Study Scores

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by PeterBale, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Attending the recent Areas at Stevenage, I was rather surprised to find there were no Study Scores available - at least not for "Kaleidoscope" or "Coventry Variations", can't say about the other sections. Having become used to being able to follow a score, and pick up on aspects of the performances that you would otherwise be unaware of, I found this very disappointing.

    I wondered whether you could confirm if this is normally the case, and if so, why? Do they feel there would not be a big enough market to warrant the costs involved?

    Equally, what happens to the Study Scores left unsold after a piece has been used at a major contest? They never seem to be advertised for sale, whereas I for one would certainly be interested in buying a few if they were available.

    Any comments?
  2. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Good points/questions raised all round! I'd be interested to know the answer to all of them too.
  3. tim

    tim Member

    How detailed are study scores???
  4. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    A study score is usually simply a scaled-down version of the full score - all parts are shown exactly the same. The actual size varies from quite small and hard to read, to the "St Magnus" score I got last weekend, which is as big as many conducting scores.
  5. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    A study score is usually a Full Score reproduced, printed and bound into an A5 Booklet.

  6. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    Yes, some study scores can be very small indeed and quite a lot for what they charge. However, for £10 the St Magnus score is excellent. As Peter says it is the full size of most other scores. Anyone attending the europeans would be well advised to buy a copy...well worth it.

  7. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    'Twas not always thus. Smiths and Studio used to produce short scores (like piano music on 2/3 staves, in Bb) which were easier to read, didn't necessitate so many page turns during the contest and were great fun to bash through on the piano.

    I suspect that post-Vinter band music has become too complex to condense into this form; the first miniature full score I can remember was done for Fireworks in 1976.

  8. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    I'm going to the Europeans. Can somebody point me to where I can buy a copy of this score.

    Apologies for the intrusion on the thread.

  9. drummerboy

    drummerboy Member

    No need to apologise...for a copy of the score head to World of Brass (a study score is a tenner).
  10. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    The study score for Derek Bourgeois' Concerto Grosso was A4 in size. I got the last one on the day of the Nationals (1998?).

    It served no use as I didn't "get" the piece anymore after listening to 18 performances than I did after the first one.

    I eventually chucked it during a tidy up last year, as I looked at it and couldn't find anything desirable about it as a piece.

    Give me Apsirations anyday!

    Will the Sec
  11. tim

    tim Member

    Is there anywhere u can get study scores for other testpieces???
  12. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    Boosey's also used to do this - certainly with Journey into Freedom, as I still have a copy!

    I remember making up (and copying) a three stave score for 'Carnival' (Dvorak) which must have been pre-1982. I'm sure that was the last time it was done and miniature full scores (of various sizes and readability) have been used since. As most publishers photocopy these days there is no reason why the area pieces couldn't be done as short runs are economical
  13. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    But if we're talking about orchestral study scores (e.g. Eulenburg) they omit the staves of instruments not playing on a system and can save a considerable number of pages overall. They're also known as miniature scores when the stave and trim size sizes are smaller than for the full conducting score.
  14. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Just a minor point, but that was "Concerto No 1 for brass band", not "Concerto Grosso". It looks as if I should be well-equipped for the Europeans, as my dad has put his scores for "Revelation", "Diversions on a Bass Theme" and "Dove Descending" in the post for me :wink:
  15. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    Maybe it's because I never knew to look before, but as far as I know, study scores are a new concept for this year's nationals, and that's only for one reason.

    The composer of the A grade test piece Chivalry will be in the audience listening, and also afterwards, doing a workshop on it.
    Study scores are being made available for it. They are also now advertising for some other A grade test piece through Muso's Media.

    While I can see why some people would like to have a look at the part while it's being played (especially if you've never played it before), I personally feel it's rude to have an entire audience sitting there, look at all your mistakes. What happened to enjoying the music?? I think the adjudicator (or adjudicators in some cases) are hard enough on bands. They don't need the extra pressure of trying to impress backyard musicologists.

    That being said, sometimes it CAN be fun to have a read through. Just do it with a stereo, not in the live concert!!!
  16. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    So Okie, you are suggesting that people buy scores purely to look at band's mistakes? This is a bit of a generalisation to say the least.

    I buy a score to get a grasp of what is within the music and to see how bands interprate it, NOT to look at peoples mistakes. It is a contest afterall and listening to 18-20 bands play the same piece can be hard work for even the most hardened bando - getting hold of a score can really help you understand about how conductors and bands shape the music and the different approaches they take. I personally don't use the score for every performance - I probably use to for say 6-7 bands out of 20. This helps me get a grasp of the music and doesn't take away the visual aspect of a performance.

    In my experience, the people who go to contests to pick at mistakes often do not have a score infront of them and judge merely on split count :shock: Sound basis for musical judgement :roll:
  17. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Especially with a newly-commissioned test piece I find I get to know it much quicker with a score, particularly if I can get it beforehand. I'm fortunate in that, being in London, I can often get along to the pre-contest talks at Regent Hall where they often have the score available, so at least I have overnight to look through. It can also be interesting seeing what you pick up from the score, and then seeing if the adjudicators pick up on the same things.

    I certainly don't see it as impolite to follow the actual performance with the score, and I have done the same thing at many orchestral concerts over the years, although I do wish some people could learn to turn the pages a little more quietly, particularly during the first couple of performances when the pages are stiff :!:
  18. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    I still feel that you are trying analyse the piece. Do you also go to art galleries with notes from the artist about what inspired the piece?? Admittedly some need it!!

    I prefer just to sit and enjoy the final moment. You can hear in the final performance the sections which must've taken some work. No matter how good a group is, there'll always be sections that scare the listener that must also creep out the players!!

    This is just my feelings on the matter however. Ignore me, I'm just a convict's descendant!
  19. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

  20. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    Nor do you have to understand it.

    There's always going to be a piece like it. A couple of years ago the test piece in C grade was Amaranth. Because it wasn't pretty, no one liked it.

    The following year, the test piece was Facets of Glass. Even I'll admit that some of the sounds didn't jump out at me say "Hey am I a funky tune or what?!?!" but you appreciated what was trying to be represented.

    This year's A grade tets piece is Leonardo. I have only ever played it once. It doesn't sound like a sonorous melody either, but the impression of the difficulty is ever present, hence making it a superb A grade test. If you pull it off, you deserve to be in that elite calibre.

    OK maybe a little backgound can help a lot. But aren't you taking things too seriously if you want to try and find the hidden meaning behind every note?

    Maybe I am just venting my hatred of musical analysis. Who am I to say music is good or bad? It's someone's expression!