Question about insisting on following a source score.
By all means be my guest. I'm only asking the question.
A recent forum post highlighted a section of a Stravinsky (I think) score that combined 3rd trombone with tuba on the same staff. The question was how to get MuseScore to play this. Mike had a brilliant answer for how to get it done in quite a long post. Great.
The answer dealt with sticking with the source, or original score, because it is the authority on the music. That's absolutely true.
But I wonder how do we know and why does it matter?
I mean....it's not a big deal so why can't I just let it alone? I'm just curious, and intrigued.
Did Stravinsky actually combine those two instruments in his original score? Or did the publisher do it. Did Stravinsky care? Would he care if the two were separated?
I can't help but believe that he was much more concerned with far more important things than what instrument was on what line in the score.
Common practice is to group 4 horn parts by twos. But would it somehow diminish the music in the slightest if they were on separate lines? There are many instruments that we could combine, but we don't.
Yes I know, there was a need to save space. I have no problem with saving space. While saving space is a real world concern, it is an artificial concern to the music. In this digital age, is that same need still paramount? If saving space was the reason for combining lines, why is separating them for the sake of playback (or any reason, really) somehow contemptuous? How does separating the trombone and the tuba change the music?
Let's consider a live performance of this music. After all, that's why it was written. Go figure. Different orchestras of different sizes will play this. Is this a problem? And the 3rd trombone might not sit near the tuba player. Crap, what if the 3rd trombone player can't make it at the last minute. But there happens to be a spare bassoon that can cover the part. You can't tell me that things like that don't happen. Different conductors will direct this score differently. It makes no difference how many instruments are on a staff. They may not even look at a score anyway.
If I am too philosophical, it is because for me, music is not just notes on a page. I think a "source" score is just that. It is a beginning, a fountain head, a reference. It is a waypoint between the composer and a performance. If you don't write original music for an average size group, you may not understand. Nothing wrong with that in the least. The score is not the goal of composing. Some kind of real or digital performance is the goal. The score is not music. It is a mute collection of scribbles.
And yes, BSG, we have been over this. But no one has really come up with a good answer. Scholars may agree on an authoritative score. Fine. That may indeed be the "the one". But it is only a score. Musicians (or someone sitting at their computer) have the final say.
So we can worship the sacred score if we want. We can bow to something that is not music. Or we can move on to more important things. Like getting it heard.
I submit that in the case of easily getting playback, separating these two instruments does not go against the wishes of the composer. How could it?