Can we Agree to Disagree?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Dark side of the Trombone, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. Hi,

    I have a suggestion for competitions such as the National Finals, and was wondering what other people think?

    Basically, with testpieces having so many printing errors on them these days, would it be totally unfeasible for something like an agreed list of corrections for a testpiece to be issued, when the piece is announced? For pieces that have been around for thirty or so years, it must be possible for the selection panel or whoever to set this up.

    After all, aren't we meant to be testing bands on how well they can play the music, not on their proof-reading capabilities? It just seems a fairer way for bands to compete against each other- level playing field and all that.

    What do you think?
  2. MarkGillatt

    MarkGillatt Member

    :clap: :clap: :clap: You would think that bands would get a better service from the publishers on test pieces with errors in them, after all the price of the piece goes up considerably when chosen as a set work for a contest! I for one got really fed up trying to collate all the mistakes in Images for the Millenium, and that was just for the percussion section. Come on publishers, if I started sending out documents at work with that many errors in them, it wouldn't be long before I had to look for another job!

    As for the contest itself, if the bands don't have all the errata lists to work off, how are the adjudicators going to have them? There would be anarchy with people claiming that notes, dynamics and articulation are different in their score to the one which the guys in the box are using. The publishing firms must take responsibility for sending out complete scores that are (as far as humanly possible) error free. Only then can bands be on a level playing field.
  3. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    There isn't really any excuse nowadays. I use Sibelius 4 for printing my compositions and arrangements and each part that is extracted should be EXACTLY the same as the score. The computer works fine, the program is fine, it's just the squidgey organic bit that sits in front. If publishers used professional typesetters instead of trying to do it themselves, we would not have this problem. Some of the mistakes not only in notes, but in formatting are woeful, and can easily be avoided if only somebody took the time to read the manual!
  4. starperformer

    starperformer Member

    any job as tedious as producing parts from score is going to be full of oversights - because noone can concentrate for that long. the problem is the budgets these publishers are expected to work to are so tight that the proof reading obviously isn't good enough.

    the technology is getting better but it's not there yet - and however good it gets there will always be an element of tedium and a raft of shortcuts taken/errors generated.

    remember that if a piece was written thirty years ago, it won't be in a very useful state to start from when re-issuing. i'm not too sure why quality of edition is not taken into account when choosing testpieces in the first place?
  5. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    If you want to maker sure there are no mistakes you get a band to proof-play it BEFORE it goes into publication. If the parts don't work, you get them changed at this point, not "suddenly realise" that there are mistakes once bands are already paying a fortune for them.

    Maybe there should be a National Finals for the publishers - those who don't come up to scratch are dropped for next year (or reduced to publishing cheesy Christmas arrangements)?
  6. starperformer

    starperformer Member

    proof playing does not iron out all mistakes, by any means. even if the performance is excellent and the listener knowledgeable, it will only catch the most obvious things - missing stylistic marks are the most obvious difficulty.
  7. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    its very annoying when you get a set of parts with mistakes all over the costs so much these days .
    All us BrassBanders want is simply things in life like music with no mistakes in after we have paid for it.
    As when we have paid for it there is nothing wrong with our good money we have sent .
  8. drummerboy

    drummerboy Member

    I'm afraid I'm going to disagree with you there. I produce parts for pieces in the same way I do with the composing; with the utmost care and attention. And I'm not alone in this.

    With Sibelius, as has been said, you almost don't need to check the parts. It produces them as found on the score, so any mistake is clearly in the score.
    Incidently, if the technology is 'not there yet', what else do you want it to do until it is?

    Because as is my understanding, brass band pieces tend to only have one edition. Resurgam is possibly the only exception, though I may be wrong.
  9. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    There's no excuse. Some publishers are just lazy when it comes to proofreading. Others, like Studio, seem to be very good. It helps when the composer submits a carefully checked score in the first place, of course; I note that we rarely have these discussions for Philip Sparke or Edward Gregson's pieces, for instance. I'm an amateur but if I produce anything which I am going to ask a band to play, even the simplest arrangement, I always "wash its face" at least twice, score and parts, before it even gets printed out. Anything less, to my mind, is just laziness - and unprofessional in those who do it for a living.

    As far as old scores are concerned, like Pageantry or Resurgam, unless the copyright holders are prepared to go to the expense of a new edition, you will be using the same score and parts as the first performance because they weren't typeset digitally. Creating a new set of origination would push costs even higher. However, there is no excuse for a publisher not producing a standard errata sheet for anyone who requests it. They are the one's getting paid, it's their responsibility.
  10. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    Is printed material covered by the Sale of Goods Act?

    If so, it has to be fit for purpose/free of minor defects (see here)

    (Unfortunately, it would be the supplier rather than the publisher who would have to put things right. There again, if the suppliers stopped dealing with the publishers who had a bad reputation...;) And, of course, if the publisher sells direct, it's their problem...)
  11. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    That isn't always practical, Mike. One particular local band didn't even have the courtesy to respond to phone calls or emails enquiring about hiring the band for a recording, and I later found out that that was becuase "I wasn't well enough known".

    That said, having read Philip Sparke's suggestions on tMP, I find that selective playing back of parts (all the horns, or all the bass end, or all the parts a playing particular figure) weeds out all the 'wrung' note problems.
  12. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Huh! Wouldn't trust ANTHING printed on THAT web site!

    Will Elsom-Darchiashvili
    Senior Policy Advisor
    Enterprise Culture Change Team
    Small Business Service
    1 Victoria Street
    SW1H 0ET

    TIMBONE Active Member

    I will play the "devil's advocate" here. Have you ever written an essay, piece of coursework, or a long letter, which you read over several times. Then someone else reads it, and points out some spelling mistakes and/or grammatical errors which you missed, even though you checked and re-checked it previously. With music, there is an added problem. A 'third party' proof reader does not know the intentions of the composer/arranger. I did an adaptation of a symphonic rhapsody over the Christmas period (not yet published), I use Finale not Sibelius (same thing basically), and I was checking the parts which I had extracted from the score. It is amazing how many errors I had missed.
  14. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    As far as I am aware, the SA publication of "Resurgam" is simply a facsimile of the original.

    As for getting a band to read through a score, one of the problems is that it is all too easy to play what you think it should be, rather than what is actually on the page. I do feel, however, that more emphasis could be placed on the quality of the copies by the music panel when making their selections.

    If a publisher feels they are going to have sufficient sales, it may be in their own best interests to revamp some of their older publications, as SP&S have been doing recently.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2006
  15. drummerboy

    drummerboy Member

    My mistake!

    As so easily shown with Images of the Millenium this year.
  16. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    I know what you are saying but the difference for me is that when I've written an essay I havern't then charged £40-60 for someone to have that essay. Just as in the same way I wouldn't be happy if I bought War and Peace and found loads of mistakes only to be told that it was hard to proof read such a big book.

    We've paid for the test piece and surely it isn't unreasonable to expect it to be right. If the publishers can't spot the mistakes in good time for a contest then maybe the test pieces should be written and tested for mistakes a lot earlier, once they have been thoroughly checked and corrected then it can be put on general sale
  17. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    No, to be honest, but maybe that's because I'm really anal about spelling ;) .

    By the same token, even though I'm decidedly an amateur composer, I won't ask a band to give up their valuable time to play my music unless I am 100% convinced that it has been proofed to the absolute best of my ability. As a result of this, it's very rare that mistakes come to light in the run through. The musical quality may be low, but the print quality is excellent!

    I'm of the opinion that there are some composers and arrangers who don't have such a meticulous approach, and this is compounded by the laziness/stinginess of some publishers when it comes to proper editing. I don't accept the argument that it's difficult for an editor to know the musical intent when proof-reading - this is no different to what a band, MD or adjudicator has to do when faced with a new work. Faced with a score as complex as Vienna Nights, for instance, I expect the editors to have put in at least as much time as any of the MDs and to know it inside out.
  18. starperformer

    starperformer Member

    you lot are comparing two totally different things.

    * trying to polish up a labour of love that you've been fiddling with in your spare time on home software like sibelius, in the hope that someone might one day play it, and maybe even say that its not entirely rubbish.

    * professional publishing.
  19. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    No we're not. All I'm saying is I expect a commercial publisher charging £60-£70 for a piece of music to take the same care over producing it that I take over my own stuff. Bearing in mind that I can do my own stuff in the evening after a hard day's work and sometimes a glass of wine or two and still get it pretty damn accurate, I think that' s a perfectly reasonable thing to ask.

  20. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Another area where mistakes are made is when the publishing editors made amendments to arrangements to increase their market value. I don't think even the original writer can pick up 100% of oversights before the print run!

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