Key signatures

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Dave Payn, Dec 5, 2003.

  1. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Messages:
    5,372
    Location:
    Isle of Arran and lovin' it!
    After the entertaining thread by Peter Bale on the Random forum enitiled 'What key signature are you?'. A serious (ish) question. Was it merely for space or printing costs that a number of marches and even some carol/hymn books, only contain the key signature at the beginning of the piece (except when, in the marches, the key changes at the Trio section, not to be printed again thereafter).

    This has been bugging me for years, (I mean, I've had plenty of trouble in the past as it is convincing players to read key signatures that are printed on ALL the bleedin' staves!) but I thought I'd share it with fellow tMP-ites to see what you think about it.

    Hardly worth worrying about, I know, but there you go!

    Regards
     
  2. Lisa

    Lisa Member

    Messages:
    560
    Location:
    Cardiff, Uk
    yeah, that can be quite annoying - sometimes i forget what key i'm in ( :roll: ) so i look at the beginning of the line. Its really annoying if the key sig isn't there as, by the time my eyes have gone all the way to the top of the page to find the key signature, i have lost where i'm supposed to be playing! :x
     
  3. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    Messages:
    2,024
    Location:
    Sarasota, Florida, USA
    Key signatures appeared only at the beginning and at key changes for space-saving reasons in music published by the SA in the past (I don't know about now). This was mainly when a lot of music had to be crammed onto a march card format with no page turns (for use when marching, etc.). Clefs also only appeared at the beginning. Many of today's players, particularly professionals, are surprised at just how small the stave size used to be on much of the old music and the density of notation. Xerox enlargements nowadays bring some relief.
     
  4. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    Messages:
    1,057
    Location:
    Fife, Scotland
    I'm sure the publishers will be happy to hear that! :wink:
     
  5. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    Messages:
    924
    Location:
    Huddersfield
    Yep, constantly annoys me too ... I always refer to the beginning of a line to remind myself what key I'm in ... C Major, no prob ... bang ...
     
  6. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,268
    Location:
    West Sussex
    Surely if the originals are bought and paid for, making a copy for your own benefit isn't hurting anyone?!

    We use the old green SA carol books and they drive me nuts - no key sigs on new lines, the next carol starting in the middle of the page, tiny print... honestly you'll be asking me to concentrate next :shock:

    Seriously though, it is a pain, especially if the key changes during a piece. It also really p's me off when composers don't use a key sig at all and throw loads of accidentals in - I know and understand all the techy arguments for doing this, but I think there's a stronger argument for readability and user-friendliness!
     
  7. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Messages:
    1,541
    Location:
    Southport, Lancashire
    That's a pet hate of mine too, and I think a lot of it's down to the use of computer software to write/print the music. I also hate it when the accidentals are non-logical, i.e. they don't help suggest whether the pitch is going up or down (the use of top A# in a run rather than top Bb is one I've had in a test-piece recently). I've had to re-write many bars in test-pieces to make them more user-friendly!
     
  8. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Messages:
    8,544
    Location:
    New York City
    Cue Mr. Thorne or Mr. Payn ... :)
     
  9. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Messages:
    5,372
    Location:
    Isle of Arran and lovin' it!
    Cue Mr. Thorne or Mr. Payn ... :)[/quote]

    Can't speak for Roger but I'm no good at snooker! :wink:
     
  10. stephen2001

    stephen2001 Member

    Messages:
    958
    Location:
    Worksop
    No matter whether a key signiture is on at the beginning of a line or not, I am nearly always garunteed to miss even the most obvious of key changes!
    I admit, it is a bit of a pain if they aren't at the start of the line, but when you've learnt the piece, it dosen't become quite so much of an issue really
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice