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#1653370 - 04/02/11 10:24 PM Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores?
Gould Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/10
Posts: 429
Loc: Earth
Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores especially when you can't remember something such as small notations saying blah blah softer not to... blah blah or This note = A# etc.. Will it bring any bad unwanted side effects such as worsening your sight reading, etc.?


Edited by Vesivian (04/02/11 10:25 PM)

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#1653378 - 04/02/11 10:41 PM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
feebeeliszt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 414
Loc: London
Every pages of my music has been written "tempo" "steady" "do not accel." "cresc not accel." or "whole page piano" "not too loud". So it is perfectly alright (I suppose)
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The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes - ah, that is where the art resides! - Schnabel

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#1653379 - 04/02/11 10:42 PM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
ilychy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/10
Posts: 64
Loc: USA
No, I think making notes can be very helpful! I do it all the time, sometimes as reminders and sometimes for me to interact with both the musical and technical aspects of a score.
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Practicing:

Brahms' Intermezzo in E flat minor
Chopin's Nocturne No 1 in Bb, Op 9 No 1
Ravel's Pavane pour une infante défunte
Satie's Gymnopedies and Gnossiennes

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#1653380 - 04/02/11 10:43 PM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
CraigG Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/23/09
Posts: 162
Loc: Canada
I will often write in translations of new musical terms, phrasing, fingering, and harmonic analysis, but only because I am trying to learn these things, not because I can't remember them.

I have never written in a note name.
_________________________
Ignorance is not a point of view.

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#1653383 - 04/02/11 10:48 PM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1257
Loc: Ohio, US
I photo copy things I'm learning specifically so I can write all over them. Dates certain parts were memorized, reminders of which patterns repeat and even note names when I feel the need. I have no shame when it comes to scribbling!
_________________________
I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


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#1653402 - 04/02/11 11:35 PM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4581
Loc: not somewhere over the rainbow
You should see my scores. Maybe I'll take a picture of one and post it... Sometimes it's hard to even see the actual printed notes anymore.
_________________________

"Doing things changes things. Not doing things leaves things exactly as they were."

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#1653417 - 04/03/11 12:03 AM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
scherzetto Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/09
Posts: 40
Loc: Canada
Sure, writing in key points definitely can help you with the learning process, especially if you notice you repeatedly make certain mistakes, whether they have to do with a particular note or fingerings or things that others have already mentioned here. I think you will know when you are crossing the line between helping yourself and making yourself lazy (for instance, writing in the names of every single note).
_________________________
"Where words fail, music speaks." --Hans Christian Andersen

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#1653424 - 04/03/11 12:29 AM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
leemax Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 501
Loc: pacific nw, usa
I think writing is great, but I would counsel you to always use pencil. I had a teacher once who wrote in pen, and now, 35 years later, it's stuff I would rather not have on my music but there it is, forever. I suppose I could use white-out, but the paper is cream colored. Oh well. Also, if you're playing in a band or orchestra or anywhere else you're using music that's not your own you should ALWAYS use pencil. I've been in groups where some chowderhead who had the music prior to me wrote in stuff in pen that I considered absolutley unnecessary and really in the way.

I mostly write in fingerings.
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Lee

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#1653439 - 04/03/11 01:05 AM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18623
Loc: Victoria, BC
Some of us rarely write anything in our scores. But, it's your score, do with it what you want.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1653454 - 04/03/11 01:34 AM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: leemax]
currawong Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 6025
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: leemax
Also, if you're playing in a band or orchestra or anywhere else you're using music that's not your own you should ALWAYS use pencil. I've been in groups where some chowderhead who had the music prior to me wrote in stuff in pen that I considered absolutley unnecessary and really in the way.
I'd recommend you always use pencil, even with your own score. Some little annotation you find necessary now might be really annoying in three years' time. And the fingering you think you will be using forever might not turn out to be so.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1653472 - 04/03/11 02:12 AM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5638
Loc: Europe
I also recommend using a pencil.

The other thing is that, perhaps, by writing the notes you are putting less effort in:
a. Understanding the notes quickly.
b. Remember the notes.
c. Learn the piece by memory.

The idea is that you are providing notes to yourself, when you already have the instructions in front.

I don't write much on my scores, or the scores of my students, just some specific instructions in very specific places for aid.
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http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1653479 - 04/03/11 02:27 AM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6230
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I have written some notes from Bailie's book in my Chopin music. All in pencil of course.
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Music is my best friend.


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#1653496 - 04/03/11 03:10 AM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
aidans Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 141
I write fingerings pretty frequently, because I'm liable to accidentally change them if I don't set them in stone.

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#1653518 - 04/03/11 04:45 AM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5291
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
It's perfectly fine to write small notes on scores though in my experience really big notes get your attention more.

I have a personal pet peeve though when borrowing music from the library and some idiot has written in the library's copy.
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#1653568 - 04/03/11 08:06 AM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Dave Horne]
Damon Online   happy
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6356
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne

I have a personal pet peeve though when borrowing music from the library and some idiot has written in the library's copy.


I find that annoying as well. (I know, conservatives aren't supposed to use the library) I notice that some of the scans on IMSLP have "edit" marks in them as well.

Personally, I don't mark in mine to much anymore but I used to write in fingerings and use brackets to redistribute notes. These days I might write in a translation or two....maybe.
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It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#1653571 - 04/03/11 08:13 AM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Of course, it's ok. It's your score isn't it? I mean you can do whatever you like with it. Some of my scores are loaded with more pencil than printing press ink (or whatever they're using these days). For me, though, it's more fingerings than anything else and some works have every note fingered.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1653586 - 04/03/11 08:48 AM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5291
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I find that annoying as well. (I know, conservatives aren't supposed to use the library) I notice that some of the scans on IMSLP have "edit" marks in them as well.

You mean since taxes are collected (in the form of real estate tax\home owner's tax\whatever) and distributed for the general good of your community whether you use their services or not - socialism at its finest. smile

I love libraries and always make it a point to visit a library when visiting a new city. Over here they're not free, you have to pay a fee to to take out books but in my library, for example, they have about 15 terminals for free internet service (for members and non members). You can also buy lunch and drink a cup of coffee at a very reasonable price. (I'm sure they receive some financial support from the government but they offer different levels of membership.)
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#1653623 - 04/03/11 10:10 AM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
I write all over mine. As someone else posted above, in many cases you can hardly see the original notes. I write fingerings, sometimes every note. I often duplicate accidentals when they appear at the beginning of a long bar. I even -- shock horror -- write in note names when they're two inches above the stave.

I don't aspire to memorise music at my age, and sometimes I have to be able to play stuff tolerably well at short notice. So I need all the help I can get.

I'd guess that people who complain about writing on scores are assuming that you're aiming for a note-perfect performance from memory. In that case, such writing might be counterproductive. Not that I'd know, of course -- I've never been note perfect on anything smile

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#1653625 - 04/03/11 10:14 AM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
I copy my music.

Then I cover it in lead (can I call this 'shooting my music'? It may make it seem less like work!).

Write as much as you need to on your music, but don't write on your music just because you think you should (or vice versa, and not write on it because you think you shouldn't).

But really, with all the silly questions, it's a wonder.
_________________________
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

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#1653639 - 04/03/11 10:31 AM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
gooddog Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4907
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Long ago, I was auditioning to join a new teacher's studio. I was appalled when she wrote on my score with red pencil. She wanted me as a student. I didn't want her because I thought she was inconsiderate and presumptuous. I still can't completely erase that big red pencil mark.

I write all over my scores with pencil, which I sometimes erase. I prefer it if my teachers refrain from writing on my scores and leave it up to me to make the notations. All the teachers I have held in high esteem either refrained from writing on my scores, or asked my permission first.

I've mentioned this elsewhere but I find it helpful to use those removable sticky arrows to put temporary marks on those places that need work. They come in colors so I've designated yellow as "slow down", red as "work here", purple means "teacher says to work here", etc.

Edit: the Henle scores have nice thick paper which is stands up well to making changes and repeated erasing.


Edited by gooddog (04/03/11 12:55 PM)
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Deborah

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#1653653 - 04/03/11 11:00 AM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5291
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I learned from playing in a big band to make your marks on the music big, really big. I learned that from the lead trumpet player. Make sure you can see your marks in bad lighting.
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#1653675 - 04/03/11 11:48 AM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
I've written on my scores as well,and so have my teachers. My teachers, except for my earliest, have always asked if it was okay to do so before they took out the pencil. Their notations are always useful, and rarely criptic. I find that when I look back at my teacher's writings, I remember the lesson pretty clearly.

I always write in pencil, and as noted above, fingerings and thoughts change as we work through a piece of music, and sometimes years later at that. Recently I was reading through Bach's Italian Concerto. I had changed the fingerings over a good part of the score. Some of my fingerings worked, but many now seem awkward, so I've erased them and have gone back to what the editor had placed there in the first place.

I do sometimes write in a note name here and there. These are usually found when I have to figure out a note on a stack of ledger lines. They are also found with a circle around the printed note and a note name above. This is a reminder for not hitting the wrong note in that place. It's a doh! Hello Mcfry this IS an F-sharp, for example. I usually remember that spot and play the correct note all the time!

John
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Nothing.

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#1653760 - 04/03/11 01:48 PM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
survivordan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/09
Posts: 844
Loc: Ohio
I always write things in my scores. Note names (though really only for out-of-this-world ledger lines and things like that), fingering, rhythms, dynamics, articulation, phrasing, tempo changes, analysis, etc. I think of the score as my musical workbook, so why not write in it? It is also a really great idea for when one goes back to re-learn a piece later one; one does not have to remember every single thing about the piece, especially tricky fingerings or articulation.
_________________________
Working On:

BACH: Invention No. 13 in a min.
GRIEG: Notturno Op. 54 No. 4
VILLA-LOBOS: O Polichinelo

Next Up:

BACH: Keyboard Concerto in f minor

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#1653794 - 04/03/11 02:43 PM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: survivordan]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
I've not rolling in money but, all things considered, scores are cheap. If it helps me play better, or learn quicker, I don't care if people write on my scores with red pen. Or burn marks with cigarette butts. I have a couple of scores that would be hard to replace, so I write all over photocopies instead.

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#1653796 - 04/03/11 02:43 PM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
I make photocopies of my(own) music, too. Then let the scribbling begin!

I have even been known to take _colored highlighters_ to the dynamics markings. I have been know to have difficulty with dynamics! wink
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Adult Amateur Pianist

My only domestic quality is that I live in a house.

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#1653814 - 04/03/11 03:25 PM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
cefinow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 387
Loc: Western NC (US)
On one measure I circled a low E, because I kept playing a G there. Now I see the encircled note, and it makes me think, "That circle is a reminder to resist your tendency to play E, because it's really a G." So I dutifully play a G, then think-- !!??&& Just don't want to give in and pencil in "E." I hate it when mistakes get engrained because of incompetent "Early mistaken tendencies management"!

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#1653843 - 04/03/11 04:45 PM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: gooddog]
WhoDwaldi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/13/08
Posts: 294
Loc: The Deep South
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Long ago, I was auditioning to join a new teacher's studio. I was appalled when she wrote on my score with red pencil. She wanted me as a student. I didn't want her because I thought she was inconsiderate and presumptuous. I still can't completely erase that big red pencil mark.



Red pencil does not erase well--I always regret having gone through a red pencil phase some years ago!

I did a piano competition once where the judge did not write comment sheets, but circled (without asking) wrong notes in everybody's scores using what I believe to have been a softer pencil than a no. 2. He was also a college theory teacher, and probably used the softer pencil for easily making big, black noteheads. His circles would not erase (not that I made THAT many mistakes, of course). smile
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WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5'10"

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#1653848 - 04/03/11 04:59 PM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Gould]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1425
Loc: Land of Enchantment
One of my teachers liked to say, "Don't be proud. Write it in," regarding things that one might easily have to stop and think about, like the names of notes with a bajillion ledger lines. It doesn't slow down your reading-- it speeds your reading up because you don't have to take that extra time to think about what you're seeing.

I photocopy a lot of my music, too, so that I can write whatever on it and make multiple changes without messing up the original.

Elene
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Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
Website: http://elenelistens.com






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#1653888 - 04/03/11 06:09 PM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: Elene]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13825
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: Elene
One of my teachers liked to say, "Don't be proud. Write it in,"


Love it!

I find myself telling my students (and myself) something similar: "Stop trying to be a hero. You can't play it that fast yet. Slow Down."
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1654013 - 04/03/11 11:23 PM Re: Is it all right to write small notes on the music scores? [Re: survivordan]
survivordan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/09
Posts: 844
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: survivordan
I always write things in my scores. Note names (though really only for out-of-this-world ledger lines and things like that), fingering, rhythms, dynamics, articulation, phrasing, tempo changes, analysis, etc. I think of the score as my musical workbook, so why not write in it? It is also a really great idea for when one goes back to re-learn a piece later one; one does not have to remember every single thing about the piece, especially tricky fingerings or articulation.


I forgot to mention that I make photocopies of all of my music, too. I try not to write in the original scores.
_________________________
Working On:

BACH: Invention No. 13 in a min.
GRIEG: Notturno Op. 54 No. 4
VILLA-LOBOS: O Polichinelo

Next Up:

BACH: Keyboard Concerto in f minor

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