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I have created this site in order to provide performers, listeners and composers with a description of a composer's experiences with the creative process. The posts will provide discussions of the inspirations, challenges, and successes of a composer from the inception of the piece to the culmination in performance. I will provide a link to where you can see and hear the works in progress. Comments and questions are always welcomed. They will not posted unless you grant me permission.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Arizona Centennial Overture - Second Step After Completion

I decided that my second step would be to work on the parts for the advanced version. Sibelius software enables one to make changes in the parts and those changes will occur in the score as well, and vice versa. It also enables one to move things around in the parts without them moving in the score. I decide that I would format and correct the parts in the advanced version before working on the simpler version. After the parts are completed, I can then duplicate the file that contains both score and parts and the changes I make to simplify the score will also be made in the parts.

Part extraction is relatively simple, but a very important step for me. In addition to making sure that page turns work, it enables me to see the music from the perspective of each individual musician. I can more easily see potential performance problems that I might overlook in the score. I usually work from the bottom of the score to the top because occasionally a dynamic from the part above is attached accidentally to the staff below and I can catch this error before working on the parts above it. Below is list of changes I have made to illustrate how important this step is:

Percussion 2 - I realized that I did not list the guiro in the Percussion 2 instruments in the score part name.
Percussion 1 - I did not leave enough time for the player to change from snare sticks to mallets for the Wood Block or Temple Blocks at measure 16. I eliminated the snare part at measure 15 to solve this problem.
Timpani - I was able to check that all the pitch changes and notes are correct.
Tuba, Euph., Troms., Alto Sax 1, Piccolo - When Sibelius enters cues, it also shows the full measure rests in the part. I eliminated the full measure rests to make the cues easier to read as the may be played instead of just helping the musician count rests.
Euphonium - In measure 96, I brought some of the notes up an octave to set up the next measure. Otherwise there may have been a large leap to the high notes.
Horns - There were close intervals up high for the horns at the end of measure 179. I revoiced the chord to provide more space between the notes.  Horns have enough of a challenge being accurate in the high register without worrying about whether dissonance is correct.
Alto Saxophone, Alto Clarinet and Bass Clarinet - These parts needed to have the page turn after page 2 instead of after pages 1 & 3. If taped or copied back to back, pages 1 and 2 would be adjacent to each other and pages 3 and 4 adjacent to each other. The entire 11X 17 page would be turned after page 2. This is necessary because there were not enough rests earlier in the piece for these instruments to make the page turn after page 1.

While working on the parts, I was also looking ahead to where I might need to simplify the piece for the easier version. 

To see and hear what I have discussed in previous posts, go to
http://www.cooppress.net/aco_blog.html. Audio and visual examples are provided to illustrate my discussion . Since blogspot does not have the capability of including audio examples, this link will navigate you away from this blog. To return, use your browser's back button or click on the Composing Insights link on the audio page. You will have two choices to hear the audio examples. The first uses a free Scorch plug-in that will enable you to see a scrolling score as you listen to the audio example. The second is an mp3 file of the audio only. The complete score is now transposed. If you would like to receive notifications of new blog posts, sign up to follow this blog.

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