Friday, September 02, 2011

Dear composers...


...you've gone to all that trouble to write a piece. I'm going to assume that you want it performed. I'm also going to assume that you want it performed well.

Look at that first example above. OK, it shows promise. Pretty sophisticated composer, right? Maybe this person is going to win a composition contest with this entry...

But, woah nelly, check out this second example:

Now here's a really sophisticated composer. So intelligent, so advanced...
SO MUCH HARDER TO READ!!

Of course, most of you already see it...the two examples will sound the same. Hmm, I wonder which version will lead to most errors by the performers. (Sadly, I also wonder which version is more likely to win the contest.)

Yes, I know you composer types want your scores to look sophisticated. You want everyone to respect your great genius.

But please take a moment to think about the poor saps who have to actually read your music. Believe it or not, we also want to make your music sound great.

Don't make our jobs harder than they have to be!


1 comment:

Gary Viebranz said...

Brad, I've got to agree. I've got a re-arrangement I did of a fairly standard piece (that will remain nameless) in so-called slow 6/8 that terrorizes many high school groups. I've given it a rhythmic transposition to put it in 3/4 and left everything else identical to the original. I've used the piece twice with middle school honors bands with great success and no problems. Truth be told, I'd rather teach them about 6/8 but when you're given one day of rehearsal, I'd rather have them be able to read and play real music.