I keep thinking the question of how to restrict ranges into the realm of "practical" is going to be solved once and for all - but for me, it just isn't. Every darned time I'm working now, I get tripped up.
For those who came in late: Up until recently, I've always just let the ranges as programmed in the Garritan Libraries be my guide. If a note plays when I'm way at the bottom or top, then I'll use it! I've always liked to push things out to use all the highs and all the lows possible.
But now I've been trying to toe the line and properly notate pieces for Concert Band, grades 3-5. One of the first notes I was given was that I was constantly going out of range. OOOoh - so That's what those red notes in Sibelius mean. I thought they were just decoration.
I'm still dismayed over how much higher the low notes are for baritone sax, bass clarinet, bass trombone - But I'm adapting, and figuring out how best to get back the oomph.
One thing confusing is the conflicting information on what "practical ranges" really are. Sibelius has a dialogue for each instrument with the suggested practical ranges, and the ones for pros. And some publishers of band music, the genre I'm interested in, will publish their guidelines, with the ranges getting wider as the band grade gets higher. But none of these charts are the same.
Here's an image file of the chart I typed up today for reference. The source is:
No octave numbers were indicated, but in the last column for grade 5 you'll see I've typed in the octave numbers for clarity.
Fine - but many of these are Very different from the default ranges in Sib. Some go to what Sib lists as "pro" - others are far short of Sib's safe zone.
Opinions on these? --Note that I've left in some instruments here which I know aren't often in CB music and which I'm not scoring for - english horn, Eb clarinet, contrabass clarinet, and string bass.
Here's one that really confuses me - Euphonium. I was writing far too high for it, because it sounds so nice - but it's not at all practical. Some sites say high F is the limit, others have told me high G is OK, and I've been going with that. But look at the chart - for grade 5 it is has Bb4--??
And then I know I get confused by octave numbering also. With our MIDI keyboards capable of slipping around in octaves with the push of a button, something I do often to get the most out of my 62 note keyboard, I usually don't know what octave I'm really in. Add to the confusion - for some unknown reason, Sonar has always called Middle C C4, while the rest of the world generally calls that C3. So when I'm looking at notes in the PRV, it's always labeled an octave higher than it really is.
I'm still working in Sonar and then importing work in Sib. I'm trying to stay in range as I work - but I'm still rudely surprised when I open files in Sib and see that once again I've gone beyond the pale.
SO - Those with more know how and experience - and that's Many of you here - input please? What I'd really love to see is your version of the grade 5 ranges, no matter if they're totally different than what you see in the chart.