Slag off Napoleon

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Queeg2000, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. Queeg2000

    Queeg2000 Active Member

    As the test piece discussion veered off into a slagging off of Napoleon, I thought I would start a dedicated thread for it.

    For a start, the spelling in the second movement of "Napolean"
  2. Euphonium Lite

    Euphonium Lite Active Member

    Its the lack of acknowledgement of errors in the score that bother me the most. Things not lining up properly. One or 2 missing dynamics. We have corrected them anyway.....

    The piece itself - possibly a little harder than the S2 piece, certainly on Euph. A bit repetitive at times, but reasonably descriptive. Not unpleasant to listen to - I'd quite happily listen to the entire section. Overall I still like the piece
  3. Queeg2000

    Queeg2000 Active Member

    I do enjoy playing it, but find it is unnecessarily difficult to read. One example would be the first note of a bar being marked as Fb, immediately followed by a note marked E natural. I can understand why it's being used as a test piece. It's grammatically unnecessarily very testing. I've even considered rewriting my part to remove these grammatical errors and make it easier to read.
    Euphonium Lite likes this.
  4. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    Are you sure this example is a mistake? It might be the correct enharmonic spelling.
    Tom-King and midlandman like this.
  5. Queeg2000

    Queeg2000 Active Member

    It's in C major at this point with both the Fb and E natural marked as accidentals, so unless there is some really bizarre enharmonic rule that I am not aware of then it's just done to be difficult.
  6. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    Does the Fb belong to the previous phrase which was a temporary modulation to a key where Fb would have been correct?
  7. Queeg2000

    Queeg2000 Active Member

    Just looking at the part and can't find it now, though have picked out bar 54 on 3rd cornet where E is marked as natural (again, despite never being sharp or flat until that point) followed by E# then E natural. To my mind, dropping all the accidentals and writing F natural would be the correct way of doing this.
    canonach likes this.
  8. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    You can either stew on it and let it bother you...
    Or you can just get on with it (with or without rewriting it your preferred way).

    As annoying as it is, it's not technically incorrect and it's not preventing you from working out what the composer wants from you - letting it bother you is a distraction you don't need, try and let it go.
    Queeg2000 likes this.
  9. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    The initial natural certainly sounds like it's unnecessary. The E# may still be relevant though.
  10. Queeg2000

    Queeg2000 Active Member

    I find the bigger distraction is the girl next to me repeatedly playing it wrong. I find it good practice to be playing things written awkwardly and don't have any issues with this. Just a pity I can't play the other 374 bars.
    sop@55 and Tom-King like this.
  11. Queeg2000

    Queeg2000 Active Member

    The whole part is littered with unnecessary naturals and quite a few "open" instructions where there had been no mute instruction since the previous open. I've compared the part to the score and that is the same, so it doesn't look like my part is missing a mute instruction. I've even purchased the recording and that sounds the same (despite what sounds like a mute being dropped on the floor at the start of bar 7)
  12. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Would writing it out the way you'd have preferred to read it help her?

    Even if you can play it right, if you can help improve others around you that's even better - not everyone's forte is in the problem solving department, for instance, and teamwork requires that we do more than just play our own parts.

    (I know this seems like kinda obvious stuff - equally, I appreciate that distractions abound whilst still trying to get back into the swing of things)
  13. Queeg2000

    Queeg2000 Active Member

    Quite possibly, though I am apprehensive of stepping in the toes of other band members. I've only been there a few weeks, I am not convinced that rewriting parts for another band members daughter would go down particularly well.
  14. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    There is no excusing these type of errors. They're normally caused by copying and pasting between parts without adjusting for the context of the target instrument.
    If the E# should indeed be a F natural, I accept that this falls into the same sloppiness. Without seeing the score / part, it is impossible to say which it should be.
  15. fsteers

    fsteers Member

    Not at all familiar with the piece (haven't seen or heard it, and likely won't have the opportunity to), but based on the description of the notation, but is it, by chance, jazz/blues/swing? If so, what's going on in the other parts at that point in the score? What are the tonics for the chords in that sequence of notes? Are the chords that the E naturals and E# appear in added, extended, or altered chords?

    In genres that emphasize solo improvisation over a chord progression, an E# implies a different tonic than a F: assuming the key of C, an F would imply either a IV (F-A-C) or a V7 (G-B-D-F) chord, as opposed to and E# which would imply something like a I+3 (C-E#-G), a vi+59 (A-C-E#-B), or a Vaug6 (G-B-(D)-E#: in an augmented 6 chord, the fifth typically not played, except as a 13th=octave + 5th above root). When transcribing or composing/arranging for those genres, it is—or at least has, until recently, been—customary to spell the notes as they appear in the chord, so E#s, Fbs, B#s, and Cbs aren't all that unusual.

    That said, I wouldn't expect players who aren't well-schooled in reading and don't regularly play jazz/blues/swing charts to recognize or appreciate the convention. Heck, I've been playing jazz and swing off-and-on for 30-some years, and E#s/Fbs/B#s/Cbs still occasionally throws me for a loop.

    (The missing "mute" instructions are just sloppy, though.)
  16. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    It’s a bit more simple than that. The chord is question is C# (Bb pitch). The E# is therefore grammatically correct. (It could have been written as a Db chord, of course, which would have resulted in an F instead).
    IoiBP and 4th Cornet like this.
  17. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    I don’t get involved with Contests (the work and focus that goes into them doesn’t appeal to me) so please forgive me if I misunderstand. Is this the piece in question: Napoleon on the Alps . If so I’m kind of surprised because the writer is a somewhat important person in the BB world.

    I’ve never found anyone that doesn’t make the odd mistake. Mr H is, I believe, a member here so perhaps he’ll comment at some point, but it might be that that is only possible after any coming contest has been held.

    I’ve seen the occasional E sharp before on pieces and other odd (to my thinking) writing, sometimes I wonder whether it’s sloppy, whether it’s that way for reasons I don’t yet understand or whether it’s put there to test the player - if the latter then it’s working.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  18. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    I don’t know enough about your band and situation to know whether my normal solution would work for you.

    When I’m playing a shared part that one, other or both of us are struggling with I try to have a conversation about it, rarely do I tell the other person that they are wrong. Instead I explain how difficult a particular section is for me, what’s tripping me up and how I’m working around it, then I ask how it is for them and how we can do it right for the MD. Sometimes I (with a soft pencil) mark my part up, including fingering or slide position, and (after offering) have been known to ‘help’ someone else similarly.

    Works for me but YMMV.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  19. Euphman2

    Euphman2 Active Member

    I had issues with the split euph parts where an accidental was indicated on the upper line but not the lower but a few bars lower was indicated on both lines not clear, was it just poor proof reading and printing?
  20. Mello

    Mello Active Member

    Philip Sparke writes: It’s a bit more simple than that. The chord is question is C# (Bb pitch). The E# is therefore grammatically correct. (It could have been written as a Db chord, of course, which would have resulted in an F instead).

    Philip Harper is also skillful and certainly knows what he is doing.. It does appear some folk are trying to find faults for the sake of it...even the spelling of Napoleon .... Personally I find it all very petty. I really feel that nitpicking like this could put some composers off creating new pieces ...I really hope not......If your band is competing , just get on with it..and save arguments .
    As a matter of fact, I hate Aubade and Odyssey full stop. ( I accept that). I am NOT trying to pick faults in their construction, I acknowledge others may well love them, I fully accept the composers are skillful and that the pieces are very difficult, nor do I scrutinise the printing . I just do not like hearing the pieces one bit. The action I take is simple and gives me great satisfaction...I don't listen to them no matter which band is involved.
    GER and Tom-King like this.

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