Score incipit

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anaigeon
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Score incipit

Post by anaigeon »

Hi,

Some early music modern scores begin with an indication of the original clefs.
I was told it's called an incipit (meaning "beginning" AFAIK).

My question is about the reason why some people give only a part of the original information.
While it's interesting to get the intended range by reading these clefs, it is also interesting to know the very first note(s) of each part.
When this is shown, you know, at once, if there has been a transposition and if the values have been divided - all this information is thus given in less than half an inch (to be compared with the place needed for equivalent textual comments) !

Thus I'd kindly request any editor wishing to insert an incipit - and owning a score editor able to create it - not to stop in the middle of the river !
I know there might be software limitations involved - my score editor is currently unable to create any kind of incipit :-(
pml
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Re: Score incipit

Post by pml »

Anaigeon,

I think what you mean is “preparatory staves”, which in addition to clefs, flats and mensuration symbols often also show the first few notes (and preceding rests, if relevant) in their original durations. While you can call these incipits, that term is more usually taken to mean the first line of text in a work (and which may or may not include the musical context also).

And yes, I prefer to show all of those. ;-)

Sibelius does an okay job of producing preparatory staves, but it can be a bit of a pain (vide, the 41 preparatory staves to “Ecce beatam lucem”). I dare say in other notation packages it would be a downright nuisance, or not even possible owing to the limitations of the software.

Cheers Philip
CHGiffen
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Re: Score incipit

Post by CHGiffen »

Preparatory staves are awkward also in Finale, although doable in a couple of different ways. I would mention that it is also helpful (especially for longer works) to include the ambitus of each voice - i.e. the lowest and highest notes that are to be sung - usually given in reduced size notes with a diagonal line connecting them just after the time signature.

In both cases, these are useful niceties for which premier engraving programs (such as Sibelius and Finale) should provide easy entry, including the silencing of any MIDI or other playback (such as Garritan Personal Orchestra). To have to eliminate the playback by hand - or, more frequently at least in my case, make a separate score without preparatory measures and ambitus (and hence without the incumbent playback problems) - borders on the ridiculous.

Other often encountered "failings" or "inadequacies" of engraving programs which tout their ability to create MIDI or other playback of score but almost invariably improperly handle dynamics when there are two (or more) voices to a staff or when a passage switches from, say two voices to a single voice a 2 (both voices sing or play the same part). This is frustrating to those contributing scores to CPDL together with "reasonable" sound files ... which is why some contributors seem to have opted not to include MIDI and/or source files.

Perhaps others have gripes and/or wish lists for music engraving programs. Who knows? - Perhaps companies might actually listen to us! But don't get your hopes up too high. :?
Charles H. Giffen
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anaigeon
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Re: Score incipit

Post by anaigeon »

Thanks for understanding my point despite the obscure title, and for having added ambitus !
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