Enhanced tacet

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John Ruggero
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Re: Enhanced tacet

Post by John Ruggero »

The engraver did it as Arnstein would have done it, except for the small-size staff. He always cued the first measure or two of a movement or section to give the player a good feel for the piece, and then a meaningful cue at least a measure before the next entrance with no rests intervening. And a 12 measure multi-measure rest would be at the outer limit before he would put an cue in between.
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OCTO
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Re: Enhanced tacet

Post by OCTO »

I meant something like this:
2022-01-23 (2).jpg
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Die Zauberflöte, K.620 (Mozart)
Publisher Info. Leipzig: Breitkopf und Härtel, n.d.
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John Ruggero
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Re: Enhanced tacet

Post by John Ruggero »

If you are talking about the cues in nos. 14 and 21, Arnstein never cued like that, even for the timpani. There would have been a cue in the first measure of the Aria, the 56-measure rest would have been split up with three or four cues, there would have been a cue note over the quarter rest in the first measure of the second line. And each of the sections of the Finale would have been cued similarly, so the player would know exactly what was going on. However, if whole movements were tacet, it was done as in the Breitkopf score, rather than as shown in the OP, as long as the movements were not continuous. The point was to make the part absolutely fool-proof. No need for the player to consult the score and put in the their own cues, as one often sees in parts that come back from rehearsals.

I always mention Arnstein's cuing system when the subject comes up in hopes that someone will benefit from it, since it was incredibly effective, loved by the musicians because it made the performance stress-free, and lead to him becoming the preeminent copyist of his time.
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OCTO
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Re: Enhanced tacet

Post by OCTO »

John Ruggero wrote:
23 Jan 2022, 21:26
No need for the player to consult the score and put in the their own cues, as one often sees in parts that come back from rehearsals.
I think, as well, it is more about how conductor work with the orchestra from my experience. If there is no cue from the conductor's side, musicians, in a difficult work, might write their own cues. But if they agree to get the cue by the conductor, it is not so important. Of course, a conductor forgetting showing the cue as earlier agreed is a very risky job. :)
John Ruggero wrote:
23 Jan 2022, 21:26
I always mention Arnstein's cuing system when the subject comes up in hopes that someone will benefit from it, since it was incredibly effective, loved by the musicians because it made the performance stress-free, and lead to him becoming the preeminent copyist of his time.
John, if you have any set-up diagram or page scan of a part, that would be very helpful!
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JJP
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Re: Enhanced tacet

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John Ruggero wrote:
23 Jan 2022, 21:26
The point was to make the part absolutely fool-proof. No need for the player to consult the score and put in the their own cues, as one often sees in parts that come back from rehearsals.
Thank you, John! This is so often overlooked by copyists. I understand that publishers sometimes want to condense things to save space, but that's stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime.

I often think of our role as being the performer's ally. We help them do their jobs better. If the player can't easily figure out where they are in the part, it's not a good part. Sometimes if it's blatantly obvious we'll just use a word cue like "trumpets" if trumpets been tacet and suddenly blast at ƒƒ, but good heavens, break things up and give the player some way to figure out exactly what is going on. Make it easy on them so they can focus on making music! :)

I started out as a percussionist and once had to sight-read a part at rehearsal that started with an 80+ bar rest with no cues. There were all kinds of tempo changes and whatnot within that rest. I wanted to find that publisher and burn their offices to the ground! ;)
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John Ruggero
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Re: Enhanced tacet

Post by John Ruggero »

Arnstein's parts "played themselves" as he used to say because they were foolproof. Nothing bad would happen if the conductor forgot to give a cue, because they weren't reliant on the conductor, and none of the parts came back with added cues by the player.

Its pretty simple and just as I described it previously. I discovered later that he was simply following the cuing style to be found in the Breitkopf Complete Works of Brahms, as shown in following example. But he adhered to this style for ALL of the instruments, low brass and percussion included. Note the initial cues, for both movements and the cues leading directly into most of the entrances. And the cues had to be very good ones. Totally audible. Vocal cues were never used except when there were no other options because the singers might not be present in the rehearsal or inaudible in the pit. He was very experienced in what made a good set of orchestral parts for an opera. Whole acts were played through the first time without stopping even once because nothing would go wrong. We would get ecstatic phone calls from the composers about how well it went. All the composers who worked with him learned to trust him implicitly because of these results.
example.jpeg
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OCTO
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Re: Enhanced tacet

Post by OCTO »

Ah, I see what you mean, John. Yes, this is totally clear. I enjoy playing from these kind of parts indeed.
John Ruggero wrote:
23 Jan 2022, 21:26
make the part absolutely fool-proof
This is the best description of our goals on this forum ever! :)
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JJP
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Re: Enhanced tacet

Post by JJP »

John Ruggero wrote:
24 Jan 2022, 03:21
Arnstein's parts "played themselves" as he used to say because they were foolproof. Nothing bad would happen if the conductor forgot to give a cue, because they weren't reliant on the conductor, and none of the parts came back with added cues by the player.
I almost reported this post because it instilled an inappropriate amount of joy in this copyist.
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John Ruggero
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Re: Enhanced tacet

Post by John Ruggero »

Thanks for this reception, JJP and OCTO. I once mentioned this on another forum many years ago and got quite a different reaction! This puzzled me because good cuing is so easy now with computers. Yet some still seem to prefer long stretches of rests interspersed with verbal cues, which Arnstein totally rejected. He also made fun of what he called "blip" cues, isolated accented single notes as cues.

So all the major composers went to Arnstein. A subtle hint, engravers...
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