Pencil marks on sheet music.

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by George BB, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. George BB

    George BB Member

    We have been told that we may not use music for contesting with pencilled marks. This is the first time in 40 plus years that I have come across this and ask if this is true. I accept that the score given to the adjudicator must be unmarked, but surely players must be allowed to make notes as reminders of instructions given in rehearsal and we do occasionally get errors on the music so do we have to commit correction of these to memory?
  2. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

    Can you expand on this with which contest this is? Thanks.
  3. George BB

    George BB Member

    It will be for the fourth section regionals.
  4. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    My part for almost every test piece I've ever played has plenty of pencil markings, go ahead and mark up whatever you need to help play your part as best as you can.
  5. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    The answer for this is very simple.
    1. If an official for the contest organiser has informed you that you cannot mark the music, or the published rules of the contest state that you cannot mark your music, then for that contest you cannot mark the music.
    2. If an erroneous source has told you that you cannot mark your music then you are safe to ignore them.
  6. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Please say who has told you that "we may not use music for contesting with pencilled marks" and if you can then also ask them where they got that information from (and tell us too).

    I believe that your band is in SCABA, a brief check of their website didn't show such a rule but maybe I didn't look hard enough or in the right place - I don't contest and know little about it. IMHO it's a daft idea to stop players making written notes in pencil - though anything written shouldn't put off another reader of the same copy at a later time and be readily alterable.
  7. owain_s

    owain_s Member

    Yep. In particular, ask them to point to anything in the rules for the areas which says anything about this:
  8. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Just posting to correct a common misapprehension - SCABA have nothing to do with running the L&SC regionals.
  9. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    As a contest secretary, I can confirm that there is absolutely nothing about pencil markings (allowed or not) in the National rules.
    As a player, my response to that directive would be to call it a load of b*llocks and then write a bit more on my part ;)

    (and Dave is right, scaba is a completely separate entity from the LSC regional committee....the scaba Exec. does include LSC committee members and regional contest volunteers which is possibly why so many people get a bit confused)
  10. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Thanks for correcting that. It was a quick post to help move the thread forward but I should have checked a bit more first. Still, having been (rightly) corrected, I've learnt something new today.

    I'm wondering if the MD or whoever said 'no pencil marking' has their own reasons for making the 'rule'. Seems fair to me that the players ask 'them' to explain and support the ban with reasons.
  11. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    My parts are usually covered with comments about tricky passages, alternative fingerings, face slaps and rude remarks on passages I have had to practice more than twice to get right. I have NEVER heard in over 40 years of payers not being allowed to mark their parts. As long as your marks are in pencil and eraseable (so as not ot spoil the fun for later generations) there is no problem. The adjudicator's copy of the score should be free from marks but that is common sense. We wouldn't want them knowing who you are, now would we? :)
  12. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    This does have an air of obvious nonsense about it... Some of the finest band players of all time have been inveterate scribblers on parts, and any MD prefers players who make notes on what they want to players that don't - more likely they'll remember it in the performance if it's written on the copy...
  13. markh

    markh Member

    Some of us need to write all the fingerings in, so this would be a preposterous rule
  14. hobgoblin

    hobgoblin Member

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of this, it's about time we had a decent thread on 'Pencil marks on sheet music' on tmp. I'm enjoying the many excellent posts so far and long may it continue.
  15. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    I wonder if the "source" of the initial comment (or should that be sauce!) has been mistaken by the rule not to mark up scores for the adjudicators and extended that to all copies. I agree it makes no sense to disallow the marking of individual music copies or even the conductors score. Maybe it was started by a band librarian who ran out of erasors!
  16. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    I have actually found some previous players marks on an older piece, contest or not, to be sometimes quite helpful, then added some of my own :D , and no not fingerings, I did get past that stage a long time ago. (That is for the wag who likes to criticize me personally)
  17. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Sometimes I like to write in incorrect fingerings, for the benefit of players who may read the part after me.
    Mesmerist likes this.
  18. hobgoblin

    hobgoblin Member

    I'm sure if you and your fellow band members turn up to rehearsals with a rubber in your pocket, or even a little one on the end of your pencil you can keep everyone happy - even the librarian.
  19. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    I went to play with an orchestra on hire parts that had been printed in 1918 and must have been liberated from Europe at some point.. The conductor and players of the first orchestra to perform from the parts had signed all their parts and the score. It was the Vienna Philharmonic!
  20. I used to do something similar. Hide a tiny little cartoon (no more than 2-3 mm) at the bottom of charts I played. Used to travel & play with lots of different groups, so just was curious if I'd ever see one again years later (so far, no). Notorious scribbler on parts though. I'd rather note something down than forget about it and look daft later. Never mark up originals though. Will always play off a copy & scribble on that.

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