Team copying & proofreading

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Posts: 1594
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 06:52
Location: Sweden

Team copying & proofreading

Post by OCTO »

I would like if you could share your way when working in a team (with a composer, or working with several music copyists).
How do you work with a composer?
How do you work with other copyists?
What is the way to keep the document properly edited, checked, proofread, versioning - version control?
What other tools do you use such as spreadsheets, databases, PMS, github, paper+pen, etc...?

I will soon work on a very large piece of mine, with one copyist. Eventually two, but that will make the thing more complicated.
Bad moments that I faced before is when we discover at a very late stage of copying some improperly typed things or settings (in Finale) so that further editing (such as parts, layout etc) seems to be very tedious and difficult. Sometimes it is a font not working when printing, sometimes there are things that move without your command and so on.

It would be great to know how you work and to learn more.

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Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 18:07
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: Team copying & proofreading

Post by Knut »

This is a very interesting question that I would love to have a lot to contribute to. Unfortunately though, my own experience as a copyist/engraver on large projects is limited to multi-movement works like symphonies and concertos, or multiple pieces for shows and concerts where I was the sole copyist/engraver involved.

I have no experience collaborating with other copyists, and the composer has usually left me alone to do my thing, only to give feedback when needed.

Proofreading has usually been done either by annotations directly in the score, in the form of a checklist (with reference to specific pages, staves, measures and beats) or both. Working form a checklist is by far my preferred method, as It usually makes things much clearer. This method is also easily transferrable to the digital domain.

In the event of a collaborative project, I would think it most essential to have functional templates that everyone could work from, as well as a dropbox (or equivalent) folder containing the notation files, progress log and proofreading notes.

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John Ruggero
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Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: Team copying & proofreading

Post by John Ruggero »

In olden times, we controlled all projects, most of which used several copyists, by checking every part against a dummy template that showed everything that was common to all the parts, all titles, measures, rehearsal numbers, meter and tempo indications, etc. Stylistic control was maintained because all the copyists observed the same house rules. Corrections to the score were entered in proofs of the score by both the composer and the editor and from there to the parts. The parts received their own proofreading, which was entered in proofs of the parts. Parts were often proofread twice: once by the person who produced the part and once by a fellow copyist.

This whole system relied on the copyists being accustomed to working together and observing common practices. With computers it would seem to be much easier to maintain stylistic unity. A template with all settings in place, as suggested by Knut, should take care of most matters. If serious issues occur now, it might be caused the human element: most likely that the engravers are not working as a team.
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

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