Behind Bars - "General Conventions"

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Re: Behind Bars - "General Conventions"

Post by swetom2011 »

GB English versus US English. In Sweden all movies have subtitles, i.e. you get trained listening to English very early in life and at the same time get the translation written in the subtitle.

Now, at the university, in parallel to engineering I studied English. The first exam I failed miserably with the argument - either you write in GB english or US English but never mix the two.
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Re: Behind Bars - "General Conventions"

Post by MichelRE »

swetom2011 wrote: 08 Aug 2023, 06:02 GB English versus US English.
I'm not sure if you are referencing my comment regarding the word staff/stave, but I'm not American. In Canada we use GB spelling in general.

And the use of stave in the singular, while not incorrect, is not "the GB" way of writing it.

It is ONE OF the ways that are acceptable. Both are in use, to varying degrees, in GB English.

Neither is correct/incorrect.

The most common usage appears to be: singular - staff, plural - staves.

Followed by the usage: singular - stave, plural - staves.

And the more questionable: singular staff, plural - staffs.
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David Ward
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Re: Behind Bars - "General Conventions"

Post by David Ward »

FWIW I live in Scotland but was at school in England, most notably from the age of 13–17 (1954–1958) here (in those days it was boys only). Perhaps it's a generational thing, but in the very active music department at that school I never once heard anybody use ‘staff’ in a musical context; but then I was also taught to use predominantly ‘-ize’ endings (via Latin ‘-izare’) rather than mostly ‘-ise’ ones (via French ‘-iser’), which means that younger people often ask why I'm using ‘US spelling’.

I personally would loathe standardization. I think all these variations add colour and life, just as the Buchan Doric tongue spoken where I live in Aberdeenshire adds local colour, although at first even people from other parts of Scotland may find it impenetrable. Not all that long ago, teachers in the local schools would order people to ‘speak proper English’ and even administer corporal punishment for speaking Doric in class. Mercifully, things are very different now, and the multiple varieties of the ‘Scots Leid’ are actively encouraged.

To make my comments more relevant to this forum: I wonder if music notation isn't becoming over-standardized via the sometimes rather authoritarian seeming insistence on standardized ‘correct’ rules? Discuss!

I'm all for making things as easy as possible for the sight-reading performer; but…
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Re: Behind Bars - "General Conventions"

Post by MichelRE »

I figure that as long as the text indications are clear and unambiguous, that is all that matters.

In the particular example we were discussing in another thread (an indication for piano pedal use), I think attempting to use a standardiz/sed ;) Italian indication COULD lead to more problems than solutions.

I sometimes struggle with consistency in the use of French or Italian indications in my scores.

most tempo markings rit/accel/allargando/Allegro/Adagio and so on are so ingrained that I actually find it disturbing to read "Allant", "Très lent", or "en retenant" and "en accellerant".

I still use "espr." and div and tutti.

So in effect, in my scores there will be a type of blend of French and Italian markings. I DO try to remain consistent with the types of indications in one language or the other. I won't use div. and tutti, then follow that up with a marking for "divisé en 4 parties". I'd stick to the same language here, with "div. in 4".

Totally unrelated: I'd LOVE to learn one of the Celtic languages! I really wanted to learn Welsh since part of my ancestry is Welsh. It's a beautiful language, but I'm at an age where learning a new language is much more work to me, and my calcifying brain cells are overheating too easily.
And DAMN, it's hard getting your brain around the sound LL, let alone your TONGUE!
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John Ruggero
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Re: Behind Bars - "General Conventions"

Post by John Ruggero »

I think you are doing the right thing, MichelRE. Many composers have used multiple languages, reserving the non-Italian for directions that would require manufacturing something new in Italian. One might justify this by saying that the standard Italian markings have been taken into all languages as an integral part of the language. We use terms like staccato, legato, non legato etc. as English words and don't even italicize them any more.
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