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Topic: Scores with violins involved

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  1. #1

    Scores with violins involved

    I study music by listening to it and at the same time reading the score.
    I also have the Strad.... now you know what is itching.
    I want to write a Concerto for Solo violin.

    But when studying scores I never see those special notations for violin players around like Spiccato, Ricochet, Marcato, Détaché and so on.
    Didn't our esteemed composers like Sibelius, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and others put those in their original scores and are all interpretations just an idea of the soloist?

    Please tell me more......

    Raymond

  2. #2

    Re: Scores with violins involved

    Most of those techniques are in the notation... not just written out. Any good orchestration text will show you how to notate all of that stuff. I use the Kennan/Grantham text and it is fantastic.

    Generally, there is not too much interpretation needed when it comes to bowing techniques as the composer will lay it all out clearly with expressions and articulation markings.
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  3. #3

    Re: Scores with violins involved

    Quote Originally Posted by jesshmusic
    Most of those techniques are in the notation... not just written out. Any good orchestration text will show you how to notate all of that stuff. I use the Kennan/Grantham text and it is fantastic.
    I ordered this book together with instrumentation and others at Amazon. Due for next april. I had an old edition and it served well, but it was from the local library and somebody just cut out some pages..... stupid person.

    Generally, there is not too much interpretation needed when it comes to bowing techniques as the composer will lay it all out clearly with expressions and articulation markings.
    Not in the study scores I've got from the local library. Only staccato.
    That's why I wondered. Maybe it is time to order some real scores also from Amazon and not rely on those "small scores for study purposes".

    Thanks,

    Raymond

  4. #4

    Re: Scores with violins involved

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond62
    But when studying scores I never see those special notations for violin players around like Spiccato, Ricochet, Marcato, Détaché and so on.
    Raymond
    Ray, I've been wondering (and worrying) about much the same thing. I find myself having to submit my first orchestral score for a performance later this year. And I've opted for leaving out all but a very few basic instructions because I'm running out of time. If this causes uncertainty or doesn't produce the results I would like at rehearsals, I will have to go back and pay more attention to detail.

    The handful of scores I've looked at haven't contained very much detail either but this rather casual approach might not be wise for a technically demanding solo violin part. Good luck with the violin concerto.

    Regards, Graham

  5. #5

    Re: Scores with violins involved

    It's best to include as much detail as you can. if you want things left to interpretation, that's fine, but if you don't, then it's your obligation.

  6. #6

    Re: Scores with violins involved

    To a certain extent it depends on the type of music you want to write. There are far more techniques which players can employ now than there were in the time of Beethoven or Mendelssohn - modern sample libraries try to cater for everything - col legno, spiccato, snap pizz etc, all things which you will never find in earlier music. If you look at scores by Bartok inparticular, you will find many more instructions to the player than in the other music I mention.
    I personally never use what I see as "avent gaurde" techniques, but there are many people out there who do.

    Just my 2 cents worth, and I don't use Strad by the way, so cannot comment explicitly on what techniques it can employ. Good luck with the concerto!

    Lloyd

  7. #7

    Re: Scores with violins involved

    Ray,

    Violinists often interprate the notes depending on the circumstances. If you look at Sibelius complicated concerto there are not any special instructions. But you know how it sounds, i presume.
    For example, if you have stacattos over notes it will be played different depending on tempo. In a fast tempo they will often be played as spiccato. Same if you have staccato with slurs. Can be played in several way, for instance as saltando. If you want to be clear you can always write out spiccato, martellato, saltando etc. but beware of that violinists often play as they like and don´t bother about the instructions. That is that they often are better on the violintechnique than the composer is (the composer can play violin off course, but how to play often is an individual interpretion).

    My advice is to also to buy a score of one of the "great" violin concertos and study it together with a recording.

    Björn

  8. #8

    Re: Scores with violins involved

    Ray,

    Even the greatest composers often collaborate with a musician. I have had a few classical guitar pieces written for me and have wished that the composer would have talked things over while he or she was in the process of writing. As was said, look and listen to scores you like and take notes. Find a good violinist to sit down with for an evening (usually he/she will be happy do help for dinner.) and go over your sketches. That violinist will be invaluable in the time and possible headaches that will be saved.

    This will be an exciting time for you.

    Best of luck,

    Karl

  9. #9

    Re: Scores with violins involved

    Actually, the way the composer wrote those staccatos is often a large part of the instruction.
    As you know already, for strings the slurs imply bowings, so composers are often going over that in their minds (hmm... up, down, up, down....uh... down?.... crap!).
    If you put a tie of fast staccato notes, this will imply spiccato.
    The more modern techniques can usually just be noted as words above or below the staff.
    Make sure to look at more recent scores in your studies. Someone mentioned Bartók and that is a good idea because he is very precise in his notation, but I would even further reccomend more avant-garde stuff as they often liked to employ a lot of tricks in a short period of time.
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

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