll see that the opening sax solo of this 2 minute miniature is marked with rubato. If you listen to this recording https://soundcloud.com/decward/dreaming ... ve/s-j0BUg played by the excellent Victoria Soames Samek it seems fairly strict.

Is the notation too detailed to encourage rubato?

This miniature is derived from a 90 minute opera. In the surroundings of the theatre, might I expect more abandon for this opening sax solo? (The first five bars are the same in the opera.) Or will it most likely always be played near enough as written?

Indeed, I wonder about my 2014 intentions. Maybe I actually wrote what I wanted to hear…
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OCTO
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Re: Notating to encourage rubato.

Post by OCTO » 23 Mar 2018, 07:31

My feeling is the same as yours, David.
With such slow tempo and complex rhythm it is indeed 'difficult' to catch rubato.

Just "slow and easy" is enough to relax the player, in my opinion.

Or maybe "extreme rubato" is what you hear, in that case I would write some small tempo changes... and omit rubato info.
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John Ruggero
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Re: Notating to encourage rubato.

Post by John Ruggero » 23 Mar 2018, 13:44

I agree. 32nd-notes don't look "Slow and easy". A few accel.'s and rit's., feathered beaming, small notes, and/or more complex tuplets would help the player know more clearly what you want.

"Easy" should not be capitalized.
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Re: Notating to encourage rubato.

Post by David Ward » 23 Mar 2018, 17:25

John Ruggero wrote:
23 Mar 2018, 13:44
… A few accel.'s and rit's., feathered beaming, small notes, and/or more complex tuplets would help the player know more clearly what you want.
That might be too precise as it was more a waywardness of the moment that I had in mind. Anyway, it sounds OK as played on the recording, although some variation if played multiple times might be appropriate.
John Ruggero wrote:"Easy" should not be capitalized.
This is a typo - due to be corrected, I hope before more copies are printed. The bar numbers should be italic, too. I'm not sure why they show otherwise, but they will be changed. More seriously, there's a wrong accidental in the next section (and played on the recording as it is written, not as it ought to have been written).

Thank you very much for pointing out any errors that strike you. I'm afraid I'm all too often careless, and keep finding errors of one kind or another in much of my past output. Some mistakes are queried in rehearsal, but others take a while to surface. (And some substantial pieces remain unperformed - fun for some future editor wondering whether or not I did really mean that sharp.) Ach weel!

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Re: Notating to encourage rubato.

Post by John Ruggero » 23 Mar 2018, 18:01

David Ward wrote:
23 Mar 2018, 17:25
That might be too precise as it was more a waywardness of the moment that I had in mind.
Then ad lib. instead of rubato? I still think that what you have written implies precision of a kind that you don't intend, however.
David Ward wrote:
23 Mar 2018, 17:25
Thank you very much for pointing out any errors that strike you. I'm afraid I'm all too often careless, and keep finding errors of one kind or another in much of my past output.
I feel that same way about my own stuff, David, and grateful for the help the I have received on this forum in particular.
Last edited by John Ruggero on 25 Mar 2018, 14:52, edited 1 time in total.
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OCTO
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Re: Notating to encourage rubato.

Post by OCTO » 24 Mar 2018, 06:35

John Ruggero wrote:
23 Mar 2018, 13:44
A few accel.'s and rit's., feathered beaming, small notes, and/or more complex tuplets would help the player know more clearly what you want.
Wonderful! Very good ideas.

David, I am always amused how you create very nice and balanced scores just using all default fonts and almost the default settings. Not sure how, but I guess your great experience with hand-engraving is why your, yet simple, decisions make it look good.
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David Ward
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Re: Notating to encourage rubato.

Post by David Ward » 24 Mar 2018, 22:03

OCTO wrote:
24 Mar 2018, 06:35
David, I am always amused how you create very nice and balanced scores just using all default fonts and almost the default settings. Not sure how, but I guess your great experience with hand-engraving is why your, yet simple, decisions make it look good.
Thank you OCTO.

The Finale default rolled arpeggios are too long and need to be adjusted.

The sax solo that begins this miniature, when it opens the opera is marked not just with rubato but with sleazy rubato. It then occurs again right at the end of the opera, but marked to be played without the rubato of the opening. This later incarnation is over a steady tread on the orchestral basses. I suppose what I had in mind was that the player would at first try the solo as written, but then learn to ‘bend’ it with varying irregularities and exaggerated expression for the opening. However, when it reappears at the end it has been ‘tamed’ (quite apart from the almost funereal accompanying tread).

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Re: Notating to encourage rubato.

Post by John Ruggero » 25 Mar 2018, 14:52

Thanks, OCTO!

David, such a special situation might require a footnote in the score. With or without the footnote, however, I would write ad lib. and non ad lib. later. Rubato doesn't seem quite right to me, since I think of a rubato as being used more for exact expressive reasons that remain relatively fixed, and you seem to want something freer. But you know want you want better than anyone.
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