Arranging 6

Idiot Proof

I thought I had stumbled upon something great recently in Sibelius (score writing software). Under normal circumstances I keep a separate log of which pupils are playing which part in an arrangement. This helps to ensure a balance and is a great help later on when devising a seating/walk-on plan for concerts. I decided to try a new approach.

Down the side of a guitar ensemble score* are the names of the sections:

Guitar 1

Guitar 2

Guitar 3

Guitar 4

…and each of these lines up with the notes they will be playing. When the parts are extracted** each one bears the name of the section. While distributing parts, I decided to overwrite these section names with the names of pupils in that group. When the parts were printed, each one had the pupils’ names visible. They could then see, at a glance, who else was sharing their part. I could tell instantly how many of each to run through the photocopier – everybody happy! Until Tuesday’s rehearsal at NBHS. To let the beginners hear their part I said, “let’s hear the 2s on their own, from section 1.” The response was, “who are they?” So much for personalising the section names. In future, I’ll keep it above the individual names. A prime example of a missed layout oportunity.

* score = the page where the musical director can see what everyone is meant to be playing

** extracted = the process where the parts are separated out so that each player sees only notes which they are to play.