"On cue"

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hautbois baryton
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Joined: 06 Jan 2018, 17:06

"On cue"

Post by hautbois baryton » 31 May 2018, 23:43

Hi folks, I'm drawing a blank... can anyone give me a common Italian musical term that indicates to the performer to play something "on cue" / "when cued"?
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OCTO
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Re: "On cue"

Post by OCTO » 01 Jun 2018, 08:46

It would be worth to know what you want to achieve?
"on cue" is quite satisfying. Italian is not the only musical language.
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hautbois baryton
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Joined: 06 Jan 2018, 17:06

Re: "On cue"

Post by hautbois baryton » 02 Jun 2018, 02:31

I agree, but I'm trying to avoid using multiple mixed languages in the score. So my choices are Italian (all of the tempos and tempo changes), or French (the title pages, movement list, instrument names). I suppose French would work okay.
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HaraldS
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Re: "On cue"

Post by HaraldS » 02 Jun 2018, 13:31

hautbois baryton wrote:
02 Jun 2018, 02:31
I agree, but I'm trying to avoid using multiple mixed languages in the score. So my choices are Italian (all of the tempos and tempo changes), or French (the title pages, movement list, instrument names). I suppose French would work okay.
Translated literally, it would be "sul segno". If you like it, just use it. As for me, I wouldn't...here is why:
"sul" is common for describing strings instrument techniques e.g. on a violin: "sul D" would mean to play only on the D string, "sul ponticello" near the bridge. "Segno", meaning a sign or a cue literally, is common for describing a specific place in a piece from where to start a repeat. Both term's musical meaning and usage originate from Italy from the 18th century.

"On cue" originates from 20th century Jazz/popular music in the US. I've seen it in many Brodway shows as well, obviously to repeat a section until something/someone is ready to continue. It means basically for the players+conductor to react to something which can happen any time.

Now, baroque music of the 18th century doesn't know the concept of repeating until something happens. Thus, something like "sul segno" would be inappropriate, because you would be mixing up musical concepts, aesthetics and traditions. If your piece needs a repeat executed in 20th century's Jazz/Broadway fashion, the only appropriate term would be "on cue" in English, regardless of other languages used in the score.

A certain language is always an important part of a message, because the language puts the words into an aesthetic tradition. The two together give a meaning.
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hautbois baryton
Posts: 9
Joined: 06 Jan 2018, 17:06

Re: "On cue"

Post by hautbois baryton » 03 Jun 2018, 02:59

Thanks for your arguments. This is a modern classical work; after weighing the options I ended up using "on cue" as is.

Thanks!
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