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Errors in printed music

pavane 16 Jun 04 - 02:54 AM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Jun 04 - 05:17 AM
JohnInKansas 16 Jun 04 - 05:45 AM
pavane 16 Jun 04 - 06:53 AM
Bob Bolton 16 Jun 04 - 08:39 AM
pavane 16 Jun 04 - 09:01 AM
JohnInKansas 16 Jun 04 - 03:14 PM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Jun 04 - 08:53 PM
Joe Offer 17 Jun 04 - 05:06 PM
pavane 18 Jun 04 - 02:20 AM
The Fooles Troupe 02 Jul 04 - 07:25 AM
GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman 02 Jul 04 - 05:04 PM
The Fooles Troupe 02 Jul 04 - 09:40 PM
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Subject: Errors in printed music
From: pavane
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 02:54 AM

Looking through a songbook yesterday, I noticed a tune (Gaudete) in the key of 4 sharps - nothing wrong with that, except that the sharp symbols were on F, C, G , and C (instead of D)

What would a musician be expected to do if sight-reading? Just see the four sharps in the key signature and assume the key, or play the sharps as printed?

Further thought: If the former, where does this leave the suggestions made for modal key signatures, which may differ from the usual major/minor signatures?


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Subject: RE: Errors in printed music
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 05:17 AM

"What would a musician be expected to do if sight-reading? Just see the four sharps in the key signature and assume the key, or play the sharps as printed?"

Normally yes. One would also check the tonic note - usually the finishing note. Also one would amend the score by hand.

"Further thought: If the former, where does this leave the suggestions made for modal key signatures, which may differ from the usual major/minor signatures?"

If Modal/Minor, one would expect there to be appropriate accidentals. It is also possible that it was meant to only have 3 sharps, but the previous step would check that.

Misprints do occur.

Just for our warning - what was the Songbook?

Robin


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Subject: RE: Errors in printed music
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 05:45 AM

That appears to put 2 sharps on C?

I think I'd assume the standard signature and attribute it to sloppy penmanship. Especially if the score was not at fairly enlarged scale, it can be a little ambiguous where the "center" of the # symbol is.

If it's a fairly old book, prior to photo plate reproduction, the "graver" who laid out the stuff may have been better at scratching lines than at reading music. Sort of like the guy in India who's outsourced to set the type for the Japanese guy's translation to English for the operating manual for the made in Taiwan widget you're trying to assemble for the kid's Xmas present (which of course was designed by an Italian on loan to a French design firm).

Lots of the older scores were set for printing by pasting little dabs of symbol scraps on a "layout sheet," so "alignment errors" of that sort wouldn't be too surprising. Especially if a non-musician was trying to make it look like someone's handwrite.

John


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Subject: RE: Errors in printed music
From: pavane
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 06:53 AM

Correct, two (single) sharps on C

It is 'Steeleye Span songbook' undated but c1975, and the error only appears on one staff out of six, the others are correct so in this case is is obvious what is wrong. It just raised the general question.

(The book also contains the somewhat optimistic line 'Steeleye span is now complete. Tim says there will be no more changes'!)


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Subject: RE: Errors in printed music
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 08:39 AM

G'day pavane,

Of course, there is the possibility that the tune lay in the normal key signature of A major ... and some pedant was showing sharps on both Cs ... because the tune encompassed both! (Not normal notation - but I can see some bloody pedant defending it).

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Errors in printed music
From: pavane
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 09:01 AM

G'day Bob

No, they were both on the SAME C!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Errors in printed music
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 03:14 PM

Even ca. 1975 was early enough that the music score building programs available didn't have a lot of the automatic features common now - and the few that were around were really hard to obtain for an "independent" publisher.

The major music publishing houses had $10K programs that were (and still are) capable, but a smaller publisher might have used one of those "cluge" programs that required coding the print in a script and hoping the result would be what you intended. (No WYSISYG) A proficient compositor could do great stuff that way, but anyone without a lot of experience would be likely to get a few misplaced glyphs.

In that era, one of the best "cheap" methods was to lay out a score in a graphics program, like photoshop or even early AutoCadd, and position the symbols by hand. Of course, if you were a small producer you had to create the glyphs before you could place them, since music font handling was primitive in those kinds of programs.

Paper and Paste methods, with photo plates made with a big camera, were still fairly common.

With any of these methods, an error in placement of a single splat on one line would be fairly easy. Most current programs would make it very difficult if for some reason you wanted to do it. (I can't imagine what the reason would be.)

The errant "key signature" makes no musical sense to me, or according to any of my standard notation sources. (Gardner Read, Music Notation, Taplinger Publishing, ISBN 0-8008-5435-5, about $25, is the "Bible") I'm afraid, other than assuming it was a "typo," most musicians would have to have a long discussion to decide how to treat it, if it's something intentional.

The obvious: Can you ask the publisher?
The less obvious: Does anything show on a recorded performance?

John


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Subject: RE: Errors in printed music
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 08:53 PM

JiK,
It's only on one stave out of 8 on a single page I think was said, so should be easily coped with in this case...


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Subject: RE: Errors in printed music
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Jun 04 - 05:06 PM

I'm surprised the Steeleye Span version of "Gaudete" sounds so good, because they really screwed up the Latin words in their album notes. I imagine their songbook does the same.
Pavane, please don't duplicate and expand their error - check the Oxford Book of Carols.
-Joe Offer-


Previous thread on Gaudete (click)


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Subject: RE: Errors in printed music
From: pavane
Date: 18 Jun 04 - 02:20 AM

Joe,
I don't intend to do anything! Spotting the error just made me wonder what a musician should do in general if sight-reading.

As noted above, it would probably be corrected by an annotation.

I belong to the local Amateur Operatic Society, (grand name, but it is musicals they do these days - Chess was excellent) and the scores which they purchase ALWAYS have to be corrected.

What if this error occurred in an examination piece?


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Subject: RE: Errors in printed music
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Jul 04 - 07:25 AM

"What if this error occurred in an examination piece?"

I doubt it would be in an exam piece with any of the formal music schools. Things are checked.


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Subject: RE: Errors in printed music
From: GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 02 Jul 04 - 05:04 PM

Oddly enough, errors do occur - Trinity College guitar grade exams come to mind. I spotted it (as teacher) and advised the examiner that my pupils would be playing a corrected edition, which the examoner agreed to. Point is, unless you're playing outlandish modern stuff, most errors are pretty obvious as such.
On the other hand, the collectors, Sharp, Hammond and Gardner et al., were notorious for taking stuff down errors and all, resulting in some of the stranger tonalities and nonsensical words we hear in traditional song clubs from time to time...How do you deal with that one?
KYBTTS


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Subject: RE: Errors in printed music
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Jul 04 - 09:40 PM

My point exactly, VB.
You did a good job - the right thing.


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