Behind Bars - "General Conventions"

Recommendations, opinions, and reviews of books and sites.
benwiggy
Posts: 873
Joined: 11 Apr 2016, 19:42

Behind Bars - "General Conventions"

Post by benwiggy »

Faber have published an "entry-level" version of Behind Bars, covering the "General Conventions", but not going into all the detail. It's basically the first 240 pages for £25, which makes it more affordable, particularly for students; and so might get it more widely circulated.

https://www.scoringnotes.com/news/behin ... published/
MichelRE
Posts: 263
Joined: 07 Aug 2021, 17:11

Re: Behind Bars - "General Conventions"

Post by MichelRE »

I know it's perfectly acceptable grammar but... it annoys me to read "one stave". I've grown up to know it as "one staff/ many staves."
Honestly, that and a few absent details in the full version (it's not quite complete enough) are my only criticism of Behind Bars.
User avatar
David Ward
Posts: 527
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 19:50
Location: Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Contact:

Re: Behind Bars - "General Conventions"

Post by David Ward »

MichelRE wrote: 21 Jun 2023, 14:10 I know it's perfectly acceptable grammar but... it annoys me to read "one stave". I've grown up to know it as "one staff/ many staves."… … …
In most parts of the UK a ‘staff’ is specific to a walking stick and at that perhaps a little old fashioned, eg the biblical ‘staff of Moses’, or in Shetland, and to a lesser extent in other parts of modern Scotland, where a walking stick may still be someone's ‘staff’. I suspect that relatively few UK musicians would use that in a musical context: Elaine Gould is using the language in which she speaks and writes naturally, and with which many of her colleagues are familiar.

For a number of reasons, I'm strongly aware of different usages in various parts of the UK, in NZ (and also Australia) - I was married to a New Zealander - and of course in the US and in Canada (though not of the local variations within either of these countries). It's a deeply fascinating subject, but probably not for more than peripheral discussion here.

Nevertheless, please indulge me for a moment. The participle ‘gotten’ is regarded as an ‘Americanism’ (and thus criticized) by very many people in England, but in fact it is still in regular use in Scotland and is merely old-fashioned. I make use of ‘-ize’ endings where most people in the UK now favour ‘-ise’, and thus I am sometimes accused of writing in ‘American’ (horror, horror!) rather than in English. I point out that I prefer to derive the ending from Latin ‘-izare’, unless the word is directly derived from French, in which case I do use ‘-ise’, deriving it from French ‘-iser’. The person criticizing is then somewhat flummoxed. None of this should be taken too seriously.

*       *       *
All that apart, I'm sure the ‘entry level’ version of Elaine Gould's book will be a very great help to many, and it is most welcome.
Finale 25.5 & F 26.3.1
Mac OS 10.13.6 & 10.14.6
https://composers-uk.com/davidward/news-links/
User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 2476
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: Behind Bars - "General Conventions"

Post by John Ruggero »

https://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2012 ... stave.html explains the stave-staff business quite well.

American English sometimes retains older forms that were discarded in British English since American English branched off several centuries ago and underwent a slightly different evolution. Now that the various branches of English are rubbing shoulders on a daily basis, thanks to the internet and mass entertainment, I think that they may eventually merge.
M1 Mac mini (OS 12.4), Dorico, Finale 25.5, GPO 4, Affinity Publisher 2, SmartScore 64 Pro, JW Plug-ins, TG Tools, Keyboard maestro

http://www.cantilenapress.com
benwiggy
Posts: 873
Joined: 11 Apr 2016, 19:42

Re: Behind Bars - "General Conventions"

Post by benwiggy »

Is it one Claff...? (Never look for analogues in English!)

One would hope that the greater connection (connexion?) that we all have with each other would bring more standardization -- in notation, too, as well as language.
User avatar
David Ward
Posts: 527
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 19:50
Location: Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Contact:

Re: Behind Bars - "General Conventions"

Post by David Ward »

benwiggy wrote: 23 Jun 2023, 06:59One would hope that the greater connection (connexion?) that we all have with each other would bring more standardization -- in notation, too, as well as language.
I'm a bit wary of standardization.

When I was young (I'm now 82) one could identify the nationality of an orchestra on the instant by its sound, even on 78 rpm records or heard on crackly AM radio. One could usually identify the specific orchestra by the sound of the first oboe (and other wind soloists). Now too many of them seem to be aiming for an ‘idealized’ sound, which I think is a pity.

The composer Michael Tippet was wont to use highly idiosyncratic beaming, which can confuse the unwary, but which can be a help to realizing his sound world when put before the most experienced ensembles. It might be a pity if editors were all to insist on ‘correcting’ this beaming.

As for language: I remember taking part in a debate in the 1990s in the island of Yell, Shetland on whether or not to ‘knap’ (to speak posh Scots - the initial k is sounded) when speaking to ‘southern’ (ie from Edinburgh) officialdom. I suggested that it might make communication easier, but the audience vote went heavily against me. There has been a strong resurgence in acceptance of local dialects in the remoter parts of the UK, and it is no longer acceptable for a school teacher to demand that a pupil ‘speak properly’ if they are expressing themselves in their local tongue. This might suggest that standardization is not imminent.
Attachments
Screenshot 2023-06-23 at 10.53.00.png
Screenshot 2023-06-23 at 10.53.00.png (61.28 KiB) Viewed 13876 times
Finale 25.5 & F 26.3.1
Mac OS 10.13.6 & 10.14.6
https://composers-uk.com/davidward/news-links/
User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 2476
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: Behind Bars - "General Conventions"

Post by John Ruggero »

I doubt that there will ever be a standardization of pronunciation. I was referring more to the merging of vocabulary, expressions, and the written form of the language. I hear Americans using what were exclusively British turns of phrase. With all the British TV my wife and I watch, we may be doing it too.
M1 Mac mini (OS 12.4), Dorico, Finale 25.5, GPO 4, Affinity Publisher 2, SmartScore 64 Pro, JW Plug-ins, TG Tools, Keyboard maestro

http://www.cantilenapress.com
MichelRE
Posts: 263
Joined: 07 Aug 2021, 17:11

Re: Behind Bars - "General Conventions"

Post by MichelRE »

I definitely wasn't meaning to start a discussion on language and acceptable/unacceptable terminology.
As I said, I understand that "stave" is perfectly acceptable. Only that I've grown up always hearing "staff", and it sort of makes me cringe every time I see reference to stave as a singular.

My only "REAL" complaint about Behind Bars is that it covers some things in detail, but then leaves out things that would seem to be important and expected.

For example, she makes almost no mention of placement of hairpins. Only in a rather cursory manner.
She often includes music theory details that seem rather pointless since they are such basic information that they are pointless to anyone who would be able to make use of Behind Bars. (for example, a book on symbolism in Shakespeare's plays including comments regarding the existence of both vowels and consonants, or that there are things called verbs that function as "action" words...)

I also find some of her proscriptive and prescriptive remarks to be often too readily set in stone. (for example, some of her recommendations on writing harmonics are overly fussy and add clutter to the score.)
User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 2476
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: Behind Bars - "General Conventions"

Post by John Ruggero »

What Behind Bars really needs and deserves is a second edition that corrects misprints, errors, and omissions.
M1 Mac mini (OS 12.4), Dorico, Finale 25.5, GPO 4, Affinity Publisher 2, SmartScore 64 Pro, JW Plug-ins, TG Tools, Keyboard maestro

http://www.cantilenapress.com
NeeraWM
Posts: 200
Joined: 30 Nov 2021, 12:11

Re: Behind Bars - "General Conventions"

Post by NeeraWM »

benwiggy wrote: 20 Jun 2023, 18:56 Faber have published an "entry-level" version of Behind Bars, covering the "General Conventions", but not going into all the detail. It's basically the first 240 pages for £25, which makes it more affordable, particularly for students; and so might get it more widely circulated.
I bought it in 2011 when it first came out for EUR 31 shipping included...
Now it's hard to find the full book for less than 80...
Post Reply