Naughty Composer

We had the first rehearsal for this weekend's Holiday Pops concerts with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Ron Jenkins always puts together a fun and balanced program. Both the Symphony Chorus and the Children's Choir sound great.

Now for my little pet peev. I hate it when composers write inconsistent versions of the same rhythm. Pick a style and stick with it. Please!

The second bar in this photo has the same rhythm as the first measure of the second line. But sight reading the two inconsistent versions can easily lead to questioning whether it's a different rhythm. Do composers seek out obscure new ways to mark their territory? It's memorable, for the wrong reason.


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9 comments for “Naughty Composer

  1. Susan
    December 4, 2009 at

    I was thinking maybe it was a glitch in the software and perhaps the fact the there are stacattos over the seperately stemmed notes dictated that they be notated that way…just a thought. But I know what you mean…it's still annoying : /

    • December 4, 2009 at

      One nice thing about computers and software. We can always blame them!! Wish they would play my music for me!

  2. December 3, 2009 at

    The piece must have been written before decent music software programs were created that actually follow (for the most part?) the rules of rhythmic notation. Isn't the intention of notation to make it easy to reproduce the sound the composer intended? Not going to happen if you confuse and frustrate the performer! Good luck 😉

  3. clarnut
    December 3, 2009 at

    I also find it much easier when you can clearly see the divisions of the beat and bar, rather than obscuring the metric divisions.

  4. Tim
    December 3, 2009 at

    Absolutely! I played a piece in college that really should have been delightful, but there were numerous instances like this that only served to drive us crazy. My favorite was a tricky passage in B major, followed a page later by the same passage in Cb!! Talk about obnoxious writing!

  5. Leese
    December 3, 2009 at

    Urgh, I hate that. We ran into that exact thing in one of our ensembles last week and while your conscious brain is telling you it's the same, the unconscious 'wait, this looks different' part of it is enough to trip you up in a sight-reading situation.

    • December 3, 2009 at

      Hi Leese. Nice to meet you. You state it exactly. It's throws the mind off. Oh well. Part of the rocky musician's landscape.

      • Leese
        December 7, 2009 at

        Hi David – good to meet you too! Love reading the blog, keep up the good work 🙂

      • December 7, 2009 at

        Thanks, Leese.

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