Scores - Short or Long?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Flyingscot1974, Jan 3, 2012.


What type of scores do you like?

  1. Short Scores.

    0 vote(s)
  2. Long Scores.

    26 vote(s)
  3. Long Scores for rehearsal, short scores for jobs.

    3 vote(s)
  4. Neither, it doesn't matter.

    2 vote(s)
  1. As a conductor of a non-contesting band and a Youth band, I often find that music has been supplied with a short score. I find this quite frustrating as (especially the youth band) I really need to know what is written on an individual's part so I can correct their fingering/ reading etc.

    Obviously you will be able to tell that I prefer long scores, therefore I have to go through the laborious job of creating a long score from the individual parts.

    What is the feeling amongst you tmp people? Especially the MDs among you. Do you prefer long or short scores?

    What about those publishers too? Why do you choose to publish in short scores? Would you supply a long score for any piece if requested? If so how much?
  2. We don't supply short scores. All our scores are full scores, and that includes all our junior band music too. With the incresed use of software like Sibelius, we actually find it easier to create full scores than short.
  3. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Active Member

    Have never seen the point of short scores.
    If you can't read a full score you shouldn't be holding a stick.
    If you can't (won't) publish a full score, you have no right to call yourself a publisher.

    When faced with only a short score I find that I have to annotate it a huge amount to ensure that I know exactly what is supposed to be happening and when - not possible if you are sight reading a score and very unhelpful to the band.
  4. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    I'm not an MD or Conductor, but do find that short scores are less than helpful if I am querying something on my part. The usual, unfortunate, repsonse is "It's a short score!"

    Full score every time please.
  5. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    In general, Full Scores every time. However, there are occasionally exceptions. I have been known to create for myself a heavily annotated single-stave cue sheet for use at certain outdoor contests where turning multiple pages on a windy stage is fraught with difficulty. But even then I would still have wanted a full score for rehearsal purposes. As has been pointed out, there are no excuses in this day and age for publishers not providing full scores, although I can easily understand why they often chose not to back in the days of laborious hand-engraving.
  6. Nigel Hall

    Nigel Hall Supporting Member

    In total agreement with Pennine, we only supply Full Scores with all of our music. As an MD I've never seen the point of short scores as you can hardly ever check an individual players queries.
  7. Everybody so far is looking for long scores.

    Can we take it a stage further and ask if anybody has opted not to buy a piece of music because it comes supplied with a short score?

    I certainly have, the only pieces I actually choose to buy with a short score is one which I already know from playing it whether the players can manage it or not. Many new arrangements seem to come with short scores & I am not prepared to take the risk when they are charging £20 - £30 each!

    Any responses from the short score publishers?
  8. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    I totally agree with this.
  9. its_jon

    its_jon Member

    As Pennine point out. It takes more work to create a short score which is counter productive when most people prefer long scores.
  10. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

    I prefer full scores myself, but have found a short score useful if there has been no piano part available.
  11. We have not had a response from publishers who do supply short scores.

    Some of Philip Sparke's music comes with a short score, do you have any comments / can you give your reasoning?
  12. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Most of the works that are still supplied with short scores are from the era when music was manually typeset, and often written by hand. The copy of "Torch of Freedom" which I have is reprographic copied of hand-written (though remarkeably clear) parts, and comes with a short-score for the same reason.

    As such there was a clear and obvious advantage in terms of time and effort for a publisher to produce a short score in this situation. There is also little advantage in producing a long-score from the parts for repertoire over a certain age, as they are almost always printed on request from archive anyway.

    The big problem I find with short scores is the lack of standardisation. Some have two lines of Bb Treble clef, some one Line of Bb treble clef and one of Bb Bass clef, some have one line of Bb Treble and C Bass, Some C treble and C bass, and a few just have one line in C or Bb with allsorts of confusing scribbling in displaced octaves that's utterly impossible to read!!

    In this day and age, I doubt anyone produces short scores any more. Those that are still supplied will be older repertoire.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  13. murr

    murr Member

    I concur with the comments above, being the conductor of a non contesting band, you need to be able to see what is on your players part at rehearsals. you can waste so much time asking them what they have in an attempt to correct mistakes etc. Obviously not always necessary when playing outside but I prefer the full score everytime.
  14. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    There's an attitude I never understood. Why is playing outside any different to playing a formal concert? Surely you give of your best every time you step on stage, yet the majority of bands seem to treat park job as just park jobs.

    Not designed a a criticism of your post by any means, just an observation....
  15. yoda

    yoda Member

    Full score every time. Then if you find yourself performing outside, conduct from memory. Simples ;)
  16. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Don't think that was the implication; just an acknowledgement that when trying to remove pegs, turn pages, re-peg, etc., without losing the beat, in a stiff breeze, a full score may be more of a hindrance than a help ...
  17. katieeuph

    katieeuph Member

    I would concur with that. Having conducted many outdoor jobs ('park jobs'), full scores are a nightmare to use if there's even a hint of a breeze. I've sometimes resorted to using a solo cornet part (it's fine if you know the score well enough)to solve the page turns/pegs problem. Obviously, though, for rehearsal purposes a full score is absolutely essential.
  18. As has been commented on already, my meaning from the OP was not to infer that the outdoor jobs were less important, but because of the wind, multiple pages and pegs are a nightmare for a conductor at an outdoor job.:oops:

    The significance was that all the hard work has been done at the rehearsal, and the performance should not be hindered by the prevailing wind, and the man in the middle having 22 page turns!

    As a player I used to complain about one page turn at an outside job - that doesn't happen any more.;)
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  19. Memory - what's one of them? I've forgotten.:frown:
  20. yoda

    yoda Member

    That's where you start them and stop them at the end and pick pieces with no time changes or pauses in :cool:

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