[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Describing instruments

From: demery
Subject: Re: Describing instruments
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2009 10:54:25 -0500 (EST)
User-agent: SquirrelMail/1.4.16

> Mats Bengtsson <address@hidden> writes:
>> Graham Percival wrote:
>>> I don't think that lilypond should serve as a crutch to composer who
>>> know so little about their craft that they write unplayable notes.
>>> But if you want to persue this, feel free to write a music function
>>> which checks the ranges (or anything else) and add it to LSR.

is ly strictly a composers tool?  There are also musicologist editors of
editions, arrangers, part-scribes and even performers making private
editions to consider as users.

speaking as a player, mainly I work with editions of renaissance music,
both tablature for plucked strings and mensural for winds and mixed

Quite a bit of that music was originally published for the marketplace of
anyone who would buy it, to be performed on whatever ensemble was
available.  It is often performed that way today. it is a rare incunabula
edition that limited itself to particular arrangements, the 3vv 15c
polyphonic music of isaac, josquin, busnois, compere etc had a wide
variety of part ranges and is playable on all sorts of winds as well as
bowed and plucked strings - ATB, STB, SSA (TTB), AAT...  Later music for
4vv, 5vv, 6vv+ and poly-choral settings was less wide ranging, but also
remained varied; modern instrumental ensembles do have to consider ambitus
at times even there.

Some editions are kind and print part ranges so one isnt obliged to scan
several pages and can just pick a piece or two for the sunday band to look
at; other editions sport penciled showing the omitted information, along
with custos and other performers aids.

Ambitus information can be useful to the music director and the performer
when printed on the TOC, or as a part of an incipit; I dont think it has
much use to anyone when left on the console.

There are several online references for composers that cover the subject
of instrument ranges and capabilities; there is no one proper range for
any particular instrument, not even the concert piano (concert grands are
made with extended bass ranges).

Some instruments are incomplete in fundamental ranges, others are limited
in the hands of an ordinary player, but can reliably be taken higher in
the hands of a virtuoso; giving different ranges for the section and for
the soloist.  Use of strict replica instruments for baroque and early
romantic music brings problems with certain notes on valve-less and
port-less trumpets, horns and trombones; 3-keyed clarinets and oboes
(which lack trill keys, and will have a diatonic fundamental octave)).

Alto recorders on certain models have nearly the range of a flute, other
models only two octaves; this is because the alto size has natural hole
placements close to where the players fingers want to be, and also have a
wind-force requirement that is well-matched to the human players
capability.  Other sizes of recorder are not so generous, an octave and a
seventh or 6th.
Dana Emery

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]