Partying with parts, part 1

Scoring Notes
Scoring Notes
Partying with parts, part 1

We have a party talking all about part preparation. This is one of our most requested topics from listeners, and we’re happy to oblige in this first of a two-part episode. Philip Rothman and David MacDonald use the parts preparation chapter from Elaine Gould’s music notation reference book Behind Bars as a framework for discussing this essential step in making the best performance materials possible.

We start with the staff size, and what’s too small, too big and just right, and how it relates to page size and margins. Headers, page numbers and other labels are next in our discussion, and we explore the best conventions that have developed, and why you need to always have them present. On we go to page turns, multimeasure rests, clefs, and more, and how careful consideration of all those elements contribute to making a quality part.

We span the low-tech to the high-tech in this episode — everything from the weight and thickness of paper to where to find the crucial settings in your favorite notation software. You won’t want to part ways with this episode until it’s finished, so let’s get started.

Partying with parts, part 2

Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide to Music Notation, by Elaine Gould

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  1. Jason Loffredo

    Regarding clefs in Linked Parts in Finale –

    For certain transposing instruments like Bass Clarinet or Bari Sax, there will be a transposition set in the Score Manager that uses a “Set to Clef” setting in the transposition window which makes the part always appear in Treble clef regardless of what clef changes you make in the score. For an instrument like French Horn, the default Transposition Settings don’t use the “Set to Clef” option which means that whatever clef you have in the score will appear in the part. Staff Styles are one solution, but the simpler solution for this French Horn scenario is to go into the Score Manager, and for the French Horn, just choose “Other…” for the transposition—when you do that, it will be initially set up with the correct key and interval transposition for the French Horn—but then simply check the “Set to Clef” option and make sure it’s set to Treble clef. Now you can change clefs in the score as much as you want but the part will always remain in Treble Clef!

    It was a LONG time ago that I did these Score Manager Lessons, but I believe I talked about this “Set to Clef” option, but perhaps not in the specific context of something like a French Horn part, which as you mention in the podcast, can often look better in bass clef in certain measures for a Concert Key score.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Thanks, Jason! Great stuff! Yes, it was that “Set to Clef” option in combination with a Staff Style where you could add a clef change somewhere in the part, if you needed to do so.

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