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How To Make Your Live Music Sound Better

Hi everyone,
I'm a long-time observer of this forum, and I thought I'd jump in by sharing some wisdom about scoring I learned recently.
I was able to attend the Interplay Composers' Workshop held by the Vancouver Chamber Choir this month, where the choir read a new piece of mine. This was an amazing experience! The director, Jon Washburn, shared some advice about putting together a choral score, once all the hard work of composing is finished. Basically, the goal is to make the score as easy to read as possible, so that the performers can get to the heart of the music as soon as possible. As composers, I know this is something we all strive for.
I'd love to know what you think about this topic, or if you have any advice of your own. I look forward to more conversations on this forum in the future!
Replies (6): Threaded | Chronological
on April 21, 2014 12:18pm
Some excellent advice there - and equally relevant when writing instrumental / orchestral music?  Thanks for sharing, David.
on April 21, 2014 12:41pm
Yes, this is absolutely relevant to instrumental writing! Anywhere you need to communicate clearly on paper. :) 
on April 21, 2014 1:35pm
Sorry - the question mark was a typo - should have been an exclamation mark!!
on April 21, 2014 2:14pm
So, true and thanks for the reminder.

I've been editting and re-scoring my music for publication, and have been fighting with Finale (as usual) trying to the get most clear and legible layout and design keeping with the octavo format (that is, multiples of 4 pages)... and was about to just give up the attempt at perfection.

You reminded me why I am doing it. Thanks again!

(Was wishing for someone to do this for me, and a fellow composer remarked that an editor would probably miss the subtle and important things that are in the score, so it is better to do it ourselves. True.)
on April 21, 2014 7:24pm
If you can afford to do so as a self-publisher, hiring a good editor at least occasionally is very worthwhile.   I've used three different people, and each gave me new perspective on "subtle and important things" that were possible to represent better in what I thought were finished scores.   
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on April 22, 2014 7:24am
Hi Bill!
You and I think the same way.  Before I say that I'm finished with any piece, I consult with fine musicians.  The old adage, "Two heads are better than one," is quite correct; Brahms thought the same thing.
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