About a week ago, I put together a short but dense presentation for my composition students at UCF on score preparation. With rare exceptions, composers today are expected to not only write the music, but also prepare and produce professional-quality parts. This is something we are often not explicitly trained to do. Instead, we’re expected to pick things up as we go1.
For my presentation I made a big outline of all the things I go over when I’m preparing scores and parts, which turned out to be a bigger checklist than I’d expected. So like any child of the Internet, when I make a thing, I post it online. Philip Rothman over at Scoring Notes generously took time to add links to stories on his blog and elsewhere to go into greater detail, which turns my skeletal outline into a genuinely useful reference.
If you do any score preparation or production, I would encourage you to bookmark this post. Thanks to Philip for all the work he does to support composers.
- This is part of a larger untenable norm in music higher education: we often train every single student as though they will be a superstar that doesn’t need to worry about these minutiae. Sure, there are copyists, and they’re great. For most of us in concert music, we’ll rarely be in a circumstance to hire one. ↩