Page Turning

Posted by: Amy

Page Turning - 09/21/01 03:35 PM

I've been asked to accompany a choir at my school and the music is very easy but I'm having a little trouble turning the pages in time. What is the best way to do it without losing too many notes?
Posted by: Matt G.

Re: Page Turning - 09/21/01 04:09 PM

I have two suggestions.

1. Find a spot before each page turn where you either have enough time in one hand's part to turn the page or you can fake it well enough. Then, try really hard to memorize the parts before and after the page turns.

2. Get an assistant. I know that sounds odd, but it is really quite common for an accompanist to have an assistant to turn the pages for them. A brief nod from the accompanist is the usual signal to the assistant to turn the page. Of course, the assistant will need to be able to read music well enough to follow along.
Posted by: ChemicalGrl

Re: Page Turning - 09/22/01 12:34 AM

Ah, memories. Once upon a time, I was the accompanist for my school choir. Ended up doing that for all my years of jr. high school (coz I was cheap labour, the teacher only have to give me a grade! :P)

Anyway, Matt's suggestions are very good. I had to resort to a bit of memorisation myself just to be sure I'm not missing anything. A tiny bit of improvisation doesn't hurt, either. If I didn't have a page turner (which was often), I usually turned up the bottom right corners of the pages and turned, very quickly, with my left hand. (One of the area church Music Directors is very good with this, but sometimes the loud noise that comes from his violently flipping a page is a bit disconcerting ...) Sometimes, I practice a piece incorporating a page turn if needed. I know, that doesn't sound all that clear, sorry about that. If a piece is particularly long, I ask the music director if it's okay to photocopy a piece, then just tape the pages together so I eliminate the page turning problem. Usually, that's not "kosher" as most pieces are protected by copyright law, but as long as you promise to shred and destroy said photocopies, there generally isn't too much of a problem.

Have fun! Accompanying a choir can indeed be a rewarding experience. \:\)
Posted by: Mat D.

Re: Page Turning - 09/22/01 01:44 AM

A little memorization goes a long way--especially at the end of pages.

What I often do is "pencil in" the first chord that appears on the next page (at the bottom of the current page), just in case the page turn doesn't go so well---at least I am ready with the correct chord with my other hand---it buys a little time...