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Topic: OT Help with a musical term (in a theatre score)

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  1. #1

    Question OT Help with a musical term (in a theatre score)

    Hello you nice people of the Forum! I am scoring a theatre play (semi-pro) for live musicians. Now, I have totally forgotten an important musical term often needed in a score for a drama (or a musical). I have tried to Google this without any success.

    So, what I am looking for is a term of a musical passage (a relatively short, maybe just a couple of bars) that is repeated over and over again by the band while waiting for a cue from the actors. An example: A song starts, intro, verse, chorus. After this the band plays softer, repeating a sequence/passage over which there will be dialogue/other activity by the actors. In this case the number of bars can not be written exactly as the lenght of the sequence is never the same (it is a live performance, not a movie...). The band has to wait for a cue (a certain physical thing or a line) after which they continue the song and jump in to next verse.

    So what is the right musical term to be written into the score for that part that is repeated?

    Thank you!

  2. #2

    Re: OT Help with a musical term (in a theatre score)

    We call 'em 'Vamp 'til Ready' or 'til ready' in the UK.

    Alternatively you can just put repeats around the bars and give the verbal or visual cue to continue. In my far off theatre days I'd often put a 'Warn' line in the score as well (a line or two before the verbal cue to warn of the impending cue - very useful for the Musical Director dropping off to sleep in the 400th performance!!)

    hope that helps

    Barrie

  3. #3

    Re: OT Help with a musical term (in a theatre score)

    "Ad libitum", "Ad lib", "repeat ad lib"....

  4. #4

    Re: OT Help with a musical term (in a theatre score)

    ....ah!! Sorry to be pedantic, but the whole point is that it's not 'ad libitum'!

    It's until you're given the cue to carry on, wait for the verbal green light!

    Not carry on when you feel like you've had enough....

    Only semi serious sec2, I hope you understand!

    best

    Barrie

  5. #5

    Re: OT Help with a musical term (in a theatre score)

    Then ...."Ad cue"

    "Ad green lights"?

    Ok, ok, stop it here

  6. #6

    Re: OT Help with a musical term (in a theatre score)

    'Stop it here' would be a good direction in some of my music!!

    Around bar 3 would be a good place....

    B

  7. #7

    Re: OT Help with a musical term (in a theatre score)

    That is a "Vamp". I have done many musicals and just the word vamp is need with repeat signs enclosing the passage. Musicians know to keep repeating until a cue comes from the conductor to go on.
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

    Rich

  8. #8

    Re: OT Help with a musical term (in a theatre score)

    Thank you very much everybody!

  9. #9

    Re: OT Help with a musical term (in a theatre score)

    the term "vamp" is confirmed.
    it needs only repeat signs for the measure(s), and the word above.

  10. #10

    Re: OT Help with a musical term (in a theatre score)

    The way I've always seen this, as in scores to large musicals, is as "Vamp til Cue" written above the start of the repeat. Above the end of the repeat, a Cue: "Line to be spoken" is placed to give the ensemble an idea of then the vamped section ends.
    Colton J. Provias
    Film Score Composer, Location Sound Mixer, and Sound Editor
    Full-stack Web Developer

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