12/8 Question

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Fred G. Unn
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Re: 12/8 Question

Post by Fred G. Unn » 06 Oct 2015, 20:19

Knut wrote:Did he ever formulate a text with all of these? If not, that might be something for you to consider.
+1. An Arnstein style manual is something I would be interesting in having in my library. John, are you in touch with any other copyists from his shop? What about anyone from his estate? Obviously it would be a big time commitment, and I imagine the market for a hand copying text would be minuscule, but maybe you could apply for a grant or something to work on it.

dspreadbury
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Re: 12/8 Question

Post by dspreadbury » 06 Oct 2015, 21:06

For what it's worth, our application produces the same results as Fred's bar 2 by default, and I certainly agree that, short of using stemlets, it's the clearest possible rendering of this pattern.

We are basically following the rules proposed by Gould for rest grouping in compound time signatures, with a few options (you can choose whether or not to allow quarter rests at the start of a beat in compound time, or at the end, and whether or not you want to allow dotted rests at all in compound meter, with an exception for allowing whole beats to be represented using a dotted rest even if you otherwise prefer not to use dotted rests for less than a whole beat).

(If this is considered too product-specific for this forum, please let me know.)

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Vaughan
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Re: 12/8 Question

Post by Vaughan » 06 Oct 2015, 22:09

I can imagine most of us are eager to hear about how your application handles the endless parameters involved in music engraving and I'm sure many of us are following your progress. It's good to read that there will be options for allowing quarter rests or dotted rests in compound time.

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John Ruggero
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Re: 12/8 Question

Post by John Ruggero » 06 Oct 2015, 23:19

Dear OCTO, Knut, and Fred,

Thank you for your encouraging words and votes of confidence. I wish that I were in touch with other former Arnstein copyists to compare notes. Maybe this Forum will cause that to happen.

Arnstein was always involved in the next big project and never found the time to write a memoir, which would have been fascinating, because he was such a great storyteller and he had had so many interesting experiences. Nor did he write a book on copying. I have recently prepared a short manual with illustrations of all of his rules that I can remember, but it is not ready for prime time, partly because I am concerned about misrepresenting his ideas without the corroboration of other Arnstein alumni. The manual includes only material that is relevant today; I did not include anything concerning the craft of freehand copying, of which he was also a master. When it is complete, I will certainly share it with anyone who wants a copy.

On the most practical level, he had several clever tricks that I still use today in binding my personal sheet music. I will share these now...No, I will post this in the proper slot on this Forum.
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OCTO
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Re: 12/8 Question

Post by OCTO » 08 Oct 2015, 06:43

dspreadbury wrote:We are basically following the rules proposed by Gould for rest grouping in compound time signatures,
Now I have carefully checked what is stated in her book, and I personally see it as a default (standard), which should be followed.
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John Ruggero
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Re: 12/8 Question

Post by John Ruggero » 08 Oct 2015, 22:25

I find Arnstein's solution with eighth rests and brackets by far the best.

Were I the player, I would still have to pencil in beat markings in the Gould version, so I see no advantage to it. And it has the disadvantage of over-complicating the notation just to follow an arbitrary rule.
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OCTO
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Re: 12/8 Question

Post by OCTO » 09 Oct 2015, 04:48

I remember playing Wagner's Tannhäuser overture: in the first violins (and others as well) there is a place with falling :2 in enormous quick tempo, three or four pages, I can't remember now. We all players had beats written down, since just beats should be noticed, the :2 are to be filled automatically.
Not directly recommendation/comment for this question, but writing down beats with pencil is a very common technique by orchestra musicians. And this should be done prior to rehearsing (someone says it would take 5 expensive minutes, but I think it is only with a prima vista recordings, and that is more-less rare. Usually you get your part some days before.)
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Peter West
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Re: 12/8 Question

Post by Peter West » 09 Oct 2015, 08:27

I have worked often for Boosey & Hawkes, so I'm well acquainted with their style sheet. However, it should be understood that this is a default for 99% of work, but negotiable on a case by case basis when legibility becomes an issue. When, for example, I'm working on scores by HK Gruber who uses 12/8 regularly, then we use a quarter rest at the head of the beat and two eighths at the tail of the beat (see attached)
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John Ruggero
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Re: 12/8 Question

Post by John Ruggero » 09 Oct 2015, 21:22

Peter,

Arnstein, of course, would have used eight rests throughout, even though this is technically not in 12/8, so no decision- or exception-making would have been necessary.

I wonder if one reason that this is NOT notated in 12/8 (in spite of the fact that this is the style of music for which 12/8 was intended) is that this way the composer could put in all those brackets, alla Arnstein!
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John Ruggero
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Re: 12/8 Question

Post by John Ruggero » 09 Oct 2015, 22:38

OCTO,

If Arnstein had copied that passage in the Wagner Tannhäuser Overture, you would not have had to put in all those beat markings! You must be referring to the endless pairs of 16th-notes in 4/4 at the end. Arnstein would have beamed all of those in groups of 4, not 2, and you and your colleagues would have been much much happier. He would have advised Wagner that the slurs were sufficient, and even though his expressive beaming might be fine in a chamber of solo piece, it would cause discomfort for an orchestra.

Here is "the thing": Arnstein viewed any notation that caused the players to have to write in beat markings as a FAILURE on the part of the engraver (or composer.) But orchestral musicians are so used to putting up with this that they will actually even make excuses for the engraver. I say that musicians need to stand up and demand clearly notated, well-cued parts or they will all go on strike!
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