Autograph of Scriabin's Sonata no. 7

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John Ruggero
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Re: Autograph of Scriabin's Sonata no. 7

Post by John Ruggero »

Good point. In the case of the Scriabin example, I think that the parentheses are unnecessary clutter and actually create a reading impediment. Precautionary accidentals without parentheses to clarify that all registers are canceled from a previous accidental are advisable and would not cause second guessing. In fact I think that it looks very strange when only one note of a solid octave has an accidental, although one also sees that system used in good editions.

I only use parentheses for the situation you mention: calling attention to controversial accidentals in authentic editions. Used sparingly, parentheses can have real meaning; they become clutter and annoying when over-used.
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Fred G. Unn
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Re: Autograph of Scriabin's Sonata no. 7

Post by Fred G. Unn »

Given the choice, I never use parenthesis around an accidental. One composer I work for insists on it for cross-relations so I do that for him. There are a few jazz composers who use them for conflicting accidentals within a section too. If Trumpet 2 has an F# and Trumpet 3 has an F, you'll sometimes see a parenthesized natural on the F so the player doesn't look over at the next stand and think it was a copying mistake where the # was left off. If it saves a minute at a rehearsal or recording session ("Should I have an F# in bar 35?") it's probably an ok practice I suppose. Most pro jazz musicians would understand what the parentheses mean in that particular case. Inner parts in jazz orchestra sections are so used to playing 2nds though that I personally don't bother with it.

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