Errata Sheets

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by B'aht a band, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. B'aht a band

    B'aht a band Member

    Is it just me, or is there more and more errata sheets coming out? These days, it seems as if every piece of music used for a contest seems to have to have an errata sheet. I only realised this when I went to the 2006 Areas forum, and the first 5 threads were "such and such errata sheet"....... Eeeeeeh! I remember the days when conductors/musical directors had to think for themselves about mistakes on the parts!!:icon_smile:

  2. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    Rehearsing for contests would't be the same without the 'old errata' sheet! Haha

    Everytime a new piece is being rehearsed the question always arises "have we got the errata sheet yet?"

    It seems we have come to expect this yet the price you pay, shouldn't we expect better?
  3. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - you must remember that many publishers rely on (usually external) proof-readers to check printed parts and scores ... and being human, are prone to mistakes as well!
  4. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    Having been there, I have every respect for composers and understand how Sibelius can make a complete **** out of the most carefully put together score during extraction.

    But I know that during my degree, if mistakes were on my scores/parts when workshop time came around I could expect to lose my time with the ensemble and fail the module.

    When we're paying upwards of £100 for some pieces these days, it seems unbelievable that people can't find the time (like me and my colleagues have to!) to check parts properly. And even worse, if mistakes are found after publication, new scores/parts aren't produced free for customers.

    I've been to bands that have just bought a piece that was published 10 years ago and found it still has exactly the same mistakes in it as when I first saw it with the ink still wet.

    I guess as long as bands are forced to buy test pieces full of errors each year publishers aren't going to bother spending time and money putting mistakes right.

    They could get a monkey to write it on the back of a corn flakes box, if it's picked for the areas, it's still gonna sell very nicely. Perhaps the powers that pick these pieces should refuse to choose music that hasn't had errors corrected? Perhaps that will inspire publishers to spend an hour or so (as it generally takes me for a 15 minute, 25-part piece) checking parts before sending them to the printers.
  5. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    I agree with the tenet of most of your post, nethers, but I can't agree with the first sentence.

    Probalematic extraction of parts really hasn't been an issue since Sibelius 2, and in my experience, Mr Sparke's publications bear that out.
  6. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    FWIW, I agree with Will. If you are using sib3, then the parts should exactly match the score, apart from the occasional slipped slur and a few crossing objects. Having checked the score it is the composer's job IMHO to spend a few minutes checking the parts. Even sib 4 does not make perfect parts. You still have to move the odd dynamamic - especially hairpins - and misplaced slurs to make the layout perfectly clear. In spite of its faults, Sibelius makes the job of producing parts and score a heck of a lot easier than it used to be doing it by hand.

    Having said that, there are pieces out there that are a lot older than 10 years which still have the original acknowledged errors in them. I find that more unacceptable than that there are errors in the first place. How old is Comedy? 40 years? It still had the original mistakes in the nice, newly printed/typeset/photocopied/whatever copies we bought. In this modern day and age, that is a crime.
  7. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    I've found that even Sibelius 3 (not tried 4 yet) makes a mess of extraction in certain cases - for example, where you have different time signatures running simultaneously, or repeats in some circumstances. Although it's possible this might just be caused through my lack of skill!

    And it's true that after extraction (of a complex score) most of the dynamics, expression marks (and sometimes some spacing) need manually altering - I assume 95% of publishers out there use this software, and I've seen very few pieces reach the shelves that haven't had these problems removed. If the time can be spent here (presumably because sloppy presentation is much easier to spot when browsing than a missing accidental!), it is surely corner-cutting that stops time being spent on error checking.

    Have read back over this thread and realised I've gotten pretty vitriolic about things - a few bad apples have spoiled it for the rest of the hard-working composers/publishers who take their customers seriously. Perhaps a quick 'hurrah!' in order for those in the profession who do it properly.

    Perhaps we should start a thread naming and shaming bad pieces/publishers?

    If you get sent a piece full of mistakes - ask for compensation (for cost of running the band, time wasted dealing with erratta etc.) or a revised set. If people start making a fuss maybe things will change. Why is this any different than being sold faulty electrical goods? As consumers we have rights!

    I'll get back in my box now.
  8. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    The only problems I've experienced are when extracting parts, the title, composer/arranger's name, lyricist, dedication etc are all over the shop and need sorting out, and if you've written falls or glisses, the lines usually need lining up with the noteheads again. Any other (notation related) problems have usually been of my own making. (Forgetting Eb/Bb keys etc when writing chords.)

    Thankfully, I'm usually given 10-15 minutes rehearsal time at band just to listen out for any duffers I've written in, since sibelius only has about 18 (?) sound channels, so sometimes wrong-uns don't show up at the writing stage. Then I take all the parts away, correct the score, re-do the parts and print up a final set.

    I'd never settle for anything less than fully correct parts and score. It's true I've never had to correct a Phillip Sparke part, as Will said, but they were just as good and clear to read when they were hand-written, so maybe it's a question of pride? It certainly seems from this evidence Mr Sparke takes great pride in making sure his work is correct, and should be proud of doing so.

    Maybe other composers/publishers should follow suit? Errata sheets should really be the exception, not the rule.
  9. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Sibelius has as many channels as your sound equipment, Andi. Most simple setups have the standard 16 channels (with ch10 set aside for drum kit), but if you have an expensive soundcard with more than one sound source you can use all of them together. I've never had more than 64 channels at once, but that was on a specially built machine with two 32channel cards and Sibelius managed them all without a problem. If you are thoughtfull in setting up Sibelius' mixer, you can hear all of your parts even if you've only got a single 16channel sound source. If you want any help, let me know.

    Most of my 'duffers' are caused by inattention at a critical moment! :icon_rolleyes: but the band are keen to tell me when they don't like something. ;)
  10. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Mental note: Spend christmas money on soundcard upgrade!

    My computer's prehistoric so that could be it. I only upgraded from Sib1 last year! Still, I've always found even something written carefully in sibelius can need re-balancing or even a little re-writing when tested out in a bandroom. 15 minutes on the piece with a real band and a lot of pencils to mark up duffers is worth it's weight in gold. I'm really lucky that the co-op posse don't mind helping out occasionally. (Although a few have christened me "Derek Broadbent Junior," because of my choice of material!)

    it's even worth it when the solo euph has been in the pub all afternoon and you've written him a little feature with the baritones, as happened last time I brought a piece to rehearsal! :eek:

    In the end it didn't matter though. The trio part didn't work.... cos I'd forgotten to print any baritone parts..... :oops:

    Anyway, back to topic!!
  11. B'aht a band

    B'aht a band Member

    Andi, no-one should ever compare you to Mr Um-Cha! (no offence intended) Just listen to how good "Forty Shillings" is on the band's "Futures" cd and compare that to some of Derek Broadbent's stuff.

    All I meant for this thread was it just seems strange that errata sheets have become the norm, rather than the exception these days.

    Andy, hiding from a floral dance attack

Share This Page